May 23, 2016
2016 Mountain West Baseball Championship
#7 San José State (17-38, 7-23 MW) vs. #6 San Diego State (19-36, 11-19 MW)
Santa Ana Star Field (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Wednesday, May 25 11:00 a.m. MT/10:00 a.m. PT
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
Wednesday: RHP Josh Nashed (0-5, 4.61 ERA) vs. LHP Dominic Purpura (4-2, 3.18 ERA)
Live Video: Mountain West Digital Network (http://www.themw.com/page/watch-live)
Social Media: @SJSUBaseball (Twitter, Instagram) • facebook.com/SJSUSpartansBaseball
All-Time MW Championship Record: 1-3
2016 Record Book: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/d403a0b9
BASEBALL SET FOR MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP
The Spartans kick off the 2016 Mountain West Baseball Championship when they take on San Diego State on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. MT/10:00 a.m. PT at Santa Ana Star Field in Albuquerque. The contest represents the single elimination play-in game that precludes the double elimination portion of the tournament. The game will be streamed live via the Mountain West Digital Network presented by Campus Insiders.
SCOUTING SAN DIEGO STATE
Overview: San Diego State, led by second-year head coach Mark Martinez, sits at 19-36 overall and 11-19 in Mountain West action. The Aztecs had a tough go of it in 2016 after earning the conference’s automatic tournament berth last season by virtue of winning the MW Championship in Reno. They have won five of their last eight contests entering this year’s Championship.
Offense: The Aztecs posted a .271 team batting average during the regular season. Alan Trejo represented the only player over the .300 mark with a .308 clip and led the club with 34 RBIs. Spencer Thornton tied with Ozzy Braff for sixth in the conference with six home runs on the season and is one of three Aztecs with 10-plus doubles. As a team, SDSU swiped 58 bags in 89 attempts, good for a .627 steal percentage.
Pitching: SDSU brings a 5.11 team ERA into the Championship. Projected starter Dominic Purpura led all SDSU starters with a 3.18 ERA during the regular season and notched a complete game shutout over San José State last Thursday. In that contest, he did not walk anyone and struck out just one - in the ninth inning. Jacob Erickson led the club with 25 appearances out of the bullpen and has notched a pair of saves.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Live streaming of the 2016 MW Baseball Championship is available through the Mountain West Network (MWN) on TheMW.com and CampusInsiders.com. All live broadcasts are free of charge.
In addition, fans can watch live video on their mobile devices for free with the MW mobile app. Links to live stats, game highlights, recaps and box scores will also be available on the Mountain West Championship Central page on TheMW.com. The Mountain West application can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for iPhones and iPads, and from Google Play for Android phones and tablets.
Fans also can follow the Championship through the league’s social media channels on Twitter (@MW_OlySports), Snapchat (https://www.snapchat.com/add/mountainwest), YouTube (MountainWestConf), Facebook (MountainWestConference), and Instagram (MountainWestConference) for updates on each game. Followers are encouraged to use the hashtag #MWBSB16 when posting throughout the meet.
The Spartans will be taking part in their third Mountain West Championship this week. Since joining the conference ahead of the 2014 season, San José State is 1-3 in tournament play. The Spartans have played in the play-in game each year, and are 1-1 in such games entering Wednesday.
THE WEEKEND THAT WAS
San José State hosted San Diego State in the final homestand and series of the season over the weekend. The Aztecs came out winners of the first and final games of the set, with San José State prevailing in a 2-1 ballgame on Friday night. Dominic Purpura opened the series by firing a complete game shutout Thursday night despite striking out just one hitter. He scattered six hits and did not walk any. Saturday, the Aztecs spoiled the final home game for five San José State seniors by jumping out to an early lead and grabbing a 5-0 win in a rain-shortened 5.0-inning game.
WHAT’S ON DECK
The winner of Wednesday morning’s play-in game advances to the double elimination portion of the tournament and will take on No. 3-seed Nevada later that day at 7:00 p.m. from Santa Ana Star Field.
OZZY DOES IT
Senior Ozzy Braff put together another impressive season on the heels of last year’s Second Team All-Mountain West performance. In addition to his second-best .285 batting average, Braff posted club-bests in slugging percentage (.482), doubles (12), triples (4), home runs (6), total bases (93), games played (54), stolen bases (7) and assists (152). His .311 average in Mountain West play was also second-best on the team, and he reached base in 24 consecutive games early on in the campaign.
San José State has leaned on its lone two regular starting seniors for both leadership and production this season. Ozzy Braff and Dillan Smith represent the only seniors that started 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 has played both center and right this season.
Keep up with all things Spartan Baseball by following along on social media. Be sure to ‘follow’ the baseball-specific accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for game previews, in-game updates, recaps and other original content.