May 2, 2016
San José State (14-29, 6-18 MW) vs. Grand Canyon (21-20-1, 10-8 WAC)
Municipal Stadium (San Jose, Calif.)
Tuesday, May 3 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 4 6:00 p.m.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Tuesday: RHP Logan Handzlik (1-3, 9.40 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Wong (1-2, 3.83 ERA)
Wednesday: TBA vs. LHP Josh Andrews (0-1, 9.90 ERA)
Live Video: Spartan Digital Network (www.sjsuspartans.com/videos)
Radio: KSJS 90.5 FM
Social Media: @SJSUBaseball (Twitter, Instagram) • facebook.com/SJSUSpartansBaseball
All-Time Series: San José State leads, 3-0.
BASEBALL TAKES ON GRAND CANYON IN MIDWEEK DOUBLE DIP
The Spartans close out their longest-remaining homestand with a two-game midweek series against Grand Canyon of the Western Athletic Conference. The series marks the Lopes’ first visit to San Jose, and the first meeting between the schools since 1997. Both games are 6:00 p.m. contests and will be streamed via the Spartan Digital Network and broadcast on KSJS 90.5 FM.
SCOUTING GRAND CANYON
Overview: Grand Canyon, led by 5th-year head coach Andy Stankiewicz, sits at 21-20-1 overall on the season and 10-8 in Western Athletic Conference action. The Lopes have won two consecutive weekend series but have not won a midweek contest since topping UNLV on March 22. They are 1-3 against Mountain West opponents this season.
Offense: The Lopes have posted a .276 team batting average this season. Paul Panaccione (.355), Austin Bull (.333), Preston Pavlica (.319) and Thomas Lerouge (.316) are above .300 for the year. Garrison Schwartz (.282) has posted club-bests of 32 runs scored, 13 doubles, six home runs and 27 RBIs. As a team, Grand Canyon has hit 71 doubles and 19 home runs, good for a .380 team slugging percentage.
Pitching: Grand Canyon brings a 4.64 ERA into this week’s showdowns. Projected Tuesday starter Jake Wong will be making his fifth start of the season and owns a 3.83 ERA in 14 appearances. He has struck out just 19 in 40.0 innings and walked 16. Wednesday hurler Josh Andrews will be making his first career start and seventh appearance of the season. He has been touched for 11 runs in 10.0 innings.
The Spartans lead the all-time series with the Lopes, 3-0. This week represents the first meeting between the teams since 1997, and the Lopes’ first visit to Municipal Stadium. San José State swept Grand Canyon in that three-game series in Phoenix, which took place 19 years ago to the day.
THE WEEKEND THAT WAS
San José State hosted UNLV over the weekend and grabbed the middle game of the series between a pair of losses at the hands of the Rebels. UNLV came out swinging and cruised to a 12-0 victory on Friday before the Spartans rebounded with a 5-3 win on Saturday, led by seven combined hits from Josh Nashed and Shane Timmons. San José State took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning on Sunday, but saw the Rebels tie it up and force extra innings before the visitors prevailed in the 11th.
WHAT’S ON DECK
San José State plays its final road conference series when it travels to Reno, Nev., to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack this weekend. Friday’s series opener kicks off at 6:00 p.m., and the series continues Saturday at 6:00 p.m. before wrapping up Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
OZZY DOES IT
Senior Ozzy Braff is putting together another impressive season on the heels of last year’s Second Team All-Mountain West performance. Braff is currently leading the team with a .325 batting average and owns club-bests in slugging percentage (.543), on-base percentage (.404), home runs (6), total bases (82), hits (49), triples (3), games played (41), stolen bases (6) and assists (115). He has only been under .300 for the season at the conclusion of a game five times this year, and reached base in 24 consecutive games earlier in the campaign.
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.
Keep up with all things Spartan Baseball by following along on social media. Be sure to ‘follow’ the baseball-specific accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for game previews, in-game updates, recaps and other original content.