March 24, 2015
SAN JOSÉ STATE TRAVELs TO OREGON STATE FOR PAIR OF MIDWEEK GAMES
The Spartans continue a stretch of eight games in 10 days with 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.
San José State (7-16, 1-8 MW) at Oregon State (18-5, 2-1 Pac-12)
Tues.-Wed. March 24-25 5:35 p.m., 5:35 p.m.
Pitching Matchups: Tues.. - TBD vs. TBD
Wed. - TBD vs. TBD
Live Video: Pac-12 Networks
Live Stats: Via Statbroadcast
Radio: Beaver Sports Network
Social Media: @SJSUAthletics | @SJSUBaseball | #GoSpartans
All-Time Series: San José State leads, 11-9-1
The Spartans lead the all-time series 11-9-1 after frequently clashing with the Beavers in the Spartan Classic in the 1990s. The midweek meeting is the first between the Spartans and Beavers in Corvallis, and the first since San José State dropped a 3-2 decision at home during the 1999 season. Oregon State has won the last four games of the series, with the Spartans' last win coming in the 1994 Spartan Classic.
SCOUTING OREGON STATE
Led by 21st-year head coach Pat Casey, the Beavers sit at 18-5 overall and 4-2 in Pac-12 play. Oregon State is a perfect 11-0 at Goss Stadium this season after sweeping Grambling State, Fresno State and Washington State, and picking up a midweek win over Portland. Freshman right-hander Drew Rasmussen tossed the first perfect game in program history last weekend against WSU, fanning 10 in the process. Freshman catcher KJ Harrison leads the Beavers with a .404 batting average to go along with eight doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 28 RBIs.
SPARTANS SWEPT AT FRESNO STATE
San José State had a rough go of it in Fresno last weekend, dropping the three-game set by scores of 6-4, 9-2 and 6-3. On Friday, the Spartans got the go-ahead run on board in the ninth inning despite collecting only two hits in the last six innings. A seven-run third inning did the damage in Friday's loss, with a pair of Spartan errors prolonging the inning. San José State battled back to tie the series finale 3-3 but missed opportunities to take the lead in the late innings, leaving 12 men aboard on the afternoon.
NEVADA VISITS MUNICIPAL STADIUM THIS WEEKEND
The Spartans will get their first glimpse of the Nevada Wolfpack this weekend when the Mountain West co-leaders visit Municipal Stadium for a three-game set. Friday's action gets underway at 6:00 p.m., with first pitch Saturday and Sunday taking place at 1:00 p.m.
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 19 games at second base and posting a .206 batting average in 68 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 22, senior center fielder Andre Mercurio has 168 games played under his belt. The San Mateo, Calif., resident and Serra High School product owns a .290 career batting average in 645 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).