Feb. 19, 2014
THIS WEEK IN AGGIES BASEBALL...
UC Davis (1-3) at Gael Invitational
Moraga, Calif. | Louis Guisto Field
Thurs., Feb. 20 at Saint Mary's, 2 p.m. - Live Stats
Fri., Feb. 21 vs. Portland, 10 a.m. - Live Stats
Sat., Feb. 22 vs. Kansas State, 10 a.m. - Live Stats
Sun., Feb. 23 vs. Portland, 2 p.m. - Audio | Live Stats
PROJECTED PITCHING MATCH-UPS...
UC Davis: RHP Harry Stanwyck (0-1, 1.69 ERA)
Saint Mary's: LHP Ryan Brockett (0-1, 2.08 ERA)
UC Davis: RHP Spencer Koopmans (0-0, 3.60 ERA)
Portland: LHP Travis Radke (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
UC Davis: RHP Evan Wolf (0-0, 3.86 ERA)
Kansas State: RHP Jordan Witcig (0-1, 10.12 ERA)
UC Davis: RHP Max Cordy (0-0, 6.75 ERA)
Portland: RHP Kurt Yinger (0-0, 6.75 ERA)
FIRST PITCH: The UC Davis baseball team embarks on a season-long 12-game road swing beginning this weekend, heading to Moraga, Calif., as one of four teams at the 2013 Gael Invitational host by Saint Mary’s at Louis Guisto Field. Along with the Aggies and host Gaels, the University of Portland and Kansas State will make the trek to California.
A complete tournament schedule for this week’s event follows... teams listed as visitor/home.
Thursday (Feb. 20)
Portland at Kansas State, 10 a.m.
UC Davis at Saint Mary's, 2 p.m.
Friday (Feb. 21)
UC Davis at Portland, 10 a.m.
Kansas State at Saint Mary's, 2 p.m.
Saturday (Feb 22)
Kansas State at UC Davis, 10 a.m.
Portland at Saint Mary's, 2 p.m.
Sunday (Feb. 23)
Kansas State at Saint Mary's, 10 a.m.
UC Davis at Portland, 2 p.m.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties, live statistics will also be available for all games this weekend from Moraga. Links will be available on the baseball schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com.
SCOUTING SAINT MARY’S: Like the Aggies, the Gaels also opened the 2014 campaign with a four-game series, dropping three-of-four to New Mexico State (a future UC Davis opponent)... sophomore infielder Anthony Villa had a bang-up debut, hitting .500 (7-for-14) with four runs scored against NMSU, a season after batting .286 with 14 doubles and 32 RBI as a freshman... junior first baseman Collin Ferguson is the leading returning hitter for the Gaels, batting .293 with four home runs 17 doubles, and 31 RBI, last season... senior left-hander Ryan Brockett (0-1, 2.08 ERA in 2014) is the leading returner on the mound after finishing 5-5 with a 3.70 ERA in 82.2 innings last season.
SCOUTING PORTLAND: The Pilots enter the weekend with a 1-2 overall record, losing two-of-three to No. 12 UCLA... Portland won the opener, 1-0, as four hurlers combined on a four-hit shutout, making a first-inning bases-loaded HBP stand... junior outfielder Turner Gill had three hits over the weekend to pace the offense... junior left-hander Travis Radke, Friday’s scheduled starter for the Pilots, allowed two hits and struck out seven over 4.2 innings in his season debut... junior right-hander Kurt Yinger, whom the Aggies are scheduled to face on Sunday, is the leading returner on the mound, posting a 4-6 record with a 4.15 ERA in 13 starts a season ago.
SCOUTING KANSAS STATE: The Wildcats, ranked as high as No. 18 in the preseason by the NCBWA, is 0-4 to start the season after being swept by Cal Poly and falling in a midweek game at San Francisco on Tuesday... Kansas State was outscored 18-3 against the Mustangs before suffering a 7-6 loss to the Dons... junior infielder Austin Fisher, who hit .361 with 38 RBI a season ago, leads the Wildcats with a .300 average (3-for-10) while senior infielder Ross Kivett has scored three runs, slugged the team’s only home run and driven in a team-high three runs thus far... sophomore right-hander Jake Matthys is the leading returner on the mound out of the bullpen, posting a 9-2 record with nine saves in 61.1 innings to go along with a 2.05 ERA.
SERIES NOTES: The Aggies are 8-4 in the Division I era against Saint Mary’s, winning the last three over the Gaels dating back to 2012... UC Davis won a pair of games more suited for football scores last season, coming out ahead, 16-15, at home on Apr. 9 and outscoring Saint Mary’s, 16-12, on May 14... the Aggies have never defeated Portland, going 0-4, with this weekend marking the first meeting between the two programs since 2009 when the Pilots swept a three-game series in Oregon... this weekend will mark the first meeting between UC Davis and Kansas State on the diamond in the history of the two programs.
DRIVING THEM BATTY: Senior outfielder Seth Batty did just that to Seattle pitching in the Aggies’ opening weekend, finishing 6-for-11 (.545) in the four-game series with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI, while walking three times and stealing a pair of bases. The Fresno, Calif., native had hits in all four games -- including a pair of two-hit contests in the middle two. Following the first weekend of play, Batty ranks among the Big West leaders in seven different categories (see page 3).
NO HITS FOR YOU!: Although the Aggies’ staff was stuck with three no-decisions on the weekend, the quartet of Harry Stanwyck, Spencer Koopmans, Evan Wolf, and Max Cordy, kept the Seattle bats quiet for the most part, holding the Redhawks to a combined .153 average (11-for-72) in the four-game series. Following the first weekend of play, UC Davis ranks third in the Big West in batting average against (.216) while Wolf (6th, .120) and Koopmans (9th, .133) rank among the top 10 in the league in that category.
YARD WORK: Junior outfielder Austin March became the first Aggie to leave the yard this season, sending on 0-1 pitch over the wall in right field to help spark a UC Davis comeback from four runs down in the series finale against Seattle. It was the first home run by an Aggie since March did it himself in the Big West series opener against UC Santa Barbara on May 23 at home.
YARD, SWEET YARD: Speaking of the long ball, 10 of the Aggies’ last 11 home runs have all come within the friendly confines of Dobbins Stadium and all but two of the team’s 13 round-trippers came at their home field.
NO STANDING “PAT”-TERSON: Unless he’s standing on base... which happened a lot last season. Senior infielder Steven Patterson extended his streak of reaching base safely to 31 consecutive contests after being hit by a pitch in the opener against Seattle and collecting single hits in the final three games of the series against the Redhawks. Last year, the Stockton, Calif., native reached safely in the final 27 games -- 23 of those via a hit -- and included hitting streaks of 10 (21-for-44, .477) and 13 games (15-for-50, .300). The performances raised his average 27 points from .297 at the start of the streak to .324 at the end of the 2013 season to rank him ninth in the league overall.
START ME UP: After making 25 appearances out of the bullpen and ranking eighth in the Big West with six saves last season, sophomore right-hander Max Cordy was solid in his first career start in Sunday’s series finale against Seattle, earning a no decision after allowing three earned on three hits and striking out five in four innings against the Redhawks. Last season, Cordy was 5-6 out of the pen for the Aggies, posting a 4.29 ERA and holding batters to a .187 average.
YOUNG AT HEART: Senior infielder Adam Young made the most of his two starts at third this past week against Seattle, providing the Aggies some pop at the bottom of the order with hits in four-straight at-bats. Young opened the Saturday doubleheader with a 3-for-4 day, scoring a run in the fifth and adding an RBI single in the decisive sixth to plate an important insurance run in the 4-3 win. He followed that performance up in game two with a single in his first and only at-bat of the day to finish the weekend batting .800
SMOOTH AS SILVA: After hitting just .220 in 24 games last year for the Aggies, junior catcher Izaak Silva has gotten his third season at UC Davis off to a stellar start, batting .444 (4-for-9) in the series with the Redhawks with a double and three RBI. The Soquel, Calif., native drove home the go-ahead run in game one of Saturday’s 4-3 win in the first game of the doubleheader and added another big hit in Sunday’s series finale, finishing 2-for-3 with a ringing single off the wall in right to score a pair and complete an Aggie comeback from down four runs to take a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning.
AGGIES AT-A-GLANCE: The Aggies are well-armed to bounce back off a 19-37 season (5-22 in the Big West Conference) in 2013, returning 24 letter winners, six position starters, and their entire starting rotation, off of last year’s squad, while welcoming 10 new faces for the 2014 campaign. The team’s top five hitters return from a season ago, led by All-Big West Second-Team honorees Tino Lipson (.339-0-18) and Steven Patterson (.324-2-33) along with honorable mention selection Nick Lynch (.359-2-28).
CATCH ‘EM WHILE YOU CAN: Following the Aggies’ four-game, season-opening series this weekend, UC Davis will head out on the road for its next 12-consecutive contests before finally returning home to take on San Jose State on March 11 to kick-off a six-game homestand. In all, only 25 of the team’s 55 games will be played within the friendly confines of the Dobbins Baseball Complex.
SUMMER LEAGUE SUCCESS: Honing their skills alongside some of the nation’s top collegians, four Aggies saw tremendous success in leagues across the nation this past summer:
• Junior infielder Tino Lipson followed up his Alaska All-Star Game MVP honor in 2012 by being named a Cape Cod League West All-Star in 2013 for the Wareham Gatemen, batting .278 in 25 games with four doubles, 11 runs scored, and five RBIs, while stealing four bases. Lipson had hit .382 in Alaska the year prior with 18 runs scores, six doubles, and 11 RBIs.
• Sophomore catcher Cameron Olson was a Far West Summer League All-Star and first-team All-Horizon Air Summer Series selection for the Humboldt Crabs, hitting .322 in 41 games with 32 runs scored, 11 doubles, eight home runs, and 47 RBIs.
• Sophomore pitcher/infielder Spencer Henderson was a Perfect Game Collegiate League Summer All-Star selection for the Elmira (N.Y.) Pioneers, helping the team to a PGCBL West Division title. Henderson was second on the team with a .329 average, slugging six doubles, and driving home 10, while also going 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA in six appearances on the mound, striking out 18 against only three walks in 26 innings.
• Junior outfielder John Williams was an Alaska Summer Baseball League All-Star, hitting .230 while scoring 13 runs and driving home 15 during the season for the Mat-Su Miners
AGGIE TRIO EARNS PRESEASON LAURELS: Lipson preseason All-Big West first-team infielder, Lynch & Patterson second team infield according to College Sports Madness. A complete Big West list is available here: http://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/8373.
PRESEASON EXPECTATIONS: UC Davis was picked to finish ninth in the Big West Conference according to a vote of the league’s coaches released on Jan. 30 by the conference office. Defending conference champion, and NCAA Super Regional participant, Cal State Fullerton was picked to win its fifth-straight title, collecting eight of the nine first-place votes and 73 points overall. Cal Poly (68 points), UC Santa Barbara (60), UC Irvine (55 points, 1 first-place vote), Long Beach State (49), Hawaii (33), UC Riverside (27), and Cal State Northridge (25), round out the poll.