March 19, 2015
SAN JOSÉ STATE RESUMES MOUNTAIN WEST ACTION AT FRESNO STATE
San José State dives back into conference action this weekend with a trip to Fresno State. First pitch for Friday and Saturday's games is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., with the series wrapping up Sunday at 1:05 p.m. The Spartans took two of three games from the Bulldogs last season at Municipal Stadium and last travelled to Beiden Field for a lone game in 2013.
San José State (7-13, 1-5 MW) at Fresno State (11-11, 3-3 MW)
Fri.-Sun. March 20-22 6:35 p.m., 6:35 p.m., 1:05 p.m.
Pitching Matchups: Fri. - RHP Kalei Contrades (2-2, 2.29) vs. RHP Jimmy Lambert (1-0, 4.25)
Sat. - RHP Matt Brown (1-2, 2.50) vs. LHP Dylan Lee (1-2, 5.55)
Sun. - RHP Hilario Tovar (1-0, 7.62) vs. RHP Garrett Mundell (1-1, 2.57)
Live Video: www.sjsuspartans.com/videos
Live Stats: Via Gametracker & Statbroadcast
Radio: Mountain West Digital Network
Social Media: @SJSUAthletics | @SJSUBaseball | #GoSpartans
All-Time Series: San José State trails, 80-154
The Spartans trail the all-time series 154-80 after taking the first and final games of a three-game set at Municipal Stadium last year. In the series opener, Kalei Contrades made just his second Friday start of his career and tossed 8.1 innings of two-run ball before giving way to Myles Richard for the save. San José State swept its last weekend series at Beiden Field, a nonconference set during the 2010 season.
SCOUTING FRESNO STATE
Led by 13th-year head coach Mike Batesole, the Bulldogs sit at 11-11 overall and 3-3 in Mountain West play. Fresno State has played well in the friendly confines of Beiden Field, going 10-4 at home this season, but is just 1-7 on the road. 2015 has been a season of sweeps so far for the Bulldogs, as they took all three games from UC Irvine and UNLV and dropped all three to Nevada and Oregon State. Junior catcher Taylor Ward has been one of the Mountain West's best players this season, hitting .333 with eight doubles, two triples, six home runs and 26 RBIs.
SPARTANS TRAVEL TO OREGON STATE FOR PAIR OF MIDWEEK GAMES
Up next for San José State is a trip to Corvallis, Ore., for a pair of showdowns with the Oregon State Beavers of the Pac-12 Conference on March 24 and 25. First pitch for both games is set for 5:35 p.m. at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
NINTH-INNING COMEBACK BID FALLS SHORT IN 8-6 LOSS TO SAINT MARY'S
A combined 10 walks by seven San José State pitchers was too much to overcome in Tuesday night's 8-6 loss to Saint Mary's at Municipal Stadium. The Spartans entered the ninth inning trailing 8-4 and plated a pair of runs with just one out, but left the tying run on first base after a strikeout and deep fly out to right field.
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 hit .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 threw 13.2 innings without allowing an earned run to start his Spartans career and leads the team with five saves in addition to starting 17 games at second base and posting a .230 batting average in 61 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 16, senior center fielder Andre Mercurio has 167 games played under his belt. The San Mateo, Calif., resident and Serra High School product owns a .291 career batting average in 640 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).