April 15, 2016
San José State (10-22, 3-12 MW) vs. New Mexico (24-10, 12-3 MW)
Municipal Stadium (San Jose, Calif.)
Friday, April 15 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 16 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 17 1:00 p.m.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday: LHP Graham Gomez (1-3, 5.58 ERA) vs. LHP Carson Schneider (6-1, 3.05 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Matt Brown (1-4, 4.61 ERA) vs. RHP Tyler Stevens (4-2, 4.88 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Josh Nashed (0-4, 6.26 ERA) vs. LHP Colton Thomson (4-1, 3.02 ERA)
Live Video: Spartan Digital Network (www.sjsuspartans.com/videos) - Friday and Sunday only
Radio: KSJS 90.5 FM
Social Media: @SJSUBaseball (Twitter, Instagram) • facebook.com/SJSUSpartansBaseball
All-Time Series: San José State trails, 14-4.
SAN JOSÉ STATE HOSTS CONFERENCE-LEADING NEW MEXICO
The Spartans host Mountain West-leading New Mexico in a three-game set this weekend. Friday’s opener will get underway at 6:00 p.m., with the series continuing Saturday at 2:00 p.m. before wrapping up Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Friday and Sunday’s contest will be streamed live via the Spartan Digital Network.
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO
Overview: New Mexico, led by ninth-year head coach Ray Birmingham, sits at 24-10 overall and leads the Mountain West with a 12-3 mark in conference action. The Lobos are fresh off a three-game sweep of Fresno State, who entered last weekend tied with New Mexico atop the conference. UNM has not lost a conference series this season, and has dropped just one series overall.
Pitching: The Lobos have been buoyed by their offense all season. Their .319 team batting average is the 11th-best in the nation entering the weekend. Designated hitter Chris DeVito is among the nation’s best in several categories thus far. He has hit at a .440 clip and homered 11 times while scoring 34 runs and driving in 48. He is also tied for the club lead with 12 doubles. As a team, the Lobos have homered 35 times and scored 263 runs. They have also swiped 32 bases in 42 chances.
Offense: New Mexico brings a 5.07 ERA into the weekend. Despite none of their three weekend hurlers possessing an ERA lower and 3.02, they have combined for a 14-4 record. Closer Victor Sanchez moved into the top spot on the all-time UNM saves list with eight saves this season - giving him 20 for his career - despite a 5.52 ERA and 0-3 record.
The Spartans trail the all-time series with the Lobos, 14-4. San José State traveled to Santa Ana Star Field in mid-March and dropped all three contests to the Lobos, including a tough 3-2 defeat in game two. New Mexico will be making just its second visit to Municipal Stadium since the Spartans joined the Mountain West Conference.
THE WEEKEND THAT WAS
San José State traveled to Air Force over the weekend and ran into one of the top offenses in the country. The Falcons, who entered the weekend with the 6th-best batting average in the nation, slugged out 10-plus hits in each of the four contests en route to a sweep. Sunday, San José State rallied in the ninth to tie the game but Air Force walked off in the bottom half.
WHAT’S ON DECK
San José State visits Benedetti Diamond when it travels to San Francisco on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. The matchup will be the Spartans’ first at the newly-renovated Benedetti Diamond, and just the fifth overall game on the new field, completed this week.
THE SHANE TRAIN
Sophomore first baseman Shane Timmons has gotten off to a tremendous start in 2016. He has hit safely in 23 of the 27 games he has played in this season, including multi-hit outings in 13 of those. His 52 total bases, 38 hits and 17 RBIs are among the top-20 in the Mountain West in their respective categories. Timmons is also alone or tied for the top spot on the team in batting average (.365) and on-base percentage (.431). He is currently riding a 22-game reached-base streak, and has just one error in 264 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 Olivet (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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