Lobo Baseball - at Lobo Field
When: Friday - 6 p.m. (MT), Saturday - 2 p.m. (MT), Sunday - 1 p.m. (MT)
Who: San José State Spartans
GoLobos.com: Live stats, live stream, box score, postgame recap and stats
Video: Each game will be streamed live on GoLobos.com
Radio: ESPN Radio 101.7 The TEAM will broadcast all three games live
Mountain West Standings
|Place||School||MW record||Overall record|
|2||San Diego St.||4-2||16-4|
|5||San José St.||3-6||
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - UNM will look to continue its five-game winning streak as it welcomes Mountain West newcomer San José State to Lobo Field for three games this weekend. While the Lobos come in red-hot, the Spartans have struggled so far this season. Losers of four of its last five and seven of its last nine, SJSU (6-16, 3-6) is hitting only .235 and its pitching staff has a 5.23 ERA, both of which are next-to-last in the MW. The Spartans have yet to be swept in a conference series, though, winning one game against San Diego State, Nevada and UNLV.
UNM's wins have come against teams that have been ranked at some point in 2014. The Lobos earned a road sweep at Fresno State, which was ranked No. 24 by both Baseball America and Perfect Game on March 3, and just took two from Kansas, which was ranked 18th by Collegiate Baseball.
Jonathan Cuellar, who has a 1.35 ERA in seven relief appearances this season, will make his first start of the season in place of Drew Bridges Friday night. Colton Thomson (2-2, 2.17) and Josh Walker (2-1, 3.41) complete the weekend rotation. SJSU's best pitcher, junior righty Kalei Contades, will make his second start of the season Sunday. He is 2-0 with one save and a 1.11 ERA in seven appearances. He has struck out 22 and walked just 2 in 24.1 innings.
Due to a conflict with PBR taking place in The Pit, fans that plan on attending any game this weekend are asked to please park in the Baseball South dirt lot and enter Lobo Field from the south. As a way of saying thank you, admission will be FREE for everyone for ALL GAMES this weekend. Thank you, fans, for your cooperation!
• SCOUTING SAN JOSE STATE ... The Spartans make their first trip to Albuquerque in 16 years having lost four of five and seven of nine. SJSU is hitting just .235 as a team, slugging .296 and has an OBP of .326. Freshman outfielder Brett Bautista (.364) is the only player with an average above .298. Matt Carroll has three of the team’s four home runs but is hitting .235. Opponents, meanwhile, are hitting .330 and slugging .442.
The pitching staff has not fared much better thus far for the Spartans, as the team has a collective ERA of 5.23. Junior Kalei Contrades has been a bright spot for SJSU. He has a 1.11 ERA and 22 strikeouts versus just two walks in seven appearances (one start) spanning 24.1 innings. He also has the Spartans’ only save and two of the team’s six wins.
One area where SJSU performs well is defensively. The Spartans have committed just 24 errors in 22 games and has a .973 fielding percentage.
• ‘BOS KNOW PITCHING ... If the UNM pitching staff can maintain its current 3.73 ERA over the rest of the season, it will post the third lowest ERA in the history of the program. The 1968 team posted a 2.87 ERA and in 1969 the Lobos had a 3.40 ERA. The 2014 staff is doing this despite being on pace to set a school record for most innings pitched.
Despite pitching a mile above sea level, UNM has been particularly dominant at home, posting a 2.16 ERA while holding opponents to a .234 batting average at Lobo Field.
Colton Thomson currently owns a 2.16 ERA. He’s looking to become just the fourth Lobo since 1977 to finish a season with an ERA under 3.00. Danny Ray Herrera posted a 2.24 mark in 2006, Austin House had a 2.74 ERA in 2012, and last season Sam Wolff recorded a 2.90 ERA.
• SANCHEZ EARNS MW HONOR ... Victor Sanchez was instrumental in UNM’s three-game sweep at Fresno State March 14-16, and he was rewarded with Mountain West Pitcher of the Week honors. He earned his first career save in UNM’s 9-7 come-from-behind victory Friday night. He only needed 11 pitches to set down the Bulldogs in order. Then on Sunday he earned the win by striking out three and keeping Fresno State off the scoreboard over the final 2.1 innings.
• WALKER IS JUST A NAME ... Josh Walker has always had good control, but in 2014 he has taken it to a next level. He currently has thrown the most innings in the nation without having issued a walk (37.0). In fact, he has faced 102 batters in his three home starts this season and reached only nine three-ball counts.
• BAD LUCK WITH BASES LOADED ... UNM has uncharacteristically struggled with the bases loaded this season, hitting just .208 (9-for-44). Chase Harris (2-for-6) and Andre Vigil (2-for-2) are the only Lobos with more than one hit with the bases juiced in 2014. For comparison’s sake UNM hit .333 in such situations last season, .364 in 2011 and .345 in 2010.
• 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 ... Sixteen. That’s how many straight scoreless innings Josh Walker threw over his two starts on Feb. 23 and March 2. Walker actually made it 16.2 innings before allowing a sacrifice fly to break the streak. It was the longest scoreless innings streak for a UNM pitcher since Bobby LaFromboise threw 20 straight without allowing a run from Feb. 16 to March 2, 2007.
• FOLLOW MY LEAD ... The Lobos have had their leadoff man reach in 75 of 199 innings this season for an inning-starting OBP of .377.
• NO WEAK SPOTS IN THIS LINEUP ... The Lobo offense rolls nine deep, and nothing proves that more than the production they get out of the No. 9 spot in their order. Five Lobos have combined to hit a team-high .363 (29-for-80) while occupying the last place in the lineup. Jared Holley leads the group with a .409 average (18-for-44) while batting ninth and Aaron Siple is hitting .353 (6-for-17).