SAN JOSÉ STATE OPENS 2015 SEASON AT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
San José State baseball kicks off the 2015 campaign with a trip to Los Angeles to face the Loyola Marymount Lions of the West Coast Conference. The series begins Friday, Feb. 13 at 6:00 p.m. and continues Saturday at 6:00 p.m. before wrapping up Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The meeting will be the first since the Spartans took two-of-three games from the Lions in February of 2007. The Spartans trail the all-time series 6-10.
San José State (0-0, 0-0 MW) at Loyola Marymount (0-0, 0-0 WCC)
Fri.-Sun. • Feb. 13-15, 2015 • 6:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m.
Pitching Matchups: Fri. - RHP Kalei Contrades (5-2, 2.50) vs. RHP Colin Welmon (10-2. 2.37)
(2014 Stats) Sat. - LHP Jonathan Hernandez (0-7, 5.32) vs. RHP Trevor Megill (NA)
Sun. - RHP Logan Handzlik (2-3, 5.92) vs. RHP Tylor Megill (NA)
Live Video: http://www.lmulions.com/collegesportslive/
Live Stats: Via Gametracker & Statbroadcast
Social Media: @SJSUAthletics | @SJSUBaseball | #GoSpartans
All-Time Series: San José State trails, 10-6
OPENING DAY SUCCESS
The Spartans have won 25 of their last 28 Opening Day games. San José State last dropped a season opener in 2012, when it lost a 4-0 home contest to San Francisco.
MUNI ON THE MIND
San José State makes its 2015 Municipal Stadium debut with a five-game home stand beginning with the home opener against San Francisco on Tuesday, Feb. 17 and continuing Feb. 20-22 against Northern Colorado. The Spartans and Bears will play a double dip on Saturday, Feb. 21, with the first game starting at 1:00 p.m. and the second at 4:00 p.m.
San José State last played Loyola Marymount in 2007, with the Spartans coming away with 4-3 and 15-7 road victories to take the series. The Spartans and Lions have split the last four three-game series, with San José State going 5-7 overall during that span.
The Lions return seven starting position players and four starting pitchers from the 2014 squad that went 32-24 and reached the WCC Championship game. Friday night starter Colin Welmon went 10-2 with a 2. 27 ERA last season en route to first-team All-WCC honors for a second consecutive season. Welmon was also named to the Golden Spikes Award Watch List heading into 2015. Sophomore outfielder Austin Miller also returns for LMU after a standout freshman campaign in which he hit .374 with 10 doubles, three triples and 25 stolen bases, earning him a slew of honors that included first team Freshman All-American recognition by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association. Perfect Game tabbed the Lions to win the 2015 West Coast Conference crown.
SEVERAL LIONS RECOGNIZED BY PERFECT GAME
Five LMU players were selected by Perfect Game as top-100 players in their respective classes across the nation. Right-hander Colin Welmon was tabbed the No. 4 senior in the country and is joined by No. 38 David Edwards, an infielder, on the list of the top seniors in America. Saturday starter Trevor Megill checked in at No. 56 on the list of top juniors, while infielder David Fletcher came in at No. 64 amongst sophomores and Sunday starter Tylor Megill was ranked the 18th-best freshman in the country.
NEW FACES ALL AROUND
San José State will field one of the youngest teams in the country in 2015. Two transfer juniors, Ozzy Braff (Whitman College) and Dillan Smith (Palomar Community College), join a 16-man freshman class that will don San José State jerseys for the first time against LMU. The Spartans' roster features 27 underclassmen and just nine upperclassmen.
CONTRADES EARNS PAIR OF PRESEASON AWARDS
Senior right-hander Kalei Contrades was one of two pitchers to be named to the 2015 Mountain West Preseason All-Conference Team, as voted on by the conference's head coaches, in addition to being selected to the Perfect Game Preseason All-Mountain West team. Contrades is coming off a stellar junior campaign in which he appeared in 17 games, making seven starts, and posted a 5-2 record with a 2.50 ERA in 79.1 innings.
MERCURIO A VETERAN IN THE FIELD
Senior center fielder Andre Mercurio enters 2015 with 147 games played under his belt. The San Mateo, Calif., resident owns a .290 career batting average in 562 at-bats with a .996 fielding percentage patrolling the outfield. A 2013 second-team All-Mountain West selection after making all 57 starts that season, Mercurio was hampered by a wrist injury in 2014 that forced him to miss 10 games early in the year and limited him to just 40 starts. Mercurio and Kalei Contrades represent the only players on the roster in their fourth year at San José State, with Myles Richard, the third senior on the 2015 Spartans, transferring from Mount Hood Community College before the 2014 season.
EXPERIENCE AMONGST THE STARTING ROTATION
Despite 11 freshman pitchers joining the team in 2015, all three of the Spartans' weekend pitchers are returners and made at least seven starts a year ago. Senior Kalei Contrades, a 2014 second-team All-Mountain West performer, made seven starts a year ago and will take the mound on Friday nights, while junior Jonathan Hernandez (14 starts) and sophomore Logan Handzlik (eight starts) will round out the weekend on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Contrades went at least 7.0 innings in five of his seven starts last season and will exclusively see time on the mound in 2015 after posting a .267 batting average in 191 career at-bats in his first three seasons at San José State.
Tom Kunis RETURNS TO SAN JOSÉ STATE AS PITCHING COACH
Tom Kunis, an assistant on former skipper Sam Piraro's staff from 1988-91 and 2009-11, returns for a third stint and an eighth season with the Spartans in 2015. Kunis and head coach Dave Nakama coached together for six seasons (2002-07) at Stanford under Mark Marquess, where the pair aided the Cardinal to two Pac-10 conference titles and five NCAA Tournament appearances, including three Super Regional appearances and two College World Series berths. In his 28 years of coaching, 51 of Kunis' pitchers have been drafted professionally.
MOUNTAIN WEST DIGITAL NETWORK COVERAGE
All San José State home games and road conference games will be streamed live on the Mountain West Digital Network. Fans can access the live streams at www.sjsuspartans.com/videos.
NEW MEXICO PICKED TO WIN MOUNTAIN WEST
Defending Mountain West co-champion New Mexico was tabbed to win the conference in 2015, garnering three first-place votes and 30 total points. The poll, voted on by the conference's seven head coaches, placed the Spartans seventh.
KIDS GET IN FREE
All season long at Munical Stadium, yuoungsters under 12-years old will receive free admission to Sunday afternoon home Spartan baseball games. Adult tickets are just $5 and can be purchased at the Municipal Stadium ticket window beginning one and a half hours prior to first pitch. For advanced ticket sales, call the Spartan Ticket Office at 408-924-SJTX (7589).
SUNDAY FUNDAY AT MUNI
Youth baseball teams are invited to join the Spartans every Sunday at Municipal Stadium for Sunday Funday. Participating teams will take the field with San José State for the national anthem and get to run the bases after the conclusion of the game. Those interested in reserving a date for their team are encouraged to call the Spartan Ticket Office at 408-924-SJTX (7589).