SPARTANS HEAD TO STANFORD; PLAY ANOTHER WAC SERIES AT HOME VERSUS SEATTLE U.
San Jose State (13-26, 7-8 WAC) will travel a few miles up the I-280 freeway to face Stanford (22-12, 9-6 Pac-12) on Tuesday at 5:30 PM PDT and then return to Municipal Stadium for a weekend WAC series against Seattle U (15-23, 5-9 WAC).
Game # 40
TUESDAY, ARPIL 23, 2013
KSJS 90.5 FM and The Gold Zone on www.sjsuspartans.com are the radio broadcast homes for San Jose State baseball. Jordan Serpa and Jess Knaster will have the call on both KSJS and the Gold Zone for the game at Stanford on April 23.
Live stats are available, free of charge, for all San Jose State home games and a majority of road contests. Click on the Live Stats icon at the top of the San Jose State Athletics web page at www.sjsuspartans.com and select the game. Fans can also access live stats through the Schedule/Results section of the baseball page, or at www.sjsu.statbroadcast.com.
Stanford defeated San Jose 10-8 at Municipal Stadium in San Jose, Calif. on April 9. Each team had a five-run inning and went into the ninth deadlocked at 7-7. Three runs in the ninth for Stanford proved to be the difference despite a rally in the bottom of the frame that had the winning run at the plate for SJSU.
LAST TIME OUT
The Spartans are coming off of their third WAC series of 2013 after defeating Texas State at home two out of three games. A few breakout performances helped San Jose during the series, like Andre Mercurio’s three-hit game on April 21 which ended with his walk-off single in the bottom of the tenth inning. Tim Quiery also tallied a career-high four RBI in Friday night’s 11-5 win. The defense, which went haywire with nine errors in the previous series at UT Arlington, settled down and made just one flub all weekend.
San Jose State took two out of three games in their most recent WAC series against Texas State. The Spartans remained in seventh place in the conference standings and are 4.0 games out of first place. They are 1.5 games inside the bubble of eight teams which advance to the conference tournament at the end of the regular season. CSU Bakersfield is in first place alone with an 11-4 record in the WAC and are 27-14 overall.
MERCURIO WALKS OFF
Center fielder Andre Mercurio beat out a ball to second base for a tenth-inning walk-off single against Texas State on 4/20/13. The two-out hit was his third of the game and it notched San Jose State third WAC series victory of the season.
HASSNA ON TOP OF HIS GAME
Kyle Hassna has allowed the fewest hits (34), runs (13) and earned runs (9) of any pitcher in the Western Athletic Conference during the 2013 season. His 1.99 ERA is second only to CSU Bakersfield’s Jeff McKenzie at 1.78.
Sheldon Daquioag is currently on a nine-game hitting streak which matches his season high, and Michael Gerlach is riding a career-long eight-game streak. There are a total of seven Spartans who have a current hitting streak of three or more games.
GOOD SMALL BALL
San Jose State has laid down 40 sacrifice bunts this season and leads all Western Athletic Conference teams. CSU Bakersfield and UT Arlington are second with 27.
The Spartans are the toughest team in the WAC to strike out, averaging 5.18 per game. Individually, Jacob Valdez averages 0.21 strikeouts per game to lead WAC hitters in all games this season.
SPARTANS AT THE TOP IN OBP
Shortstop Ricky Acosta is the conference leader in WAC games with a .524 on-base percentage. Outfielder Nick Schulz is fifth a .480.
SPARTANS KNOW HOW TO SCORE
Andre Mercurio is the conference leader in runs scored at 18 and third in hits with 23. Teammate Matt Carroll ranks second in RBI with 18. As a team the Spartans are ranked first in the WAC in hits, runs and RBI.
SETTING THE OFFENSIVE BAR
San Jose State leads all WAC teams in conference play this season in hits with 167 and batting average at .310. The Spartans are also ranked first in runs with 103 and RBI with 99.
COLE ROPES FIRST CAREER HITS
Freshman infielder Matt Cole picked up his first-career hit against Texas State on April 21. He had an eighth-inning single to left field, and then hit a 2-run double in the ninth inning in his second at bat. Cole is 2-for-6 (.333) on the year.
The Stanford Cardinal are 22-12 overall and 9-6 in the Pac-12 Conference. They are 5-2 since the last meeting with San Jose State on April 9. Infielder Justin Ringo has played in 33 gaes with 31 starts and is hitting .342 to lead the team. His .496 slugging percentage is also tops on the team. Austin Slator is the RBI leader with 24, and the Cardinal have four hitters with at least 20 RBI this season. Mark Appel leads the pitching staff with seven wins and a 1.54 ERA. As a staff Stanford carries a 3.14 ERA.
ACOSTA LEADING IN THREE-BAGGERS
Shortstop Ricky Acosta is tied for the WAC lead with four triples, three coming during conference play.
Andre Mercurio, Matt Lopez and Tim Quiery have all recorded over 50 putouts and have a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
GERLACH BLASTS FIRST-CAREER HOMER
Michael Gerlach hit a three-run jack for his first-career home run on April 7 in a 12-8 victory. The junior from Carmel Valley, Calif., gave the Spartans a two run lead with his shot over the left field fence in a pivotal Western Athletic Conference win over Louisiana Tech.
In the search for a consistent lineup, some Spartans have seen playing time all over the diamond. Michael Gerlach, Tim Quiery and Matt Lopez have all made starts in left field. Sheldon Daquioag has had success as the starting catcher and third baseman. Willy Reel and Kalei Contrades have both served as relief pitchers and starting third basemen. On the other hand, Ricky Acosta and Jacob Valdez have started every single game at short and second respectively. Andre Mercurio is another who has started every game in the same position, center field.
SPARTANS BOUNCE ON CARROLL’S HOMER
San Jose State was a walk-off winner against Nicholls State on March 15 thanks to Matt Carroll’s first-career home run, a solo bomb over the left field wall in the bottom of the 11th inning. The hit put the Spartans on the winning side of an extra inning game for the first time in three tries this season.
MELERO & HASSNA ACHIEVE CAREER HIGHS TOGETHER
Friday starter Johnny Melero struck out a career high eight batters in 7.1 innings of work against Nicholls State on March 15. In the eighth inning Melero turned things over to Kyle Hassna who went on to achieve his career high in strikeouts with 7. Hassna got his in 3.2 innings of relief work and was awarded the win when Matt Carroll blasted one over the fence for a walk-off homer in the 11th.
Dallas Baptist, UTSA, UT Arlington, Texas State, Seattle University and CSU Bakersfield are all new members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) for the 2013 season. Dallas Baptist, winner of two games at the 2012 Waco Regional, comes in as the favorite in the WAC Coaches’ Poll receiving eight first place votes. UT Arlington also appeared in the Waco Regional last season. They were 0-2 including a loss to Dallas Baptist, 10-0.
Senior Outfielder Nick Schulz was named a Preseason Second-Team All-Western Athletic Conference choice by collegesportsmadness.com. In 2012 Schulz played in 45 games, making 40 starts in the outfield and two as a designated hitter. The Mountain View, Calif., native led the team with four homeruns, 21 RBIs, 24 walks and a .436 slugging percentage.
LOCAL RIVALS BECOME TEAMMATES
The 2013 Spartans have six San Jose, Calif., natives from five different and very competitive high schools: Sheldon Daquioag (Silver Creek HS), Will Hein (Pioneer HS), Johnny Melero (Archbishop Mitty HS), Jon Nelson (Saint Francis HS), Mitch Ravizza (Willow Glen HS), Mike Simonini(Pioneer HS).
NEW COACHING STAFF
Dave Nakama comes to San Jose State as the new head coach after spending the last three seasons as the associate head coach at the University of Washington. The 1984 graduate of Willamette University has 13 years of coaching experience in the Pac-12 Conference. In 10 seasons as an assistant at Stanford, the Cardinal won four Pac-10 Championships, five NCAA Regional crowns and appeared in the College World Series four times (1997, 2002, 2003 and 2008).
Nakama brings in assistants Brad Sanfilippo (UC Davis, 1998) and Nicholas Enriquez (Menlo College, 2001). Also on the staff are volunteer assistant Jeff Austin (Stanford, 1998) and undergraduate student-assistants Matt Durkin (San Jose State, 2004) and Adam Shorsher (San Jose State, 2002).
Fans coming out to Municipal Stadium for Spartan home games can look forward to all kinds of fun activities including the “Sunday Funday”. Baseball Bingo, postgame autographs and field run, plus in-game promotions sponsored by Poorhouse Bistro are all on the block for Sunday home games. Don’t forget, kids 12 and under get in for free on Sunday Funday!
The promotions department is now taking signups for little league and pony league teams to take the field with the Spartans during the anthem, and also for friends and family to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. To sign up, contact the promotions department at (408) 924-1478. Finally, don’t forget, little leaguers who show up in their baseball uniforms get into any game for just $1!