The San Jose State Spartans baseball team enter year three under Brad Sanfilippo (47-64 overall, 29-31 MWC record) in 2020.
The Spartans will have to replace a few key members from 2019, including three players that were MLB draft picks. The holes need to be filled for SJSU to have a successful 2020 campaign. Coach Sanfilippo believes he already has the replacements in the wings.
Regarding the pitching staff, SJSU signed 10 newcomers to fill the departures. Several of them come from the Junior College level that Sanfilippo believes can potentially be starters.
Along with the newcomers are a handful of returners that saw action on the mound in 2019. Wesley Clawson made 17 appearances with a 3.62 ERA, while Nicholas Morales had the most relief appearances with 24. Jonathan Clark made 10 starts in his freshman season and will be relied on in 2020. Clark was just one of two Spartans to throw a complete game in 2019. Ben Polack returns in the mix after making seven starts last season.
A majority of the starters and contributors from last year are back for this year. James Shimashita hit .295 with a team-best 34 RBI last season. Connor Konishi (.273), Troy Viola (.256) and Jack Colette also return and Sanfilippo says those players he expects to see the biggest improvement from last season.
Johnny Mendoza is returning from injury and will be behind the dish for one more year looking to come back in a major way for SJSU. Anders Davidson, Brandon Peterson, Nico Malbrough, Ryan Bellyomini, Santiago Cantu and Nik Trapani were also contributors that return for this season.
The Spartans begin the season Friday night, February 14th, at 6:00 PM (PT) where they take on cross-town rival Santa Clara. SJSU and Santa Clara will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1:00 PM (PT) with the series finale being played at Santa Clara on Sunday at noon (PT).