April 22, 2016
San José State (11-25, 4-14 MW) at Fresno State (24-14, 12-6 MW)
Pete Beiden Field (Fresno, Calif.)
Friday, April 22 6:05 p.m.
Saturday, April 23 6:05 p.m.
Sunday, April 24 1:05 p.m.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday: RHP Zach Tanner (0-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. LHP Ricky Tyler Thomas (5-3, 2.17 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Logan Handzlik (1-2, 8.00 ERA) vs. RHP Jimmy Lambert (7-0, 2.26 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Josh Nashed (0-4, 5.94 ERA) vs. RHP Edgar Gonzalez (2-1, 3.35 ERA)
Live Video: None
Radio: KSJS 90.5 FM (Saturday only)
Social Media: @SJSUBaseball (Twitter, Instagram) • facebook.com/SJSUSpartansBaseball
All-Time Series: San José State trails, 157-84.
SAN JOSÉ STATE TAKES ON FRESNO STATE THIS WEEKEND
The Spartans continue their road swing with a trip to Fresno State to take on the Bulldogs this weekend. The series kicks off Friday at 6:05 p.m. and continues Saturday at the same time before wrapping up Sunday at 1:05 p.m. There will be no live streaming available.
SCOUTING FRESNO STATE
Overview: Fresno State, led by 14th-year head coach Mike Batesole, sits at 24-14 overall and 12-6 in Mountain West action - good for second place behind New Mexico. The Bulldogs rebounded from a sweep at the hands of the Lobos two weeks ago with a sweep of Nevada last weekend, but dropped Tuesday’s midweek showdown at Cal Poly. They own a 19-3 record at Beiden Field.
Pitching: The Bulldogs have posted a .286 team batting average this season. Brody Russell leads the team with a .412 batting average, but has been especially dangerous against conference foes. The senior outfielder has posted a .494 average with 38 hits, including 10 doubles, two triples and four home runs, while scoring 17 runs and driving in 25. Scott Silva (.333) Zach Ashford (.313), Jake Stone (.312), Aaron Arruda (.308) and Ryan Dobson (.300) join Russell with averages above the .300 mark.
Offense: Fresno State brings a solid 3.48 ERA into the weekend showdown. Friday starter Ricky Tyler Thomas has been outstanding this season, going 5-3 with a 2.17 ERA in 62.1 innings. Saturday hurler Jimmy Lambert is not far behind with a 7-0 mark and 2.26 ERA. Tim Borst leads the bullpen with a 1.29 ERA and has posted a team-high six saves.
The Spartans trail the all-time series with the Bulldogs, 157-84. Fresno State took the first two games of the series at Municipal Stadium in late March, but San José State salvaged the Sunday game with an extra-inning win. In that contest, Aaron Pleschner came off the bench and delivered a walk-off single.
THE WEEKEND THAT WAS
San José State hosted first-place New Mexico over the weekend with mixed results. The Spartans took the opener, 9-8, in an exciting game that the Lobos tied twice but never led. Saturday, New Mexico led wire-to-wire in a 6-2 ballgame that evened the series. Sunday, a 3-3 game entering the eighth inning went south in a hurry for San José State, as they yielded five unearned runs in the top of the eighth and allowed the Lobos to pull away for the series win.
WHAT’S ON DECK
San José State closes out its five-game homestand with a trip to Pacific on Tuesday. The 6:30 p.m. contest marks the back end of a home-and-home with the Tigers and the Spartans’ first trip to Stockton since the 2014 campaign.
THE SHANE TRAIN
Sophomore first baseman Shane Timmons has gotten off to a tremendous start in 2016. He has hit safely in 24 of the 29 games he has played in this season, including multi-hit outings in 13 of those. He leads the team with a .358 average and .426 on-base percentage, and is second in slugging percentage (.491), hits (39) and home runs (2). Timmons has made just one error in 275 total 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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