SAN JOSÉ STATE HOSTS FRESNO STATE IN RETURN TO MUNICIPAL STADIUM
The Spartans return to Municipal Stadium for the first time in three weeks to take on the Fresno State Bulldogs this weekend. The series gets underway Friday at 6:00 p.m. and continues Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The Bulldogs swept San José State at Beiden Field in mid-March.
Fresno State (21-24, 11-10 MW) at San José State (11-34, 4-17 MW)
Fri.-Sun. · May 1-3 · 6:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m.
Pitching Matchups: Fri. -- RHP Kalei Contrades (3-7, 4.97) vs. RHP Jake Shull (2-5, 2.25)
Sat. -- RHP Josh Nashed (3-4, 6.31) vs. LHP Anthony Arias (1-2, 5.14)
Sun. -- RHP Hilario Tovar (1-4, 9.34) vs. LHP Ricky Thomas (2-2, 3.91)
Live Video: Spartan Digital Network (Friday only)
Live Stats: Via Gametracker & Statbroadcast
Radio: KSJS 90.5 FM
Jon Wold, Daniel Barrerra, Jeremy Shiffman
Social Media: @SJSUAthletics | @SJSUBaseball | #GoSpartans
All-Time Series: San José State trails, 80-157
The Spartans trail the all-time series, 157-80, after being swept by the Bulldogs at Beiden Field in March. When the teams met at Municipal Stadium last season, San José State took the first and final games of a three-game set. In the series opener, Kalei Contrades made just his second Friday start of his career and tossed 8.1 inning of two-run ball before giving way to Myles Richard for the save.
SCOUTING FRESNO STATE
Led by 13th-year head coach Mike Batesole, the Bulldogs sit at 21-24 overall and 11-10 in Mountain West action. The Bulldogs are 17-7 at home this season but just 4-17 away from Beiden Field on the campaign. Taylor Tempel (.357), Austin Guibor (.321) and Taylor Ward (.300) bring .300-plus averages to Municipal Stadium this weekend, and Ward adds team-bests of seven home runs and 29 RBIs.
NINTH-INNING RALLY FALLS SHORT AT STANFORD
San José State nearly erased a three-run deficit in the ninth-inning of Tuesday night's midweek contest at Stanford, but fell just short in a 4-3 defeat. With two down in the inning, three consecutive hits and a wild pitch put the tying run on first, but Stanford closer Gabe Cramer was able to induce a groundout to end the threat.
FINAL ROAD TRIP KICKS OFF WITH VISIT TO CAL POLY
The Spartans embark on their last road trip of the season when they visit Cal Poly on Tuesday and New Mexico next weekend. Tuesday's contest at Robin Baggett Stadium in San Louis Obispo is set to get underway at 6:00 p.m.
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 19 games at second base and posting a .213 batting average in 80 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 28, senior center fielder Andre Mercurio has 185 games played under his belt. The San Mateo, Calif., resident and Serra High School product owns a .286 career batting average in 713 at-bats with a .997 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. Myles Richard, the third senior on the 2015 Spartans, transferred 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).