Final Series of 2013 Will Decide WAC Tourney Fate

SPARTANS AIM FOR POSTSEASON WITH THREE GAMES LEFT
San Jose State wraps up the regular season with three very important Western Athletic Conference games against CSU Bakersfield at Municipal Stadium May 17-19. SJSU is inside the WAC Tournament picture by half a game and can control it’s own fate against the number-one team in the conference this weekend.

Games #53-55  

 

vs. CSU BAKERSFIELD (34-18, 17-7 WAC)
FRIDAY, MAY 17, 6:00 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 18, 1:00 PM
SUNDAY, MAY 19, 1:00 PM
MUNICIPAL STADIUM, SAN JOSE, CALIF.

LAST MEETING/SERIES HISTORY
The Spartans and Roadrunners last met in 2010 (3/19-21) for a three-game series which CSU Bakersfield won 2-1. The Spartans swept the Runners at home in 2009 (3/27-29). The series history ends there with the Spartans controlling the all-time series 4-2.

SCOUTING CSU BAKERSFIELD
The Roadrunners enter this week as the first-place team in the Western Athletic Conference. They are two games ahead of second place UT Arlington. Oscar Sanay was named the WAC Hitter of the Week for the week of May 6-12. He hit .500 for the week and helped lead the Runners to a series sweep of Seattle U. CSU Bakersfield is second in the WAC with a .297 team batting average and they lead the league with 529 hits. The team’s 3.34 ERA leads the WAC with Jeff McKenzie leading the way with a 1.76 ERA.

 

SCOUTING SAN JOSE STATE
With three games to play in the WAC San Jose State is in eighth place in the standings, half a game ahead of Seattle U. The Spartans will be trying to play their way into the conference tournament this weekend against the top team in the WAC, CSU Bakersfield. Matt Carroll is leading the Spartans in batting average (.339), RBI (36) and doubles (14). Second baseman Jacob Valdez hit over .400 during the month of April and is still hitting .410 in the last 10 games with seven runs and six RBI. Pitching has been the Achilles heel all year long and the team ERA is at 6.25. D.J. Slaton however is coming off of one of his better performances of the year where he went eight innings giving up two runs in the first and then went seven scoreless against Sac State.

 

RADIO COVERAGE
KSJS 90.5 FM and The Gold Zone on www.sjsuspartans.com are the radio broadcast homes for San Jose State baseball. All three games this weekend will be simulcast on KSJS and The Gold Zone. See the attached game notes for broadcaster listings.

 

LIVE STATS
Live stats are available, free of charge, for all San Jose State home games and a majority of road contests. Click on the Live Stats icon at the top of the San Jose State Athletics web page at www.sjsuspartans.com and select the game. Fans can also access live stats through the Schedule/Results section of the baseball page, or at www.sjsu.statbroadcast.com.

 

WAC UPDATE
San Jose State is eighth in the WAC standings, half a game ahead of Seattle U with three game remaining in the conference schedule. While SJSU hosts CSU Bakersfield this weekend Seattle U will be hosting New Mexico State. The top eight teams in the WAC at the end of the regular season advance to the WAC Championship Tournament.

 


HONORING THE SENIORS/SPARTAN LUAU
Nine seniors on the Spartan baseball team will be honored on Sunday as they play their final game at home in a Spartan uniform. They will also be honored during the Fan Appreciation Luau following Sunday’s game. Fans are encouraged to join the team and coaches at the luau starting at 5:00 p.m. at Blethen Field. For more information on the event contact assistant coach Brad Sanfilippo at (408) 924-1467 or bradsanfilippo@sjsu.edu. Also see the attached flyer!

 

STAY HOT JACOB VALDEZ
Not only is Jacob Valdez the toughest hitter in the WAC to strikeout, but in the last ten games he’s batting .410 with seven runs scored and 6 RBI.

 

NINTH-INNING DRAMA AT SAC STATE
The last two games of the most recent series against Sacramento State were decided in the ninth inning. San Jose State got clutch hits by Jacob Valdez and Nick Schulz during a three-run ninth that gave SJSU an 8-6 victory. The next day a pitcher’s duel and 2-2 tie was decided when Sac State took home on a wild pitch with a 3-2 count and beat the Spartans 3-2.

 

CARROLL HITTING WELL ALL SEASON
Matt Carroll currently has the 10th highest batting average in the WAC at .339. He leads the Spartans in doubles with 14 and RBI with 36.

 

LUND ROPES FIRST HOMER AS A SPARTAN
Catcher Dane Lund hit a one-out solo shot in the fourth inning against New Mexico State on May 5 for his first home run in a Spartan uniform. 

 

PEAKS & VALLIES OF FIELDING
San Jose State’s .976 fielding percentage this season ranks them second among team in the WAC. However, a .967 mark during WAC games ranks them seventh in the league of 10.

 

HITTING FOR AVERAGE
The Spartans’ .287 batting average after 51 games is fourth among WAC teams. During conference play SJSU is third in hits with 253 hits and a .302 average also ranks them third.

 

SMALL BALL
San Jose State is the leader in the conference this year with 47 sacrifice bunts. That’s 10 more bunts executed than second-place UT Arlington.

 

BALL MAGNETS
SJSU batters have been hit 65 times this season, two shy of the league lead.

 

EXPECT CONTACT
SJSU is the toughest team in the WAC to strikeout this year at 5.10 K’s per game.

 

VALDEZ WON’T GO DOWN EASY
Second baseman Jacob Valdez is the hardest hitter in the WAC to strike out. He averages 0.22 per game.

 

WILD THINGS
Spartan pitching has thrown 50 wild pitches (2nd in WAC) and hit 67 batters (2nd in WAC) this season. Daniel Chavez has hit 16 batters in 31.1 innings and is the WAC leader.

 

LOOK AT THE DEPENDABILITY ON THAT ONE
Andre Mercruio has started in center field every single game this season. He has 210 at bats which is 10 shy of the league’s lead. He leads the Spartans with 67 hits and has a .319 batting average.

 


GERLACH BLASTS FIRST-CAREER HOMER
Michael Gerlach hit a three-run jack for his first-career home run on April 7 in a 12-8 victory. The junior from Carmel Valley, Calif., gave the Spartans a two run lead with his shot over the left field fence in a pivotal Western Athletic Conference win over Louisiana Tech.

 

SPARTANS BOUNCE ON CARROLL’S HOMER
San Jose State was a walk-off winner against Nicholls State on March 15 thanks to Matt Carroll’s first-career home run, a solo bomb over the left field wall in the bottom of the 11th inning. The hit put the Spartans on the winning side of an extra inning game for the first time in three tries this season.

 

MELERO & HASSNA ACHIEVE CAREER HIGHS TOGETHER
Friday starter Johnny Melero struck out a career high eight batters in 7.1 innings of work against Nicholls State on March 15. In the eighth inning Melero turned things over to Kyle Hassna who went on to achieve his career high in strikeouts with 7. Hassna got his in 3.2 innings of relief work and was awarded the win when Matt Carroll blasted one over the fence for a walk-off homer in the 11th.

 

WAC NEWCOMERS
Dallas Baptist, UTSA, UT Arlington, Texas State, Seattle University and CSU Bakersfield are all new members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) for the 2013 season. Dallas Baptist, winner of two games at the 2012 Waco Regional, comes in as the favorite in the WAC Coaches’ Poll receiving eight first place votes. UT Arlington also appeared in the Waco Regional last season. They were 0-2 including a loss to Dallas Baptist, 10-0.

 

LOCAL RIVALS BECOME TEAMMATES
The 2013 Spartans have six San Jose, Calif., natives from five different and very competitive high schools: Sheldon Daquioag (Silver Creek HS), Will Hein (Pioneer HS), Johnny Melero (Archbishop Mitty HS), Jon Nelson (Saint Francis HS), Mitch Ravizza (Willow Glen HS), Mike Simonini(Pioneer HS).

 

NEW COACHING STAFF
Dave Nakama comes to San Jose State as the new head coach after spending the last three seasons as the associate head coach at the University of Washington. The 1984 graduate of Willamette University has 13 years of coaching experience in the Pac-12 Conference. In 10 seasons as an assistant at Stanford, the Cardinal won four Pac-10 Championships, five NCAA Regional crowns and appeared in the College World Series four times (1997, 2002, 2003 and 2008).
Nakama brings in assistants Brad Sanfilippo (UC Davis, 1998) and Nicholas Enriquez (Menlo College, 2001). Also on the staff are volunteer assistant Jeff Austin (Stanford, 1998) and undergraduate student-assistants Matt Durkin (San Jose State, 2004) and Adam Shorsher (San Jose State, 2002).

 

PROMOTIONS
Fans coming out to Municipal Stadium for Spartan home games can look forward to all kinds of fun activities including “Sunday Funday” and the battle for a Sonoma Chicken Coop foul ball. Baseball Bingo, postgame autographs and field run, plus in-game promotions sponsored by Poorhouse Bistro are all on the block for Sunday home games. Don’t forget, kids 12 and under get in for free on Sunday Funday!
The promotions department is now taking signups for little league and pony league teams to take the field with the Spartans during the anthem, and also for friends and family to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. To sign up, contact the promotions department at (408) 924-1478. Finally, don’t forget, little leaguers who show up in their baseball uniforms get into any game for just $1!