Feb. 27, 2014
THIS WEEK IN AGGIES BASEBALL...
UC Davis (4-4) at Washington (3-4-1)
Tacoma, Wash. | Cheney Stadium
Friday, Feb. 28, 5 p.m. - Live Audio/Video | Live Stats
Saturday, March 1, 1 p.m. - Live Audio/Video | Live Stats
Saturday, March 1, 6 p.m. - Live Audio/Video | Live Stats
Sunday, March 2, 1 p.m. - Live Audio/Video | Live Stats
UC Davis: RHP Harry Stanwyck (0-2, 6.23 ERA)
Washington: RHP Jared Fisher (0-1, 8.18 ERA)
Saturday (Game 1)
UC Davis: RHP Spencer Koopmans (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
Washington: RHP Jeff Brigham (2-0, 1.50 ERA)
Saturday (Game 2)
UC Davis: RHP Evan Wolf (0-0, 5.11 ERA)
Washington: RHP Tyler Davis (1-1, 2.89 ERA)
UC Davis: RHP Max Cordy (1-0, 4.82 ERA)
FIRST PITCH: Coming off a successful tournament weekend in Moraga, Calif., at the Gael Invitational, the UC Davis baseball team (4-4 overall) heads to the Pacific Northwest this weekend for a four-game set against the University of Washington. The series will be played in Tacoma at Cheney Stadium -- home of the AAA Tacoma Rainiers -- beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m., and a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. to follow.
IN THE POLLS: Neither UC Davis, nor Washington, are ranked among the nation’s top 25 entering this weekend’s games.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties, live statistics will also be available for all games this weekend from Tacoma. Live free audio and video via the Pac-12 website (pac-12.com/videos/university-washington) will also be available. Links will be available on the baseball schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON: The Huskies enter the week with a 3-4-1 overall record after a 1-2 showing at the Big Ten-Pac 12 Challenge and a 3-2 non-conference loss to Oregon State in Surprise, Ariz... the tie came on Feb. 16 against Michigan at the Texas State Invitational after eight innings with a travel curfew in effect... the series will mark the home opener for Washington, albeit in Tacoma, as Husky Stadium undergoes renovations and is scheduled to open on March 21 against Arizona... junior infielder Trevor Mitsui leads a group of four regulars batting better than .300 on the season, coming in hitting at a .357 clip with three runs scored, a pair of doubles, a home run, and six RBI... Alex Schmidt and Robert Pehl have hit a pair of home runs each, accounting for two-thirds of the team’s home run total... junior right-hander Jeff Brigham is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA thus far this season, holding opponents to a .139 average.
SERIES NOTES: In the Division I era, UC Davis leads the all-time series with Washington, 3-1, taking three of four from the Huskies in last year’s season-opening series at Dobbins Stadium... the Aggies won the first two games of the series by the scores of 8-4 and 6-5 before clinching the series with a 7-5 win in the series finale on Sunday.
AGAINST THE EVERGREEN STATE: Since turning Division I in 2007-08, the Aggies are 10-9 against teams from the State of Washington, including a 3-4 mark on the road. In UC Davis’ last trip to the state, the Aggies lost two-of-three to Seattle University on Feb. 15-17, 2013, with both defeats coming by a single run.
LYNCH SLUGS HIS WAY TO WEEKLY BIG WEST HONORS: UC Davis junior infielder Nick Lynch broke out of a slump in the big way, slugging four home runs and powering the Aggies to a 3-1 record en route to Big West Conference Player of the Week honors the league office announced on Feb. 24.
It is the first career honor for Lynch, and the first for an Aggie since teammate Steven Patterson earned player of the week laurels on April 22 of last season. Cal Poly’s Slater Lee was named the conference’s Pitcher of the Week.
A two-time All-Big West Conference honoree, Lynch was the “lynch”-pin of the UC Davis offense after a hitless start to the season, batting .474 (9-for-19) and slugging 1.105 to help the Aggies to tie for the Gael Invitational’s best record, driving home seven runs and scoring six of his own.
The junior unloaded home runs in each of the Aggies’ first three tournament games, including a two-home run game against preseason No. 18 Kansas State on Saturday in a 10-5 win over the Wildcats. He opened the weekend with a solo shot in the opener against host Saint Mary’s, finishing 2-for-4, before following that up with a 2-for-5 outing in an 8-7 win over Portland on Friday, driving home the game-winning run with a first-inning RBI single and adding a two-run home run in the third.
Both of his hits on Saturday left the yard against Kansas State and he wrapped up the tournament with a rather “mundane” 3-for-5 day, as the Pilots were able to keep him in the yard to the tune of three singles, two runs scored, and an RBI, in an 11-2 rout of Portland.
WE’RE GOING STREAKING!: UC Davis’ three-game winning streak is its longest since the Aggies won four-straight games from April 16-21 following a mid-week win at Nevada and a three-game sweep of UC Riverside at home. Wins in the first two games of the series against Washington this weekend would give UC Davis its longest run of wins since 2011 when the Aggies swept Cal State Northridge, defeated San Jose State, and took the first two games of a series with Pacific, from April 29-May 7.
AND THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING: After collecting just 29 hits (five for extra bases) in their four-game season-opening series against Seattle, the Aggies’ offense swung a hot bat in Moraga last weekend, exploding for 48 hits at the Gael Invitational -- including 14 for extra bases. UC Davis averaged 7.5 runs and 12 hits per game over the weekend, including season bests of 11 runs and 17 hits in the tournament finale against Portland on Sunday, raising its team average from .230 heading into the tournament to .286 heading into this weekend’s series at Washington -- good for fourth in the league.
“BIG HIT! HAPPY BODY!”: UC Davis’ six home runs this season are already almost halfway to the team’s entire total from the 2013 season when the Aggies slugged a combined 13 home runs. Nick Lynch’s four home runs this season are just one shy of last year’s leader, Paul Politi, who had five round-trippers in 56 games. A sixth home run this year for Lynch would give him the most by a UC Davis slugger since Kyle Mihaylo hit seven for the Aggies in 2010.
DRIVING THEM BATTY: Senior outfielder Seth Batty has done just that over the first two weekends of the regular season, batting a robust .348 with six runs scored and three RBI. The Fresno, Calif., native has been on base in all eight games to start the season -- six of those via hits -- and leads the team with eight walks on the year -- including one in each of the Aggies’ last five games -- by a wide margin (Kevin Barker and Steven Patterson have each walked three times), sharing the Big West Conference lead with Cal Poly’s Brian Mundell entering the week.
NO STANDING “PAT”-TERSON: Unless he’s standing on base... which has happened a lot during his UC Davis career. Senior infielder Steven Patterson saw his streak of reaching base safely end at 31 consecutive contests after being held off the basepaths in last week’s tournament opener against Saint Mary’s. The Stockton, Calif., native, however, took it out on the Aggies’ next three opponents, finishing 5-for-12 (.417) at the plate with a pair of walks and a hit by pitch to raise his batting average 100 points to .267 on the year. In 2013, Patterson 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 Big West overall.
HIP, HIP, HOO-RAZO: Freshman left-hander Orlando Razo earned his first collegiate win in relief against one of the nation’s top clubs, scattering just three hits and striking out a pair in 3 2/3 innings against preseason No. 18-ranked Kansas State in a 10-5 UC Davis win. It was only the second career appearance for the San Mateo, Calif., native, who allowed just one hit in two innings of relief in his collegiate debut against Seattle on Feb. 16. Razo has held opponents to just a .222 average out of the bullpen in 5 2/3 innings and is the only Aggies pitcher this season to have not allowed a run (yes, we know we just jinxed that).
LAYING DOWN THE LANZA: Junior right-hander Craig Lanza has been the go-to guy in the closer role thus far this season, shutting down Portland with the tying run on base in game two of the Gael Invitational to log his second save of the year. In the only batter he faced, Lanza threw only seven pitches to the Pilots’ Caleb Whalen before getting him to pop up to end the game. Lanza has two of the Aggies’ three saves on the year after freshman righty Zach Stone nailed down his first career save by styming Portland for 3 2/3 innings in the tournament finale, allowing just two hits and striking out four.
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, hitting .471 (8-for-17) through the first two weeks, includig a 3-for-4 day against Portland on Feb. 21. He has tallied multiple hits in three games this season (tied for second on the team) and his four-game hitting streak from Feb. 15-21 is tied for the longest on the squad.
SIX PACK: Junior outfielder Kevin Barker is one of four Aggies (Seth Batty, Austin March, and Steven Patterson, being the others) to have at least one hit in six of the team’s eight games this season, but is the only one of the quartet to have four multi-hit games to share the team lead in that category with teammate Nick Lynch. Barker, who opened the season with two hits in each of the first two games of the series against Seattle, closed out last weekend’s tournament with five hits in his final eight at-bats (.625), including a 3-for-5, three RBI, game against Portland on Feb. 23, and leads the team with 11 hits overall thus far.
CAM THE MAN: Sophomore Cameron Olson has started only four games this season (splitting time at designated hitter and first base), but has made a tremendous mark at the plate while in the lineup. Olson has hits in all four games, batting .438 with seven runs scored (including a pair in three different games) and four RBI, including his first home run of the season as part of a 3-for-5 day against Kansas State on Feb. 22. Olson ranks third overall on the team in hitting and on base percentage (.526) while pacing the team in runs scored.
THAT’S GONNA LEAVE A MARK: The Aggies, who ranked second in the league with 86 hit by pitches a season ago (including a league-high 21 by Nick Lynch), are at it again, standing in a three-way tie for second (along with UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge) in the Big West Conference with 10 through eight games entering this week’s action. Half of that total came in UC Davis’ tournament finale against Portland as four different Aggies were hit a season-high five times in their 11-2 win over the Pilots. In all, six different UC Davis players have been hit by a pitch, four of them multiple times.
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 against Seattle, 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.