March 3, 2014
ANOTHER SET OF FIVE UP AHEAD FOR SJSU
San José State is amid the third consecutive week with five games scheduled to play. All five this week will be contested at Municipal Stadium beginning with Saint Mary's College on Tuesday night. Then, the Spartans take on Pacific (3/6), Washington (3/7) and UC Davis (3/8-9) in the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament.
JACK GIFFORD MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT
Sunday, March 9, 2014, 1:00 p.m.
San José State vs. UC Davis
Municipal Stadium, San Jose, Calif.
LHP Jace Puckett vs. RHP Max Cordy
TV: Mountain West Digital Network (SJSUSpartans.com/videos)
JACK GIFFORD MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT TICKETS
The Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament, co-hosted by San José State and Santa Clara on March 6-9, has a $10 entrance fee for adults and $5 entry for youth 12 and under. All session passes for $30 will be available through the end of the day on Thursday (3/6). An All-Session Pass allows fans entry to both venues (Municipal Stadium & Schott Stadium) for all games during the weekend.
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 Fun Day" where fans can collect baseball cards featuring the 2014 Spartans. As part of Sunday Fun Day, fans can bring their cards 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. California Pizza Kitchen and Rubios are just a few of the in-game sponsors that provide giveaways. Be sure and pick up a Spartan Gameday Program to have a chance at winning.
SPARTANS DROP TWO OF THREE AT NEVADA
San José State had a tough time bringing home runners in the Nevada series, leaving 35 on base in three games. The Spartans avoided a sweep by pulling off a ninth-inning comeback that led to a 7-4 extra-innings win on Saturday. Matt Carroll hit his second home run of the season to secure the victory.
CONTRADES PICKS UP ANOTHER WIN
Reliever Kalei Contrades picked up his Mountain West-leading second win of the season when the Spartans defeated Nevada 7-4 in 10 innings (3/1). Contrades has the second-lowest ERA in the MW at 0.71 and has struck out 10 in 12.2 innings of work.
MERCURIO BACK IN ACTION
Center fielder Andre Mercurio started for the first time on Sunday after missing his previous seven starts due to a wrist injury. He was 1-for-4 and scored a run in his return to the lineup.
VALDEZ HEATING UP AT THE PLATE
Third baseman Jacob Valdez was 7-for-15 (.467) in four games last week. He was responsible for nine of the team's 17 total runs during the week. The Tracy, Calif., native vaulted from 19th to seventh overall in the Mountain West with his .462 on base percentage.
CARROLL COMES AROUND
Senior first baseman Matt Carroll has improved his batting average over 100 points in the last four games. Carroll hit .438 during the week, and belted his second home run of the season to secure a Spartan victory over Nevada (3/1). He had multi-hit games during all three games of the series at Nevada.
TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
San José State hitters have been hit by a pitch 22 times to lead the Mountain West.
BAUTISTA REMAINS A TOP-10 HITTER
Freshman outfielder Brett Bautista increased his batting average to .387 last week and currently ranks seventh among all hitters in the Mountain West with that mark. His .513 on base percentage is the best in the conference.
FINDING A WAY ON BASE
Second baseman Tyler Olivet is hitting just .194 in 10 games on the year, but is managing a .419 on base percentage. He leads the Mountain West in walks with 10.
SCOUTING SAINT MARY'S
The Gaels come into Tuesday's game having dropped two out of three games to San Diego State last weekend. They are 4-5 overall and 1-3 on the road. Anthony Gonsolin is the leading hitter at .361 in nine starts. He is also the team's RBI leader with six and has four triples. As a team, Saint Mary's is hitting .252 while allowing opponents to hit .260. The Gaels' team ERA rests at 5.40. San José State lost a 9-8 heart breaker last season in Moraga. The all-time series is in SJSU's favor 97-47.
Pacific most recently took three out of four games from Utah Valley. The Tigers are 7-6 overall and 1-3 away from Klein Family Field in Stockton, Calif. The Spartans fell in a close 2-1 game at Pacific on February 19. The Sullivan brothers continue to lead the team in hitting through 13 games. Brett is hitting .444 to lead the squad, and Tyler is a close second at .408. The two have combined for 17 RBI and 22 runs. Pacific is hitting .280 as a team compared to its opponents' .229. The Tigers have a team ERA of 4.06.
The Washington Huskies begin the week with a 6-4-1 record. Trevor Mitsui leads the team with a .343 batting average however there are five other Huskies currently hitting above .300. Washington has proven to be a solid team in the field with a .981 fielding percentage. The team ERA is sitting at 4.79 and the Huskies are batting .260 as a team to their opponents' .283.
SCOUTING UC DAVIS
UC Davis enters this week after dropping three in a row at Washington (2/28-3/1). The Aggies are 4-7 overall and 3-4 away from home. Adam Young is hitting .500 in 16 at bats to lead the team. Izaak Silva, Kevin Barker and Steven Patterson are also hitting over .300. UC Davis is hitting .264 as a team compared to its opponents' .239 average. The Aggies have a staff ERA of 5.21.
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. SJSU is 199-288 (.409) all-time against its MW competitors.
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).