Baseball Hosts MW Series With Aztecs To Open 2014

Expect to see Kalei Contrades as a key contributor as an outfielder and closer for SJSU in 2014.

Feb. 12, 2014

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SAN JOSÉ STATE OPENS 2014 WITH MW SERIES AGAINST SDSU
San José State baseball hosts a three-game Mountain West series against the reigning conference champion San Diego State Aztecs to open the 2014 season. The series begins Friday, February 14 at 6:00 p.m. at Municipal Stadium. This series will be the first meeting between the teams since the Spartans swept the Aztecs in a three-game set at Municipal Stadium in 1999. San Diego State leads San José State in the all-time series 52-26.

 








Games 1-3

Date/Time: Friday, February 14, 2014 • 6:00 p.m. (PST)

Pitching Matchup: LHP Johnny Melero (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Michael Cederoth

Live streaming: MW Digital Network (SJSUSpartans.com/videos)

Radio: KSJS 90.5 FM. Jess Knaster – play-by-play, Anthony Silveria – commentary

 

Date/Time: Saturday, February 15, 2014 • 1:00 p.m. (PST)

Pitching Matchup: TBA vs. TBA

 

Date/Time: Sunday, February 16, 2014 • 1:00 p.m. (PST)

Pitching Matchup: LHP Jace Puckett (0-0, 0.00) vs. TBA

Live streaming: MW Digital Network (SJSUSpartans.com/videos)

Radio: KSJS 90.5 FM. Jordan Serpa – play-by-play, Chad Oklin Jolin – commentary


SEE THE SPARTANS EARLY & OFTEN
San José State opens 2014 with 10 games packed into 13 days.  Nine of those first 10 contests will be played at Municipal Stadium in San Jose. By March 18, the Spartans will have played 18 games at home and only five on the road. Get your tickets now by calling the Spartan Ticket Office at (408) 924-SJTX (7589).

FAN PROMOTIONS
Fans of all ages can look forward to fun and engaging action at Spartans baseball games this year. Each Sunday at home will be “Sunday Funday” where fans can collect player cards and even bring them on the field for postgame autographs. Little League baseball teams get to take the field with the Spartans for the National Anthem on every Sunday Funday and run the baseball following the game. To sign your team up for these fun activities call Promotions & Fan Experience Coordinator Dan Hackett at 408-924-1596.

YOUTH GET IN FREE
All season long, youth under 12 years old will receive free admission to Spartan baseball games. Tickets for adults are just five bucks and can be purchased at the 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).

SERIES HISTORY
San José State swept the Aztecs 3-0 when the teams last met in 1999 at Municipal Stadium. San Diego State however, controls the all-time series 52-26 (1938-1999). The 1999 sweep marked just the second time the Spartans won a series against the Aztecs in the last 10 meetings dating back to 1991. SJSU’s record during that span was 10-20.

NO OPENING DAY JITTERS
The Spartans have been victorious on Opening Day 23 times in the last 27 years. The most recent opening-day defeat was in 2012 at the hands of San Francisco by a 4-0 score.

RETURNING CONFERENCE HONOREES
Spartans’ center fielder Andre Mercurio and first baseman Matt Carroll were second-team All-Western Athletic Conference selections in 2013. Mercurio was SJSU’s hits leader with 74 and Carroll knocked in a team-high 40 runs.

NEW TERRITORY
In its first season of Mountain West play, San José State joins some familiar foes in Fresno State and Nevada whom the Spartans have played a combined 378 times.  109 games have been played between the Spartans and the other four MW programs: San Diego State, Air Force, New Mexico and UNLV combined. SJSU is 199-288 (.409) all-time against its MW competitors.

VALDEZ TAKES OVER THE HOT CORNER
Jacob Valdez, a three year starting second basemen, will take on a new role as the Spartans’ third baseman in 2014. Valdez has 154 career starts, all at second base and as the DH.

SPARTAN YOUNGSTERS
14 freshmen and a one sophomore make up three fourths of the 20 new Spartans on the 2014 roster. More than half of the freshmen garnered high school first-team all-league honors and sophomore transfer Tyler Olivet was a California Community College Baseball Coaches Association (CCCBCA) All-American in 2013 with Cabrillo College. Look for freshmen Alec de Watteville (SS) and Brett Bautista (RF) to be in the starting lineup for SJSU.

MW DIGITAL NETWORK COVERAGE
All home SJSU baseball games will be streamed live on the Mountain West Digital Network. Fans can access the live streams at www.sjsuspartans.com/videos. Due to conflicting home games with men’s and women’s basketball the following baseball contests will not be streamed live: February 15 vs. SDSU, February 26 vs. Pacific and March 4 vs. Saint Mary’s.

Jason Armstrong JOINS SJSU AS VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT
Jason Armstrong comes to the Spartans after serving as UC Davis’ hitting coach from 2010-2013. He helped turn around the Aggies hitting statistics from worst in the Big West to the top-three marks in 2013. Armstrong teaches from experience as he was an NCAA All-American shortstop for Trinity (2004).

SCOUTING SDSU
The Aztecs enter 2014 as the reigning Mountain West champions after they defeated New Mexico 9-4 in the final conference championship game. San Diego State was chosen to finish on top of the Mountain West Conference again in 2014 in the Preseason Coaches Poll along with New Mexico. Top returners for the NCAA Regional at UCLA participants include first-team All-MW second baseman Tim Zier and All-MW second-team third baseman Ryan Muno. Outfielder Greg Allen appears on the 2014 MW Preseason All-Conference Team.

TWO PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN NODS FOR AZTECS
Junior outfielder Greg Allen and starting pitcher Michael Cederoth both appear on Baseball America’s preseason All-American list. Allen was chosen as a second team All-American while Cederoth was selected to the third team.

TONY GWYNN ENTERS 12TH YEAR AS AZTECS HEAD COACH
Tony Gwynn, a former major league all-star and San Diego State outfielder, is entering his 12th season as the head coach of the Aztecs. Gwynn took the reins of the SDSU program after a 20-year Hall of Fame career with the San Diego Padres. In 2002, Gwynn officially became the program’s fourth head coach in its 77 year history, replacing his own former coach Jim Dietz. He enters 2014 with a 242-241 (.501) record with a 124-82 (.602) record in league play.

MELERO RETURNS FOR SENIOR SEASON
Senior left-hander Johnny Melero carries the most experience of any pitcher on the Spartans’ pitching staff having appeared in 45 games during his three-year career. He is the only senior starting pitcher in the San José State’s arsenal of arms. James Glawe is also a senior pitcher but is expected to continue his role as a reliever during his second season at SJSU.

MERCURIO EANRS TOP LOCAL HONORS
Center fielder Andre Mercurio was named the 2013 College Player of the Year by the Santa Clara County Hot Stove Committee. Each year, the committee honors high school to major league level baseball players from Santa Clara County.  Mark Appel (Stanford, Houston Astros) was the college pitcher of the year, and Daniel Descalso of the St. Louis Cardinals won Major League POY.