May 13, 2014
SJSU BASEBALL CONCLUDES REGULAR SEASON AT STANFORD
San José State baseball will play its final game of the regular season on Tuesday evening at Sunken Diamond against Stanford. Left hander Jace Puckett will make the start for SJSU against Stanford’s righty Chris Vaill. Stanford beat San José State 9-3 at Municipal Stadium back on February 18 in the only other meeting of the year between the two teams. Tuesday’s game time is set for 5:30 p.m.
at STANFORD (24-21)
TUESDAY, MAY 13, 5:30 PM PDT
KLEIN FIELD AT SUNKEN DIAMOND (4,000)
LHP JACE PUCKET (0-4, 8.90) vs. RHP CHRIS VAILL (2-3, 3.99)
WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK
San José State went 1-3 last week, dropping two out of three to Air Force and taking a 6-3 loss in a Tuesday game at San Francisco. The Spartans played two extra-inning games over the weekend at Air Force, winning the first 4-2 in 10 innings. Kalei Contrades pitched nine innings and allowed only five hits and two runs. Jacob Valdez and Kyle Gallegos each stepped up at the plate and got the Spartans the clutch hits they needed to win. Then, SJSU fell in both games of a doubleheader played on Saturday against the Falcons. Both contests were decided by one run, and game two went to the 11th inning. The Spartans squandered a 5-0 lead in game one.
SPARTANS’ MOUNTAIN WEST TOURNAMENT OUTLOOK
Losing two out of three to Air Force (9-18) last weekend put SJSU (10-20) in danger of falling into seventh place in the MW standings. While the Spartans are off, the Falcons need to win one game of their three-game set next weekend against top-ranked New Mexico to take sixth place in the standings. It’s already set that SJSU and Air Force will meet in the play-in game to open the Mountain West Championship tournament on May 21, so what’s ultimately riding on the Air Force-New Mexico series next weekend, is the color jerseys the Spartans will wear in that play-in game. Air force wins a game, and the Spartans become the seventh seed and will play as the visitors, but if New Mexico completes a sweep then SJSU remains the sixth seed and plays as the home team.
CONTRADES ENDS REGULAR SEASON WITH A GEM
Kalei Contrades earned a win with nine innings of work, three strikeouts and no walks in his final start of the 2014 regular season. He tossed 98 pitches, and got Air Force to go three up, three down four times. The effort lowered his ERA to a team-best 2.43 which is second in the Mountain West only to UNLV’s Erick Fedde with a 1.76. Kalei pitched the final three Friday nights of the season for SJSU during which he went 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA over 26 1/3 innings of work.
VALDEZ LEADS BATTING CHARGE AT AIR FORCE
Second baseman Jacob Valdez hit .467 with two home runs, seven RBI and three runs in the three-game series at Air Force. His 3-run shot in the first inning of Saturday’s game one, was his first home run since May 5, 2012. After more than two years between homers, he only took a couple hours to hit another one – sending a towering drive over the wall in right field during game two’s third inning. Valdez though, was one of five hitters in the lineup that batted over .400 during the weekend (min. 12 AB’s). Kyle Gallegos and Matt Lopez each went 6-for-13 (.462), and Sheldon Daquioag was 5-for-12 (.417). As a team, the Spartans hit .317 in the three games which is by far the highest mark of any series in 2014.
MOUNTAIN WEST REGULAR SEASON WRAP
Left field Matt Lopez led SJSU with a .327 batting average in 30 conference appearances. Jacob Valdez, Andre Mercurio and Matt Carroll also hit above .300. The team hit .272 which is 33 points higher than the team’s average in 23 nonconference contests. Kalei Contrades picked up all four of his wins on the mound in conference play. He finished 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA in 58 2/3 innings spanning 11 appearances. Reliever Myles Richard also finished with a winning conference record of 2-1. His 2.97 ERA over 30.1 innings is second only to James Glawe who posted a 1.80 ERA in 15 innings.
The Stanford Cardinal (24-21) comes into Tuesday night’s game winners in six of their last eight games. Most recently they took two out of three on the road at Arizona. The team has also won its last six midweek contests in a row. Austin Slater leads the team with a .337 batting average and 31 RBI. Alex Blandino is the squad’s home runs leader with eight. The Cardinal has a team batting average of .261 while holding opponents to just .230. Right-hander Chris Viall (2-3, 3.99) will start Tuesday night. Stanford has a staff ERA of 3.39.
Stanford beat San José State 9-3 at Municipal Stadium back on February 18. The two teams went into the fifth inning tied 3-3, but a five-run Cardinal burst put the Spartans away. It was the third win in a row for the Cardinal over the Spartans. Stanford defeated SJSU 17-2 in the last game played at Sunken Diamond (4/23/13).