Baseball Preview: at San Jose State [May 2-4]

May 2, 2014

By: Matt Burkholder

Games 47-49: Fresno State Bulldogs (24-22, 11-13 MW) at San Jose State Spartans (14-32, 7-17 MW)

Fresno State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

First Pitch: Fri: 6pm, Sat: 1pm, Sun: 1pm
Stadium: Municipal Stadium
Surface: Grass
Dimensions: 320 (LF), 390 (CF), 320 (RF
All-Time Series: Fresno State leads 150-79
Last Meeting: SJSU defeated FS, 10-3 (2013)

Radio: AM 790 The Deuce (Fri.)
AM 940 ESPN (Sat.& Sun.)
Play-by-play: Paul Loeffler
Video: Mountain West Network
Live Stats:
Twitter: @FresnoStateBSB

Bulldog Headlines
• Fresno State travels to San Jose State to face the Spartans for its only regular season series of 2014, May 2-4.
• Projected pitching matchups -
    Fri., RHP Tim Borst (3-2, 2.69 ERA) vs. RHP Kalei Contrades (2-2, 2.55 ERA)
    Sat., RHP Jordan Brink (3-2, 2.77 ERA) vs. LHP Jonathan Hernandez (0-5, 4.67 ERA)
    Sun., TBA vs. TBA
• Friday marks the 20th straight season the 'Dogs will have face SJSU in given season
Jordan Luplow leads the MW with a .381 overall BA and a .462 BA in MW games
Fred Schlichtholz in the reigning Mountain West Pitcher of the Week
• The Bulldogs will play in the Spartans' Senior Day game on Sunday

Fresno State vs. San Jose State - The Series
There is not one school in the Fresno State record book that the Bulldogs have played more dating back to 1951 than the San Jose State Spartans. The two schools have squared off for 229 games in the 63-year span, with Fresno State owning a 150-79 all-time edge. The May 2-4 series marks the first Mountain West conference battle between the programs, although the two are no stranger to each other in recent history. Just last season on March 5, the Spartans traveled to Fresno for a nonconference contest and in 2012 the two faced off as foe in the Western Athletic Conference. This weekend will mark the 20th consecutive season Fresno State will have faced San Jose State in a given season. The Spartans currently own a four-game winning streak over the Bulldogs, all four wins came on the road at Beiden Field. Ironically, the last win Fresno State owns came in San Jose on April 10, 2011, the last time the two programs faced off on the Spartans' turf.

Scouting San Jose State
The Spartans (14-32, 7-17 MW) are winners of two of their last five. SJSU split a two-game midweek schedule, defeating Saint Mary's College last time out after falling to Santa Clara the night before. Last weekend, In Mountain West action at San Diego State, the Spartans dropped the Friday night opener in extra innings, picked up the Saturday win, then lost convincingly in the finale. Brett Bautista, a freshman, leads the team with a .318 batting average and 48 hits. Kalei Contrades, the Friday night starter, owns the fourth-best ERA in MW with a 2.55 ERA in 53.0 IP. According to Boyd's World, the Spartans' strength of schedule ranks as the second toughest in the country behind Stanford. SJSU is coached by second-year head coach Dave Nakama, the Hawai'i native has 13 seasons of experience in the Pac-12 with his most recent stop as the associate head coach at the University of Washington before joining San Jose State in September 2012.

Last Time Out
Fresno State owned a five-game winning streak entering its last contest on Wednesday night, but that came to a halt at Cal State Fullerton as the Titans jumped on the 'Dogs for four runs in the first inning en route to an 8-1 win. Fullerton followed up the first with two more runs in the second, knocking Fresno State starting pitcher Jimmy Lambert out of the game after 1.2 innings of work. The freshman pitcher surrendered six runs on seven hits in his ninth start of 2014. Trent Woodward and Jordan Luplow connected for a pair of back-to-back two-out hits in the top half of the third to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard. The Bulldogs seven hits on Wednesday night was their lowest output in nine games. The 'Dogs defense was errorless for the fifth straight game.

Offense Awakens
Since the Bulldogs 20-run outburst on April 17 at Nevada, that still stands as the most runs scored in a single game by a MW team this season, there are nine Bulldogs batting better than .300 in the nine-game span since. Jordan Luplow sits atop the Bulldog list with a .487 batting average over the last nine games. Fresno State is 6-3 since April 17.

Home Sweet Home
After its longest road trip of the season, nine games, Fresno State returned home and swept a five game homestand from April 22-27. The Bulldogs defeated Cal for the second time in 2014 on Tuesday (7-4), outlasted Cal State Fullerton 2-1 in 16 innings on Wednesday and swept their Mountain West conference series over Air Force, outscoring the Falcons 25-3 in three games. The Bulldogs are 18-8 at Beiden Field this season.

Right Field Leader
One consistent feature about the Bulldogs 2014 team is that you will always find Jordan Luplow in right field. Luplow has started 46-of-46 games in right field in 2014, and 140-of-148 career games as a Bulldog in right field. This season the Bulldogs' outfielder leads the team in batting average (.381), hits (67), doubles (17), home runs (7), total bases (107), slugging percentage (.608), on-base percentage (.474) and stolen bases (8). Those number rank in the MW as - batting average (1st), hits (2nd), doubles (5th), home runs (3rd), total bases (2nd), slugging percentage (2nd), on-base percentage (1st), stolen bases (T-7th). Luplow set a career-best 18-game hit streak this season from Feb. 19 to March 21.

Extra Inning and One-Run Games
The Bulldog are on a short list with a few other schools when it comes to the number of extra-inning and one-run games played in the 2014 season. In extra-inning games the Bulldogs are up to six following the April 23 16-inning game at home against Cal State Fullerton. The 'Dogs are 3-3 this season in those games. In one-run games, the Bulldogs have been involved in 14 one-run games and are 5-9 in those contests. Southern Illinois leads the NCAA in both categories - Extra innings (12), One-run (23)

Run Production
The Bulldogs are 16-10 when they are first to score, and 8-12 when having to come from behind. When the Bulldogs have scored six or more runs in a game this season they are 16-4 .

Schlichtholz Named Mountain West Pitcher of the Week
Fred Schlichtholz became the sixth weekly Mountain West selection for Fresno State this season, tied with San Diego State for the most in the conference. Schlichtholz, a true freshman, entered in a tie game, 1-1, in the 14th inning against No. 29 Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday April 23, He guided the Bulldogs through the next three innings with scoreless relief work, allowing no hits and one base runner. The Bulldogs pushed across the game winning run in the 16th inning, earning the true freshman his first career Division-I win.

Woodward Named to Capital One Academic All-District Team
Trent Woodward was selected as one of five student-athletes out of the Mountain West as named by the College Sports Information Directors of America. It is the first Capital One Academic Honor for the junior from Chino Hills, Calif. Woodward holds a 3.42 GPA in communications, and has started all 46 games the Bulldogs have played this season. In his first year as a Bulldog, Woodward is batting .284 with 46 hits, 33 runs scored, 23 RBI, eight doubles, one triple and two home runs. Woodward transferred from Orange Coast College in 2012 and redshirted in 2013.

Bulldogs in the Big Leagues
Fresno State has six former Bulldogs in the majors, five were on an Opening Day roster and No. 6, Justin Miller, was called up to the big show on April 18 by the Detroit Tigers. Tanner Scheppers got the opening day start for the Texas Rangers. Matt Garza is with the Milwaukee Brewers. Casey McGehee is in his first season with the Miami Marlins. Justin Wilson returns to the bullpen as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Doug Fister opens the season on the disabled list for the Washington Nationals.

Schedule Change for Season Finale against SDSU
Fresno State announced that the May 17 (Saturday) season finale vs. San Diego State will be moved to 2:05 p.m. The original first pitch was scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

"Catch the Wave" - The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.



 Email this article   Printer-friendly format