San Jose State (13-8, 4-4 WAC) already has two weeks of conference play under its belt with mixed results. The Spartans took three of four from visiting Sacramento State two weeks ago, but dropped three of four at hitter-friendly Presley Askew Field at New Mexico State last week.
The Spartans' strong suit is usually their defense, but a tough weekend in Las Cruces has them fifth in the league with a .964 percentage, slightly better than Tech's .957. As a team, San Jose enters the weekend fifth in the league with a .266 batting average and seven home runs. On the mound, SJSU boasts a 4.65 team earned run average, and the Spartan staff has demonstrated good control by surrendering a league-low 69 walks on the year.
Senior Albie Goulder looks to continue his strong play against the Spartans. In four games against San Jose last season, the first baseman from Scottsdale, Ariz., batted .545 (6-for-11) with four home runs, eight RBI and a slugging percentage of 1.636, earning WAC Hitter of the Week accolades for his effort.
Friday night will see Tech go with junior Luke Burnett (0-1, 8.72) on the mound in his first Friday start since the second week of the season. He will face off against Spartan lefthander Max Peterson (1-2, 5.06). Burnett had his best outing of the season on Saturday at Nevada and appears to be rounding into form at just the right time.
Righthander Jericho Jones (4-1, 3.99) will get the ball for the first game of Saturday's doubleheader as he will face lefthander David Berner (0-4, 4.81). Jones was stellar in 6.1 innings at Nevada on Saturday, giving up only one run on four hits.
Jamey Bradshaw (1-1, 3.86), a sophomore lefthander from nearby Choudrant, gets the call for game two of the doubleheader. San Jose will counter with righthander Scott Sobczak (2-0, 4.20), who has been the top pitcher for the Spartans thus far in 2008. It will be the first start of 2008 for Bradshaw as the Bulldogs will work a lefthander into the weekend rotation for the first time this season.
Sunday's series finale pits Tech righthander Dylan Moseley (1-2, 4.70) against a Spartan starter yet to be determined. Moseley had one of his best outings of 2007 against San Jose last year, going eight full innings while allowing just one run on eight hits.
Tickets are available for all four games at the stadium box office or by calling 318-257-3631. Dave Nitz will have the call for all four games on ESPN 97.7 FM (available online at www.espn977.com). GameTracker will also be available through www.latechsports.com.