Michael DiRocco seconds after swining the bat. He is wearing a blue helmet and a blue jersey with a white baseball bat.

Baseball Wins 3-0 In 11

Michael DiRocco seconds after swining the bat. He is wearing a blue helmet and a blue jersey with a white baseball bat.

Michael DiRocco hit a two-run double to propell San Jose State over Sacramento State 3-0 in 11 innings on Sunday.

San Jose State broke a 0-0 tie with a three-run 11th inning to defeat the Sacramento State Hornets 3-0 and take three of four in a Western Athletic Conference weekend series.

The win improves the Spartans record to 30-16, 9-7 in WAC play.  Sacramento State falls to 2-10 in league and 15-31 overall.

In the top of the 11th Danny Stienstra led off with a single to right.  Andrew Rodriguez was hit by a pitch from Hornet Brandon Creel to move Stienstra into scoring position.  Nick Borg hit into an apparent 4-6-3 double play, but the exchange at second pulled the shortstop off the bag and the Hornets recorded just the out at first.  An intentional walk to Tyler Christian loaded the bases.

Michael DiRocco then hit a chop just over the outstretched glove of the Hornets third baseman Will Soto and down the left field line plating two runs of the game.

“I was just trying to get the ball in the air and score at least one run when I came up,” DiRocco said.  “When it got 2-2 and I wanted to put the ball in play.  Luckily it went over the third baseman’s head.  I will take that any day and honestly it was really hot out there and I wanted to get the game over with.”

Read full story on www.sjsuspartans.com.

Portraits of eight different students with blue backgrounds.

Diverse Education Magazine Recognizes Nine Spartans

Portraits of eight different students with blue backgrounds.

Top row: Valleau, Delen-Briones, Shelton, Brinner. Bottom Row: Sanchez, Jenkins, Ng-Pinkerton, Esparza. Courtesy: San Jose State Athletics

Shanice Howard, a kinesiology major who competed on the vault and bars during her senior season while maintaining a near 4.0 GPA, has received the 2011 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar by Diverse Education magazine. The honor goes to just one male and one female of color nationwide annually.

Diverse Education recognized eight other Spartans for their achievements. In gymnastics, Howard was joined by Katie Valleau who competed at the NCAA Championships this season on the floor.  Women’s soccer found Lauren Ng-Pinkerton and Lauren Sanchez selected.  This is the second consecutive honor for Ng-Pinkerton.  Men’s cross country found Alex Esparza and Alan Shelton named to the track and field team. Others honored included Katrina Delen-Briones for women’s golf, Kerry Jenkins for baseball and Omri Brinner for men’s soccer.

McFarland Wins Pitcher’s Duel

Blake McFarland, wearing a SJSU jersey and cap with white pants, after throwing the ball leaning over with one foot off the ground. Photo courtesy Spartan Athletics.

In a duel between two of the top pitchers in the Western Athletic Conference, San Jose State’s Blake McFarland shutout Mike Jefferson and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 4-0 on Sunday in Municipal Stadium.

The win improves the Spartans record to 26-15 overall, 6-6 in WAC play.  Louisiana Tech falls to 19-21 overall and 4-8 in conference action.  San Jose State takes three-of-four games in the series.

McFarland, who runs his record to 5-2, tossed his first complete game of the year and the first shutout of his Spartans career.  He scattered five hits and tied a career high with nine strike outs.  He did not allow more than one hit in any inning and just twice had runners move into scoring position.

His only real threats came in the fourth when McFarland loaded the bases with two outs, but got a fly out to end the threat.  In the seventh, Louisiana Tech had runners on first and second with two outs and McFarland induced a groundout to end the inning.

Read full story on www.sjsuspartans.com.

Two white men wearing suites, on left is Tim La Kose. Tim is holding up a SJSU basketball Jersey with the number 12 on it. They are standing infront of a yellow background with SJSU spartan logos.

Tim La Kose New Women’s Basketball Head Coach

Two white men wearing suites, on left is Tim La Kose. Tim is holding up a SJSU basketball Jersey with the number 12 on it. They are standing infront of a yellow background with SJSU spartan logos.

New head coach Tim La Kose (right) is ready for the 2011-12 season to get underway.

Tim La Kose, a major college head coach with more than 300 wins, is the new San Jose State University women’s basketball head coach. Tom Bowen, the university’s director of athletics, made the announcement.

La Kose and San Jose State agreed to a five-year contract.

He comes to the Spartans after coaching the last 10 seasons at Cal State Bakersfield. His teams won 20 or more games in a season seven times, competed in six NCAA Division II Championship tournaments and two NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Invitationals (WBI).

In his 18 seasons coaching women’s basketball, he has a 347-152 win-loss record.

His first head coaching position was at California Lutheran University. In eight seasons (1994-2001), Cal Lutheran posted a 136-67 win-loss record, won five conference championships and participated in four NCAA Division III Championship tournaments.

La Kose is a 1991 Cal State Northridge graduate. He replaces Pam DeCosta who compiled a 13-116 win-loss record in four seasons at San Jose State.

San Jose State will introduce La Kose at an April 20, 11:00 a.m. news conference in the Simpkins Stadium Center Gold Room (1370 S. 7th Street, San Jose, CA 95112). Parking is available in Lot 1 across the street. Story on www.sjsuspartans.com.

Allie Steward with arm raised yellow ball in hand ready to throw in the pool, wearing blue.

20-Win Season For Water Polo

Allie Steward with arm raised yellow ball in hand ready to throw in the pool, wearing blue.

Allie Stewart reached the 40-goal mark in a season for the first time as a Spartan. (Photo by Terrell Lloyd)

On a record-setting day for San Jose State University, the Spartans completed a four-match sweep with a pair of resounding victories on the final day of the Bronco Invitational women’s water polo tournament.

The Spartans (20-9), ranked seventh nationally, defeated host Santa Clara, 13-3, and Sonoma State, 14-2.

“The players really did a great job on defense. (Giving up) Fifteen goals in four games – that’s excellent. That’s really what we want to emphasize and what we’re trying to produce here – a team that does not allow a lot of goals. We did a real nice job of that this weekend,” said San Jose State head coach Lou Tully. “I’m more excited about that than I am about the goal differential. The wins are important, but the highlight is controlling the game and making sure the defense plays well.”

“We really followed through on our defensive plan. We set out to hold our opponent to a low number and did that pretty well,” co-captain Allie Stewart said.

Read full story on www.sjsuspartans.com.

Oliver, number two in grey, with arms raised and ball in hand just about to shoot.

Oliver’s 9-1 Shares Top Honors At PIT

Oliver, number two in grey, with arms raised and ball in hand just about to shoot.

Adrian Oliver made 45.0percent of his field goal tries at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. (Photo by Terrell Lloyd)

San Jose State University men’s basketball guard Adrian Oliver was one of two players in the 64-player Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT) with an individual best 9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio as K&D Landscaping won the 2011 event.

Picking up its third win in three nights, K&D Rounds Landscaping topped the Cherry, Baekert & Holland team, 110-93. K&D’s point total was the most in the 12-game PIT format.

For the week, Oliver averaged 6.7 points and 3.0 assists per game and made 45.0 percent of his field goal attempts. His nine assists tied for second on the team with 6-foot-4 Blake Hoffarber from the University of Minnesota.

Katie Valleau, female gymnist, on the floor mats during routine. Finishes off routine with hands in the air.

Valleau To Compete On Floor At National Championships

Katie Valleau, female gymnist, on the floor mats during routine. Finishes off routine with hands in the air.

Katie Valleau is the first Spartan to win a regional floor title in school history. Courtesy: San Jose State Athletics

After tying for first on the floor Saturday night, San Jose State women’s gymnast Katie Valleau secured herself a spot at the 2011 National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships, April 15-17, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Valleau saved her best performance of the year for the NCAA Corvallis Regional this past Saturday night where she scored a career-best 9.900 to tie three other gymnasts for first place.  With her win, she advanced to the championships to represent not only the Covallis region, San Jose State and San Diego, her hometown.  Of the approximately 196 student-athletes who will be participating at the championships, Valleau is the only athlete from the San Diego area to compete.

Read full story on www.sjsuspartans.com.

Football player on right side wearing white grabing football player on left side wearing red who was the ball

100-Plus Out For Spring Football

Football player on right side wearing white grabing football player on left side wearing red who was the ball

San Jose State Athletics Linebacker Keith Smith (31) was credited with 116 tackles in 2010. Vince Buhagiar (36) was next with 89 stops. (Photo by Terrell Lloyd)

For the first time in recent memory, more than 100 prospects are ready for the start of San Jose State University’s annual spring football practice. The Spartans’ first of 15 practice sessions over a four-week span begin, Tuesday, April 5, 8:45 a.m., on the team’s practice field adjacent to Spartan Stadium.

The Spartans’ practice schedule is Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, weather permitting. Tuesday and Thursday practices start at 8:45 a.m. and Friday sessions begin at 9:45 a.m. Scrimmages are set for Saturday, April 16, and April 23, in Spartan Stadium at 10:45 a.m.

San Jose State’s annual Spring Game, is Saturday, April 30, 1:00 p.m. in Spartan Stadium.

Read full story on www.sjsuspartans.com.

Jason Martin right after hitting the ball. He is wearing grey pants and a blue shirt.

Martin Sets Hits Record In Win At UCSB

Jason Martin right after hitting the ball. He is wearing grey pants and a blue shirt.

Jason Martin has set the career hits record with 249 and counting after a 7-3 win at UCSB. Courtesy: San Jose State Athletics

A two-RBI single by Jason Martin capped a four-run first inning and established him as the San Jose State career hits leader in a 7-3 Spartans win over the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos on Saturday afternoon in Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

With the win the Spartans assure themselves of their third straight road-series win in as many tries.  Their overall record is now 19-7 while UCSB is now 11-11.

Martin, who came into the game tied with Kevin Frandsen at 246 career hits, went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run.  In the first two games of this series he is 6-for-10 with three runs and three RBI.

“I’ve been working on getting more comfortable at the plate,” Martin said.  “I’m taking my time, trying to see more pitches and remain really confident.  It has been working the past few games and regardless of what happens in any individual at-bat, I am staying with the approach and it is working for me.”

Read full story on www.sjsuspartans.com.