March 24, 2014
San José State heads to Pullman, Wash., to face the Washington State Cougars (9-12) in a four-game series this weekend. The Cougars will be the third Pac-12 opponent of the season for SJSU.
AT WASHINGTON STATE (9-12)
MARCH 27-30 - 6 PM, 6 PM, 2 PM, 12 PM (PDT)
BAILEY-BRAYTON FIELD (3,500)
Sunday - RHP Kalei Contrades (2-1, 2.54) vs. TBA
SPARTANS GO 1-2 AT NEW MEXICO
After splitting the first two games of the series San José State fell 9-4 in game three to the New Mexico Lobos on Sunday afternoon. 38 hits for the Spartans was a season-high total in a three-game set and the team hit .336. Matt Lopez, Jacob Valdez and Alec de Watteville each had six hits against the Lobos. Jack Veasey made a start at first base in Saturday's game and accounted for two of the season-high 16 hits in the 8-5 win. The Spartans have now gone 1-2 in all four Mountain West series in 2014 against: San Diego State, Nevada, UNLV and New Mexico.
Jacob Valdez BECOMES TOP-10 CAREER HITTER
Six hits in the three-game series last weekend at New Mexico State vaulted senior Jacob Valdez into 10th all-time in San José State baseball history with 195 hits. Ryan Brucker (1998-2001) sits in ninth at 201, and Jason Martin (2008-11) is the all-time hit king with 277.
|All-Time Career Hits Leaders|
|1. 277 Jason Martin (2008-11)|
|2. 246 Kevin Frandsen (2001-04)|
|3. 245 Ryan Angel (2004-07)|
|4. 243 Danny Stienstra (2008-11)|
|5. 237 Junior Ruiz (1999-2001)|
|6. 233 Kyle Bellows (2007-09)|
|7. 217 Anthony Contreras (2002-05)|
|8. 214 Nate Corrick (2002-05)|
|9. 201 Ryan Brucker 1998-2001)|
|10. 195 Jacob Valdez (2011-current)|
SPARTANS SOS AMONG TOUGHEST IN THE NATION
San José State opponents have a combined record of 165-110-1 (.622). According to the March 24 Iterative Strength Ratings by Boyd's World, SJSU has played the sixth-toughest schedule in the nation. The Spartans handed #15-UC Santa Barbara one of its three losses in 2014, and SJSU also faced #5-Cal Poly earlier in the year (rankings according to Baseball America). See the chart below for the top-10 toughest schedules in the nation according to Boyd's World (3/24).
|6.||San José State||7-18|
|8.||Long Beach State||11-11|
|10.||Cal State Fullerton||13-8|
SPARTANS BATS SHOWING POSITIVE TREND
In four games last week (3/18-23) San José State improved its team batting average by 17 points from .232 to .249. Matt Lopez led the charge hitting .500 in 16 at bats, and three other Spartans hit over .300 in at least 15 at bats during the week.
LOPEZ SWINGING A HOT BAT
Spartans outfielder Matt Lopez is on a five-game hit streak during which he is 9-for-19 (.474) with five RBI and two runs. He has had multiple hits in the last four games and was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run in SJSU's 8-5 win at New Mexico on March 22.
VALDEZ RETURNS FROM INJURY; JUMPS ABOVE .300
Infielder Jacob Valdez has had hits in his last five games dating back to March 11. A lower leg injury in the March 11 contest at UC Davis forced him to miss the next three games. However, Valdez returned last week and went 7-for-17 (.412) in four games. He has multiple hits in four of the five games during the streak and has raised the average up to .313.
FRESHMEN MAKE RECIPE FOR SUCCESS IN 8-5 WIN
Three freshmen put their stamp on San José State's 8-5 win at New Mexico (3/22). Alec de Watteville jumpstarted the offense in the second inning with his first career home run, a solo shot to left in the second inning. Jack Veasey made his second start of the year, his first in the field at first base, and went 2-for-5 with two runs. Logan Handzlik made his third start on the hill for SJSU and pitched 7.0 innings on the way to his second win. He allowed two hits through the first 10 Lobos batters faced.
ROTATION SHAKE UP
For the first time in 2014 San José State changed up its weekend starting rotation. Jonathan Hernandez moved from Saturday to Friday night, Logan Handzlik was inserted into the Saturday starter role and Kalei Contrades was on the bump on Sunday. The three combined for a 6.32 ERA in 17.1 innings of work against New Mexico over the weekend.
CONTRADES KEEPS TOP-10 ERA MARK
Despite getting touched up for five runs in four innings on Sunday at New Mexico, Kalei Contrades' 2.54 ERA ranks seventh among all pitchers in the Mountain West. Contrades has a 7:1 strikeout to walk ratio trailing only UNLV's Bryan Bonnell at 11:1 in the MW.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE
The Washington State Cougars (9-12, 3-2 Pac-12) have won seven of their last 11 heading into this week's games. They have a Monday night matchup at Cal State Northridge before returning home to host the Spartans in the four-game series. Yale Rosen is hitting .354 in 65 at bats on the season to lead the Cougers. The team has a .252 batting average and its opponents are hitting .316. Jason Monda and Joe Pistorese each have a sub-three ERA in a combined nine starts to lead the squad. The staff carries a 4.61 ERA. The Cougars, coached by Donnie Marbut in his 10th season, are 2-3 at home this season.