Baseball Visits Cal Poly In Nonconference Set

Michael Breen brings a seven-game hit streak into the weekend.
March 31, 2016

GAMES 25-27

San José State (8-16, 3-8 MW) at Cal Poly (16-7, 0-0 Big West)

Baggett Stadium (San Luis Obispo, Calif.)

Friday, April 1                                  6:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 2                             6:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 3                                1:00 p.m.


Friday: LHP Graham Gomez (1-1, 3.80 ERA) vs. LHP Kyle Smith (3-1, 2.86 ERA)
Saturday: TBA vs. RHP Jarred Zill (1-1, 4.66 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Josh Nashed (0-4, 5.66 ERA) vs. RHP Erich Uelman (4-0, 2.76 ERA)

Live Video: BigWest.TV (

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Social Media: @SJSUBaseball (Twitter, Instagram) •

All-Time Series: San José State leads, 48-43-1

The Spartans play just their third weekend series away from the friendly confines of Municipal Stadium when they travel to face Cal Poly this weekend. Friday and Saturday will be 6:00 p.m. first pitches from Baggett Stadium in San Luis Obispo, with the series wrapping up Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

Overview: Cal Poly, led by 14th-year head coach Larry Lee, sits at 16-7 on the season. The Mustangs hosted the first 12 games of the season before embarking on a 10-game road trip that they returned from last weekend. They own an 11-2 record at Baggett Stadium, including sweeps of Pacific and San Francisco. Both losses came at the hands of UCLA.
Pitching: The Mustangs have posted a .273 average thus far. Three players - Brett Barbier (.395), John Schuknecht (.330) and Michael Sanderson (.307) - have posted averages above the .300-plateau. Schuknecht has posted team bests of nine doubles, three triples and a whopping 27 RBIs. Alex McKenna leads Cal Poly with four big flies, while Barbier’s two are second on the club.
Offense: Cal Poly brings a solid 3.89 team ERA into the weekend.  Friday starter Kyle Smith (3-1, 2.86 ERA, 44.0 IP, 42 H, 36 SO) and Sunday hurler Erich Uelman (4-0, 2.76 ERA, 42.1 IP, 38 H, 35 SO) have been innings-eaters for the Mustangs. Justin Calomeni (2-2, 2.38 ERA) leads the club with three saves, while Justin Bruihl (0-1, 3.86 ERA) has two and Austin Dondanville (1-0, 1.00 ERA) has one.

The Spartans lead the all-time series with the Mustangs, 48-43-1. San José State has not played a three-game set at Cal Poly since the 2005 season, when it took the first and final games to take home a series win. Last season, each team won at its home park in a pair of midweek contests. 

San José State hosted rival Fresno State over the weekend and got off to a slow start before salvaging the final game of the series. In the first two games, the offense paced the Bulldogs to victory in 13-4 and 9-4 wins. Sunday, the Spartans got a quality start from Josh Nashed and took a 2-2 tie into the 10th inning before Aaron Pleschner came off the bench and delivered a pinch-hit bases-loaded single for the walk-off win.

San José State kicks off the second half of its eight-game road trip with a trip to Air Force next weekend. The series kicks off Friday at 3:00 p.m. MT and continues at 1:00 p.m. MT on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday could potentially turn into a doubleheader, with the first game a make-up of the postponed contest on March 13 in San Jose. An official announcement has not yet been made.

Sophomore first baseman Shane Timmons has gotten off to a tremendous start in 2016. He has hit safely in 19 of the 22 games he has played in this season, including multi-hit outings in 11 of those. His 44 total bases, 32 hits and 14 RBIs are among the top-15 in the Mountain West in their respective categories. Timmons is also alone or tied for the top spot on the team in batting average (.376). He is currently riding a 17-game reached-base streak, and has just one error in 210 defensive chances at first base after playing primarily as the designated hitter last season.

San José State will lean on its lone two regular starting seniors for both leadership and production this season. Ozzy Braff and Dillan Smith represent the only seniors projected to start in the infield and outfield, respectively, on an everyday basis. Last season, Braff led the team with a .298 average and posted a clean sheet at second base en route to Second Team All-Mountain West honors. Smith started all but three games in right field a year ago and will be counted on to lead off for the Spartans. 

After fielding one of the youngest teams in the country a year ago, the Spartans will again feature a host of youngsters seeing significant playing time in 2016. Six of the probable starting position players and three of the starting pitchers this week are underclassmen. Corey Olvet (So. - OF), Cal Koga (Fr. - C) and Kyle Morrison (So. - INF) represent three more underclassmen who will compete for time throughout the season.

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