April 9, 2015
SAN JOSÉ STATE HOSTS CO-CONFERENCE LEADER SAN DIEGO STATE
San Diego State, the current conference leader with a 12-3 record in Mountain West action, visits Municipal Stadium this weekend. First pitch on Friday will take place at 6:00 p.m. with the series continuing Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The Spartans and Aztecs played a trio of tightly contested games in San Diego earlier this season, with SDSU taking all three.
San Diego State (24-10, 12-3 MW) at San José State (8-24, 2-13 MW
Fri.-Sun. · April 10-12 · 6:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m PT
Pitching Matchups: Fri. -- RHP Josh Nashed (3-2, 3.63) vs. RHP Bubba Derby (3-2, 3.02)
Sat. -- RHP Kalei Contrades (2-6, 4.66) vs. RHP Mark Seyler (6-1, 3.14)
Sun. -- RHP Hilario Tovar (1-1, 9.39) vs. LHP Marcus Reyes (5-0, 2.47)
Live Video: www.sjsuspartans.com/videos
Live Stats: Via Gametracker and Statbroadcast
Radio: Spartan Digital Network, KSJS 90.5 FM
Chad Oklin-Jolin, Jon Wold, Daniel Barrerra
Social Media: @SJSUAthletics | @SJSUBaseball | #GoSpartans
All-Time Series: San José State trails, 28-60
The Spartans trail the all-time series, 28-60, after dropping all three games of a three-game set in San Diego in late February. San José State opened up the season against the Aztecs at Municipal Stadium last season and took the opener, 6-4, behind a stellar relief appearance from Kalei Contrades.
SCOUTING SAN DIEGO STATE
Led by first-year head coach Mark Martinez, the Aztecs sit at 24-10 on the season and are tied atop the Mountain West standings at 12-3. San Diego State has won all but two series this season and is coming off a span of five games in five days in which it went 2-3. Ty France (.394), Chase Calabuig (.390) and Steven Pallares (.375) occupy the top three spots in the conference's batting average rankings, while Pallares it tied for the top spot in the Mountain West in doubles with 14.
Early Lead Doesn't Stick In 2-1 Loss At Santa Clara
San José State jumped on Santa Clara with a rally in the second inning for an early 1-0 lead, but would get no more in Tuesday night's 2-1 loss at Santa Clara. The Broncos came up with runs in the fourth and seventh with the aid of a pair of wild pitches that moved the runners in scoring position.
10-GAME ROAD SWING ON DECK FOR THE SPARTANS
The Spartans embark on a 10-game road swing beginning Tuesday and lasting through the rest of April. San José State will visit Saint Mary's, Washington State, UC Davis, Nevada and Stanford during that span.
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
Four San José State freshmen -- Josh Nashed, Turtle Kuhaulua, Dylan Sugimoto and Corey Olivet -- 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 18 games at second base and posting a .211 batting average in 76 at-bats. Nashed had his best outing of the season against Nevada (3/27), tossing 4.2 innings of scoreless ball while scattering two hits to pick up the win. Olivet made his debut on the mound one day later and worked 2.0 scoreless frames while adding a hit at the plate.
MERCURIO A VETERAN IN THE FIELD
Through April 8, senior center fielder Andre Mercurio has 175 games played under his belt. The San Mateo, Calif., resident and Serra High School product owns a .285 career batting average in 671 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).