May 9, 2016
San José State (15-33, 6-21 MW) at Saint Mary’s (26-19, 14-7 WCC)
Louis Guisto Field (Moraga, Calif.)
Tuesday, May 10 3:00 p.m.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
Tuesday: RHP Matt Brown (2-6, 5.70 ERA) vs. LHP Bryce Reichmann (0-0, 3.67 ERA)
Live Video: TheW.tv (www.smcgaels.com)
Social Media: @SJSUBaseball (Twitter, Instagram) • facebook.com/SJSUSpartansBaseball
All-Time Series: San José State leads, 99-49
SAN JOSÉ STATE TRAVELS TO SAINT MARY’S IN MIDWEEK FINALE
The Spartans wrap up their midweek slate with a trip to Moraga to take on Saint Mary’s on Tuesday. The contest is the first between the Gaels and Spartans this season after the March 9 game at Municipal Stadium was rained out. Tuesday’s action will be streamed live via TheW.tv.
SCOUTING SAINT MARY’S
Overview: Saint Mary’s, led by 3rd-year head coach Eric Valenzuela, sits at 26-19 overall and is atop the West Coast Conference with a 14-7 mark. The Gaels are coming off a road series victory over LMU, and have not lost a conference series yet this year. They took both ends of a home-and-home set with Nevada but dropped both game to Fresno State.
Offense: The Gaels have posted a .271 team batting average thus far. Zach Kirtley leads the way with a .321 average, and Joey Fiske is hitting at a .304 clip. Kirtley’s six home runs are also the most on a club that has slugged 27 homers this season, including three players - Anthony Villa, Nate Nolan and Anthony Gonsolin - with five apiece. Fiske is third in the WCC with 16 stolen bags in 19 attempts on the year.
Pitching: SMC brings a 3.59 team ERA into Tuesday’s showdown. Left-hander Bryce Reichmann is projected to make just his fourth start this season - two of which came on the last two Tuesdays. He fared well in both contests, allowing just three and two hits in 5.0 and 2.2 innings of work against No. 20 UCSB and Fresno State, respectively. Ty Madrigal leads the bullpen with a 2.79 ERA and Gonsolin has notched five saves on the season.
The Spartans lead the all-time series with the Gaels, 99-49. Last season, Saint Mary’s took both ends of the home-and-home set. San José State’s last win in the series came in 2014, when it swept the season series behind a 10-0 win at home and 6-3 victory in Moraga.
THE WEEKEND THAT WAS
San José State traveled to Nevada over the weekend and ran into a red-hot Wolf Pack squad that entered the weekend on a six-game win streak and extended it to nine by the time it was all said and done. Despite collecting 27 hits over three games - including a whopping 13 doubles - the Spartans were never able to hold a lead for more than a couple innings at a time.
WHAT’S ON DECK
San José State plays its final road series of the season when it travels to Long Beach State for a nonconference set with the Dirtbags this weekend. The series begins Friday at 6:00 p.m. and 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. In addition to his third-best .306 batting average, Braff owns club-bests in slugging percentage (.520), home runs (6), total bases (90), triples (4), games played (47), stolen bases (7) and assists (135). 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.
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