SAN JOSE STATE LOOKING TO RIDE MOMENTUM INTO WAC TOURNAMENT
San Jose State baseball had an exciting final weekend of the regular season with a walk-off win on Friday night thanks to Dane Lund’s hustle and then punched the ticket with an 8-5 win on Sunday against CSU Bakersfield. After taking two out of three from the WAC’s best team, the Spartans turn right around to face them again in their opening game of the pool-play style tournament on Wednesday, May 22 at 3:00 p.m. CST. San Jose State faces UTSA in game two on Thursday, May 23 at 3:00 p.m., and then takes on Sacramento State Saturday, May 25 at 11:00 a.m. CST.
vs. CSU BAKERSFIELD
WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 3:00 P.M. CST
QUIKTRIP PARK, GRAND PRAIRIE, TEXAS
THURSDAY, MAY 23, 3:00 P.M. CST
QUIKTRIP PARK, GRAND PRAIRIE, TEXAS
vs. SACRAMENTO STATE
SATURDAY, MAY 25, 11:00 A.M. CST
QUIKTRIP PARK, GRAND PRAIRIE, TEXAS
Live statistics for all San Jose State games at the WAC Tournament will be provided on SJSUSpartans.com. Fans can access the live stats in the top right-hand corner of the home page or by clicking the button of the corresponding game on the baseball schedule page. LIVE VIDEO
All games at the 2013 WAC Tournament will be streamed live on wacsports.tv. Fans can make a onetime payment of $12.95 for the WAC Tournament All Access Pass. RADIO
All SJSU games will be broadcast live on KSJS 90.5 FM with Eric Oas on the call. Tune in for pregame 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of the game.
SPARTAN BATTING LEADERS
First baseman Matt Carroll leads quite few hitting categories for SJSU including: batting average (.333), doubles (14), RBI (40), slugging (.443). Andre Mercurio leads the team in hits with 73 and his 38 runs are a close second to Jacob Valdez’s 43.
SPARTAN PITCHING LEADERS
D.J. Slaton and David Wayne Russo each finished with four wins. Kyle Hassna made two starts but pitched most of his 54.0 innings out of the bullpen. Hassna leads the team with 47 strikeouts and has the lowest ERA at 2.50.
WAC TOURNAMENT HISTORY
San Jose State last appeared in the Western Athletic Conference Championship Tournament in 2011. They finished 2-2 with two wins over Nevada and losses to Hawaii and Louisiana Tech. The Spartans have a 10-16 record in WAC Tournament games dating back to 1997. While SJSU has been a regular season WAC division champion (1997) and regular season co-champion (2000), it has never advanced to postseason play by way of winning a WAC Championship Tournament. The last time the Spartans were at an NCAA regional was in 2002 when they received an at-large bid after going 45-17 during the regular season.
LUND’S WALK-OFF IMMENSE IN FINAL WAC SERIES
Dane Lund had a 3-2 count with bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 1-1 tie with CSU Bakersfield and came through by beating out a chopper to third for a walk-off infield single. The win became even sweeter two days later when SJSU clinched a spot in the WAC Tournament by just half a game.
SPARTANS OVER .300 IN WAC PLAY
The Spartans batted .301 in WAC games during the regular season, good for third among the 10 teams in the conference.
MERCURIO IS HITS LEADER IN WAC PLAY
Center fielder Andre Mercurio played in every WAC game this season and tied CSU Bakersfield Tyler Shryrock for a league leading 42 hits. Mercurio hit .362 in WAC play.
Second baseman Jacob Valdez was the toughest batter in the WAC to strike out, averaging 0.22 per game. Tim Quiery is also top-five in that category at 0.35 and as a team the Spartans are second in the conference at 5.22 strikeouts per game.
San Jose State’s 8-5 win on May 19 against CSU Bakersfield broke a Sunday spell and was only the second win on a Sunday during the entire regular season.
SPARTANS DEPEND ON BATS
San Jose State defeated CSU Bakersfield 2-1 on Friday May 17, giving the Spartans their first win of the season when scoring 1-2 runs. They are 1-19 on the year in those games.
SLATON’S STRONG ARM
D.J. Slaton is one of only six pitchers in the WAC averaging over 6.0 innings per game.
San Jose State hitters have been plunked 67 times this season goof for third most in the WAC.
SMALL BALL SPARTANS
San Jose State’s 48 successful sacrifice bunts led the WAC during the regular season.
The Spartans were thrown out 24 times on the base paths this season to lead the WAC.
San Jose State’s 6.22 team ERA is last in the WAC and opponents are hitting .322 for the season off Spartan pitching.
San Jose State has hit 70 batters this season which is second in the WAC and Daniel Chavez is tied for the individual WAC most with 16.
PEAKS AND VALLIES OF FIELDING
For the season San Jose State is second in the WAC and 43rd nationally for a .974 fielding percentage. However, during conference play the Spartans have a .965 percentage which is seventh in the WAC.
SCOUTING CSU BAKERSFIELD
The Roadrunners (35-21, 18-9 WAC) are the 2013 regular-season co-champions in the WAC and enter the tournament as the number one seed by way of head-to-head tiebreak advantage. Jeff McKenzie (12-2, 1.79) has made a good case for WAC Pitcher of the Year during the regular season. When you think you’ve gotten past the tough guy in the rotation, Scott Brattvet (9-1, 2.66) shows up next for CSU Bakersfield. The Roadrunners hit .297 as a team during the regular season.
San Jose State took two of three from CSU Bakersfield in the final WAC series of the regular season. An 8-5 win on Sunday punched the Spartans’ ticket to the WAC Tournament as the eighth seed. SJSU took game one in the series 2-1 when catcher Dane Lund beat out a chopper to third with bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth for a walk-off infield single. San Jose State controls the all-time series 6-3.
UTSA (31-23, 15-11 WAC) comes into the tournament as the fourth seed. The Roadrunners have six players hitting over .300 in at least 42 games. RJ Perucki and Daniel Rockett have a combined 19 home runs. Rockett is also the RBI leader with 45. UTSA has won six of its last seven games and swept New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech in the last two WAC series of the regular season. The Roadrunner pitching staff carries a 4.55 ERA, with Brock Hartson (8-4, 3.31) leading the way in the starting rotation.
The Spartans took two out of three games from the Roadrunners in San Antonio on March 28-30. San Jose State averaged more than 10 runs per game in the series and got home runs from Matt Carroll, Nick Schulz and Sheldon Daquioag. SJSU won games one 12-4, and game two 11-7. The Roadrunners took game three 14-8. The series marked the first meeting between the two teams.
SCOUTING SACRAMENTO STATE
The Hornets (33-23, 14-13 WAC) enter the tournament as the fifth seed. They were swept at home by UT Arlington in the final WAC series of the regular season. Brennan Leitao (8-3, 2.79) is the ace of the staff with Ty Nichols (4-6, 3.70) and Tanner Mendonca (2-5, 5.10) following in the rotation. Chris Lewis leads the team with a .351 batting average and 46 RBI. Sacramento State had six players start all 56 games this season and a .978 fielding percentage ranks them first in the WAC.
Sacramento State took two out of three from San Jose State in their last meeting on May 10-12. Brennan Leitao pitched a solid game one for Sac State in a 4-1 win. The Spartans got clutch hitting from Jacob Valdez and Nick Schulz in the ninth inning of game two, an 8-6 win for SJSU. The Hornets took game three in the bottom of the ninth inning when David Del Grande came home on a wild pitch to win it 3-2. San Jose State controls the all-time series at 32-30 and is 18-16 in games over the last 10 years.
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.
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.
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.
Senior Outfielder Nick Schulz was named a Preseason Second-Team All-Western Athletic Conference choice by collegesportsmadness.com. In 2012 Schulz played in 45 games, making 40 starts in the outfield and two as a designated hitter. The Mountain View, Calif., native led the team with four homeruns, 21 RBIs, 24 walks and a .436 slugging percentage.
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).