SAN JOSÉ STATE HOSTS CAL POLY TO WRAP UP HOME STAND
The Cal Poly Mustangs of the Big West Conference come to town on Tuesday, March 10 to wrap up San José State's five-game home stand. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. The Spartans hold a 47-42-1 advantage in the all-time series after dropping both ends of a home-and-home series with the Mustangs last season.
Cal Poly (4-8, 0-0 Big West) at San José State (5-10, 1-5 MW)
Tues. March 10 6:00 p.m.
Pitching Matchup: RHP Hilario Tovar (0-0, 14.40) vs. RHP Jared Zill (0-0, 2.70)
Live Video: www.sjsuspartans.com/videos
Live Stats: Via Gametracker & Statbroadcast
Radio: Spartan Digital Network
Chad Oklin Jolin, Matt Lopez
Social Media: @SJSUAthletics | @SJSUBaseball | #GoSpartans
All-Time Series: San José State leads, 47-42-1
The Spartans hold a 47-42-1 all-time lead over Cal Poly after dropping a 5-3 contest at Municipal Stadium and then falling 12-5 in San Luis Obispo last year. The Mustangs were ranked No. 13 at the time of the first meeting and No. 1 at the second, marking the first time the Spartans had played a top-ranked opponent since 2004. The lone tie in the series occured on Feb. 6, 2004, when the game was called after seven innings due to darkness. The Spartans' last win in the series came in the 2006 season opener, when they blanked the Mustangs 6-0.
SCOUTING CAL POLY
Led by 13th-year head coach Larry Lee, the Mustangs sit at 4-8 after being swept by both Baylor and Grand Canyon in its first two three-game series of the season. Cal Poly is coming off a season in which it finished 47-12 overall and spent time as the top-ranked team in the country en route to being named a host site for a 2014 regional. Shorstop Peter Van Gansen is off to a superb start to the season, hitting .453 with five doubles in 11 RBIs and reaching base in all 12 games this season.
SPARTANS DROP SERIES TO AIR FORCE
San José State got off to a fast start in its first home Mountain West series of the season, blanking Air Force 2-0 on Friday behind a stellar outing from Kalei Contrades. The senior went 8.0 innings of shutout ball and allowed just four hits while striking out four before giving way to Turtle Kuhaulua, who shut the door in the ninth for his third save of the season. Saturday and Sunday were a different story for the Spartans, however, as the Falcons pounded out 18 hits en route to a 12-0 victory and took the series with a 3-2 win on Sunday.
UC IRVINE ON DECK FOR SAN JOSÉ STATE
The Spartans head south for a three-game nonconference set with the UC Irvine Anteaters on Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 15. Friday's action will get underway at 6:30 p.m. with first pitch Saturday and Sunday taking place at 1:00 p.m. at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
BAUTISTA NAMED SAN josÉ State FEBRUARY STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Sophomore outfielder/designated hitter Brett Bautista was one of two February Spartan Foundation Student-Athletes of the Month, presented by ScholarShare. Bautista batted .480 (12-for-25) and reached base safely in all eight games during the month of February. He drew seven walks and had three multi-hit games, including two three-hit performances.
NEW FACES ALL AROUND
San José State fields 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, 15 of which have seen action this season. The Spartans' roster features 25 underclassmen and just nine upperclassmen.
FRESHMAN DUAL THREATS
Three San José State freshmen - Josh Nashed, Turtle Kuhaulua and Dylan Sugimoto - have seen time on the mound and in the field in 2015. Kuhaulua has thrown 12.0 innings without allowing an earned run to start his Spartans career and leads the team with three saves in addition to starting 13 games at second base and posting a .239 batting average in 46 at-bats. Nashed had his best outing of the season at SDSU (2/28), tossing 4.0 innings of one-run ball.
MERCURIO A VETERAN IN THE FIELD
Through March 8, senior center fielder Andre Mercurio has 162 games played under his belt. The San Mateo, Calif., resident and Serra High School product owns a .297 career batting average in 617 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.
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.
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.
SPARTANS TESTED EARLY AND OFTEN IN 2015
Six of San José State's opponents - Cal Poly, Stanford, UC Irvine, UNLV, Oregon State and San Diego State - received regional berths last season. Cal Poly and Oregon State each hosted a regional, Stanford won the Bloomington Regional before falling to eventual national champion Vanderbilt in the Nashville Super Regional, and UC Irvine advanced to the College World Series by winning the Corvallis Regional and Stillwater Super Regional.
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.
SUNDAY FUNDAY AT MUNI
All season long, kids under 12 years old will receive free admission to Spartan baseball games on Sundays. In addition, 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).