Feb. 17, 2014
SAN JOSÉ STATE PLAYS FIVE GAMES THIS WEEK
San José State baseball hosts the Stanford Cardinal and travels to Pacific for a couple of midweek battles before hosting UC Santa Barbara for three games this weekend. The Spartans are coming off of a 1-2 weekend against Mountain West (MW) foe San Diego State.
Game # 4
vs. Stanford Cardinal (1-2)
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 • 6:00 p.m. (PST)
Pitching Matchup: RHP Carter Johnson (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Tyler Thorne (0-0, 13.50)
Live streaming: MW Digital Network (SJSUSpartans.com/videos)
Jess Knaster - play-by-play
at Pacific (2-2)
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 • 6:00 p.m. (PST)
Pitching Matchup: RHP Michael Wright (0-0, 99.00) vs. LHP John Haberman (0-0, 4.50)
Live streaming: WATCH LIVE
vs. UC Santa Barbara (0-0)
Friday, February 21, 6:00 p.m. (PST)
Pitching Matchup: TBA
Live streaming: MW Digital Network (SJSUSpartans.com/videos)
Radio: KSJS 90.5 FM
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).
Fans of all ages can look forward to fun and engaging action at Spartans baseball games this year. Get to the yard early on Opening Day and be the first to start your collection of SJSU baseball player cards. Each Sunday at home will be "Sunday Fun Day" where fans can collect more 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 Fun Day 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.
KIDS GET IN FREE
All season long kids 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).
SPARTANS DROP OPENING WEEKEND SERIES TO SDSU
San José State dropped two out of three against MW foe San Diego State last weekend to open 2014. Nine Spartans made their major college debut during the series. San José State took game one behind some shutdown pitching out of the bullpen by Kalei Contrades. He threw six innings of two hit ball and had a career-high six strikeouts on the way to a win. The Spartans and the Aztecs traded seven-run innings in the rubber match on Sunday, but SDSU ended up taking the finale 13-8.
NEW SPARTANS CONTRIBUTING EARLY
Nine players made their major college debut with the Spartans this past weekend. Brett Bautista, Alec de Watteville and Tyler Olivet all made appearances in the starting lineup. Jace Puckett and Jonathan Hernandez made their debuts as the starting pitcher for SJSU.
TEAM BATTING LOOKING UP
San José State's .273 team batting average is second among MW team after three games in 2014. Five Spartans are batting over .300.
MERCURIO'S CLUTCH FACTOR
Center fielder Andre Mercurio showed Spartan fans his ability to come up big in the clutch situations again on Opening Weekend. He hit a ball off the wall in right field for a bases-loaded triple in Sunday's game. He also hit a two-out, two-strike double on Friday night that brought home two runs and helped San José State go on to beat San Diego State. He leads the team with six RBI.
CONTRADES PROVIDES BRIGHT SPOT OUT OF PEN
Kalei Contrades came out of the Spartan bullpen for six strong innings of two-hit ball on the way to earning the win against San Diego State in the 2014 opener. He had a career-high six strikeouts and walked just one hitter.
CARROLL BELTS EARLY HOMER
Matt Carroll hit his first home run of the season, a two-run bomb over the left field wall, against SDSU on February 15. The Spartans' first blast comes exactly one month earlier then the teams' first home run did during the 2013 season.
The Cardinal went 1-2 during their opening weekend at home against #15-Rice, avoiding a sweep with a 12-3 win on Sunday. Stanford comes to Municipal Stadium Tuesday night where they have won eight of the last nine meetings with the Spartans including a 10-8 decision in 2013. Since 2004, San José State is 3-16 against the Cardinal. Third baseman Alex Blandino was named to three preseason All-America squads: Louisville Slugger, Perfect Game and Baseball America. Brett Michael Doran leads the Cardinal in hitting after three games with a .571 average and three RBI.
The Tigers got out to a 2-2 start this weekend playing in the Husker Classic in Tempe, Ariz. They had wins against Gonzaga (9-5) and #2-Oregon State (7-0) in the tournament. Brett Sullivan had a hot weekend at the plate going 9-for-16 with 3 RBI. Wednesday night's game against the Spartans will be the home opener at Klein Family Field in Stockton, Calif. San José State is 5-4 in games played in Stockton since 2007 and 10-9 overall during that stretch. The Spartans took two out of three from the Tigers in 2013 and control the all-time series 88-76.
SCOUTING UC SANTA BARBARA
UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) begins its season this Tuesday night at home versus CSU Bakersfield before heading to San Jose for a weekend series. The Gauchos are 9-6 against the Spartans since 2010 and 4-2 at Municipal stadium during that stretch. San José State has been swept by UCSB the last two seasons.
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.
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. At the start of 2014, 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.
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).
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.