Feb. 25, 2016
San José State (2-3, 0-0 MW) vs. Loyola Marymount Lions (1-3, 0-0 WCC)
Municipal Stadium (San Jose, Calif.)
Friday, Feb. 26 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 27 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 28 1:00 p.m.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
Friday: RHP Josh Nashed (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP J.D. Busfield (0-0, 4.76 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Logan Handzlik (1-0, 3.76) vs. RHP Cory Abbott (0-1, 1.80 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Matt Brown (1-0, 1.80) vs. RHP Tyler Cohen (0-1, 2.25 ERA)
Live Video: Spartan Digital Network (sjsuspartans.com/videos)
Radio: KSJS 90.5 FM (Friday & Sunday only)
Social Media: @SJSUBaseball (Twitter, Instagram) • facebook.com/SJSUSpartansBaseball
All-Time Series: San José State trails, 10-5
HOMESTAND CONTINUES WITH VISIT FROM LMU
San José State opens the second half of its 10-game homestand when it hosts the Loyola Marymount Lions of the West Coast Conference this weekend. Friday’s series opener gets underway at 6:00 p.m., while Saturday’s first pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. and Sunday’s finale at 1:00 p.m.
SCOUTING LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
Overview: LMU enters the weekend with a 1-3 record that doesn’t reflect how well they’ve played to this point. The Lions traveled to Fort Worth, Texas and took down No. 11 TCU on Opening Day. The Horned Frogs bounced back with shutout wins the next two days, but the Lions hung tough throughout. Tuesday night, they hosted No. 21 USC in their home opener and narrowly lost, 4-3.
Pitching: The Lions have been buoyed by their pitching staff early on in 2016. The own a team ERA of 3.44 and have not allowed an opponent to score more than five runs in any of their first five outings. Friday starter J.D. Busfield was battered around for 10 hits by TCU, but only gave up three runs. Cory Abbott will take the mound Saturday with a 1.80 ERA in 5.0 innings pitched, and fellow-righty Tyler Cohen bolsters the rotation with a 2.25 ERA in 5.0 innings, despite being tagged with a loss.
Offense: While its pitching has impressed thus far, LMU’s offense has struggled against tough competition. The Lions bring a 1.67 team batting average to Municipal Stadium this weekend, and their only hitter above .300 (Ted Boeke – .429) has played in only two games. Boeke and Spencer Erdman are tied for the top spot on the team with a pair of RBIs each, while Boeke owns the Lions’ lone home run thus far and Erdman has posted the only two doubles. Outfielder Austin Miller is a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen base chances.
The Spartans trail the all-time series with the Lions, 10-5. Last season, San José State traveled south to Los Angeles for the opening series of the 2015 season and was swept by LMU. Its last win in the series came in 2007, when it took two-of-three from the Lions.
THE WEEKEND THAT WAS
San José State opened the 2016 season with a strong showing against visiting UC Irvine. The Spartans fell on Opening Day despite an impressive effort from starting pitcher Josh Nashed, but responded with 23 hits and 17 runs over 18 innings of a Saturday doubleheader, both San José State wins. Sunday looked to be more of the same as the Spartans loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning, but the Anteaters escaped and raced to an 11-0 win, forcing a series split.
THE SHANE TRAIN
Sophomore first baseman Shane Timmons got his 2016 season off to a tremendous start in the Spartans’ four-game series against UC Irvine. Timmons drove in the Spartans’ first run of the season with a solo homer in the opener, then followed up with five hits in seven at-bats and two more RBIs in Saturday’s doubleheader. For the weekend, he finished 7-for 15 (.467) with two walks, five runs scored, three driven in, one home run and 10 total bases.
After fielding one of the youngest teams in the country a year ago, the Spartans will again feature a host of youngsters seeing significant playing time in 2016. Four of the probable starting position players and three of the starting pitchers this weekend are underclassmen. Hunter Tidwell (Fr. - OF), Aaron Pleschner (Fr. - INF), Cal Koga (Fr. - C) and Kyle Morrison (So. - INF) represent four more underclassmen who will compete for starting duties early in the season.
San José State will lean on its lone two regular starting seniors for both leadership and production this season. Ozzy Braff and Dillan Smith represent the only seniors projected to start in the infield and outfield, respectively, on an everyday basis. Last season, Braff led the team with a .298 average and posted a clean sheet at second base en route to Second Team All-Mountain West honors. Smith started all but three games in right field a year ago and will be counted on to lead off for the Spartans.
‘SUNDAY FUN-DAY’ 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).