May 14, 2015
UNLV VISITS MUNICIPAL STADIUM IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE
The 2015 regular season concludes when UNLV comes to town this weekend. Friday's doubleheader will get underway at 3:00 p.m. and Saturday's regular season finale will be a 1:00 p.m. first pitch. Seniors Kalei Contrades, Andre Mercurio and Myles Richard will be honored before the game in a Senior Day ceremony.
UNLV (22-28, 8-19 MW) at San José State (12-41, 5-22 MW)
Fri.-Sat. • May 15-16 • 3:00 p.m. (DH), 1:00 p.m.
Pitching Matchups: Thurs. -- TBA vs. TBA
Fri. -- TBA vs. TBA
Sat. -- RHP Hilario Tovar (1-5, 9.80) vs. RHP Blaze Bohall (6-3, 3.90)
Live Video: Spartan Digital Network
Live Stats: Via Gametracker & Statbroadcast
Radio: KSJS 90.5 FM (Games 2 & 3 only)
Jon Wold, Daniel Barrera
Social Media: @SJSUAthletics | @SJSUBaseball | #GoSpartans
All-Time Series: San José State trails, 31-20
The Spartans trail the all-time series, 31-20, after going 2-4 against the Rebels last season. San José State took one game of both three-game sets last season, including a 3-2 win at Municipal Stadium in Kalei Contrades' first-ever start.
Led by fifth-year head coach Tim Chambers, the Rebels sit at 22-28 overall and 8-19 in Mountain West action. UNLV is fresh off a midweek loss to Long Beach State and sweep at the hands of Fresno State last weekend after winning six of its previous seven. Dylan Ellis (.333), Edgar Montes (.314) and Erik VanMeetren lead the Rebels in batting average. VanMeetren also leads the team in home runs, while Morgan Stotts owns a team-best of 32 RBIs.
Spartans Fall to santa clara, 2-1, In Extra-Inning Pitching Duel
Jonathan Hernandez turned in perhaps the best outing of his career and Ross Slaney wasn't far behind out of the bullpen, but San José State dropped a 2-1 decision to crosstown rival Santa Clara in 11 innings Tuesday night. Hernandez worked 5.2 innings of shutout ball and scattered two hits while striking out a career-high five. Slaney tossed a career-high 4.1 innings in relief and was the tough-luck loser despite only yielding two hits as well.
MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP ON DECK FOR SAN JOSÉ STATE
The Spartans head to the 2015 Mountain West Championship, hosted by Nevada, at Peccole Park next week. A sweep of UNLV this weekend would move the Spartans up to the No. 6 seed and make them the home team in Wednesday's play-in game.
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 being the only Spartan to start a game at every spot in the infield. 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 12, senior center fielder Andre Mercurio has 193 games played under his belt. The San Mateo, Calif., resident and Serra High School product owns a .279 career batting average in 746 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 recorded 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).