May 7, 2015
SAN JOSÉ STATE HEADS TO NEW MEXICO FOR FINAL ROAD SERIES
The Spartans close out the road portion of their regular season schedule with a trip to New Mexico this weekend. The series gets underway Friday at 6:00 p.m. MT from Lobo Field and continues Saturday at 2:00 p.m. MT before wrapping up Sunday at 1:00 p.m. MT.
San José State (12-37, 5-19 MW) at New Mexico (24-23, 13-11 MW)
Fri.-Sun. • May 8-10 • 6 p.m. MT, 2 p.m. MT, 1 p.m. MT
Pitching Matchups: Fri. -- RHP Kalei Contrades (3-8, 4.98) vs. LHP Toller Boardman (7-2, 3.15)
Sat. -- RHP Josh Nashed (3-4, 5.85) vs. RHP Tyler Stevens (2-4, 3.44)
Sun. -- RHP Hilario Tovar (1-5, 9.08) vs. Luis Gonzalez (4-2, 5.61)
Live Video: Mountain West Digital Network
Live Stats: Via Gametracker & Statbroadcast
Social Media: @SJSUAthletics | @SJSUBaseball | #GoSpartans
All-Time Series: San José State trails, 8-4
The Spartans trail the all-time series, 8-4, after going 1-5 against the Lobos last season. In the win at Lobo Field, Alec de Watteville blasted his first career home run and Myles Richard protected a late three-run lead for his first save as a Spartan.
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO
Led by eighth-year head coach Ray Birmingham, the Lobos sit at 24-23 overall and 13-11 in Mountain West action. New Mexico rides a seven-game losing skid into the weekend after being swept by Wichita State and Nevada and being blown out in a midweek showdown with New Mexico State. The Lobos, who hit .297 as a team, feature six players hitting over .300, four of which have at least 10 doubles and three of which boast at least five home runs.
Spartans Fall At Cal Poly, 5-1
San José State saw Cal Poly strike three times in the bottom of the second inning and never look back, as the Spartans dropped a 5-1 decision Tuesday night at Baggett Stadium. San José State had to settle for a split in the season series with the Mustangs, after the Spartans had triumphed by a score of 7-3 at Municipal Stadium in early March.
SEASON-ENDING FOUR-GAME HOME STAND ON DECK
The Spartans' season winds down with four home games next week. Crosstown rival Santa Clara visits Municipal Stadium on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. before UNLV comes to town over the weekend. Thursday and Friday's games will get underway at 6:00 p.m., while Saturday's Senior Day will be a 1:00 p.m. first pitch.
BRAFF NAMED SAN josÉ State FEBRUARY STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Junior infielder Ozzy Braff was one of two April Spartan Foundation Student-Athletes of the Month, presented by ScholarShare. Braff batted .471 in 10 starts at second base in April and strung together four multi-hit games in a row, which was part of an eight-game hit streak. Braff tallied three hits and scored two runs in a win over SDSU (4/12) and contributed two hits and two RBIs in the 11-inning victory at Washington State (4/16). The Palo Alto, Calif., native walked eight times to go along with 16 hits and ended April with a .581 on-base percentage.
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 May 5, senior center fielder Andre Mercurio has 189 games played under his belt. The San Mateo, Calif., resident and Serra High School product owns a .284 career batting average in 728 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).