Baseball Opens Big West Play at No. 21 Cal Poly

RHP Spencer Koopmans will start for the Aggies at 6 p.m. on Friday at Cal Poly.
 
RHP Spencer Koopmans will start for the Aggies at 6 p.m. on Friday at Cal Poly.
 

March 27, 2013

UC DAVIS GAME NOTES (PDF)

DAVIS, Calif. - After a pair of midweek wins, the UC Davis baseball team will open up Big West Conference play on the road this week with a three-game series at No. 21 ranked Cal Poly.

The Aggies (10-12) and the Mustangs (17-6) will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday, 6 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.

UC Davis head coach Matt Vaughn will send junior RHP Harry Stanwyck (3-2, 5.28 ERA) to the mound on Thursday night and sophomore RHP Spencer Koopmans (0-3, 6.31) will start on Friday night. Junior RHP Evan Wolf (1-0, 2.59) will pitch the series finale on Saturday. 

• MULTIMEDIA

Live stats, a video stream and an online radio broadcast are available at www.gopoly.com.

• UC DAVIS BREAKDOWN

Team BA: .292 Team ERA: 5.20 Errors: 39

All-Time Series: The Aggies are 4-11 against Cal Poly in the Div. I era (2008+), and 0-6 in San Luis Obispo.

Recently: The Aggies are on a two-game winning streak entering the weekend. Both UC Davis and Cal Poly have identical .292 team batting averages, which ranks them second in the Big West. The Aggies have just three home runs, but rank No. 2 in the league with 38 doubles.

• CAL POLY BREAKDOWN

Team BA: .292 Team ERA: 2.99 Errors: 24

Friday SP: RHP Joey Wagman (5-1, 2.70)

Saturday SP: RHP Matt Imhof (2-0, 1.41)

Sunday SP: Bryan Granger (4-2, 4.02)

Recently: The No. 21 ranked Mustangs have the Big West's most explosive offense (19 home runs). Starter Matt Imhof is third in the league with a 1.41 ERA while starter Joey Wagman leads the Big West with 53 strikeouts in 40 IPs.

• THE LAST SEVEN DAYS

With finals for winter quarter last week, the Aggies did not play a game for seven days before winning, 9-2, at San Jose State on Monday night and walking off, 2-1, over Stanford at home on Tuesday afternoon. 

• WALKOFF WINNER

In UC Davis' 2-1 walkoff win over Stanford on Tuesday at Dobbins Stadium, the Aggies scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to rally past the Cardinal. UC Davis had just two hits in the game entering the ninth inning, but John Williams led off with a full-count triple to right. After two outs, Williams scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch to Paul Politi. Politi eventually singled and moved to second on a stolen base. After Steven Patterson walked, Nick Lynch turned on the first pitch he saw from a new pitcher and drop a single over a leaping second baseman for the walkoff win. 

• AROUND THE BIG WEST

Big West teams kick off conference play this weekend. While the Aggies will visit Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge heads to Long Beach State, Pacific will be at Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine trips to UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara makes the long trek to Hawai'i.

• LAST YEAR VS. CAL POLY

Last year UC Davis won 2-of-3 games at home against Cal Poly from May 4-6, its first series win over the Mustangs since joining the Big West in 2008. The Aggies walked off in the first game, 5-4, in 11 innings, lost the second game, 12-7, but responded with a 5-4 win in the finale.  Then-freshman Craig Lanza earned the win in the final game after tossing 4.2 scoreless innings of relief with just three hits allowed, no walks and six strikeouts. Nick Lynch led the Aggies with two RBIs and a home run in the series clinching victory. In the 5-4 opening game win, Harry Stanwyck claimed the win after allowing two runs on four hits in four innings of relief, including the 10th and 11th innings. Paul Politi, who hit .500 in the series, smacked a walkoff single to right with two outs in the 11th to win the first game. Cal Poly's Tim Wise hit .467 in the series with three doubles and a home run while Jimmy Allen had four RBIs. Chase Johnson earned the lone win for Cal Poly after giving up one run on three hits in 4.2 innings of relief.

• LYNCH AND POLITI BACK AT IT

Both Nick Lynch and Paul Politi were second team all-Big West selections last season and the duo is playing at a high level once again this season. Lynch ranks No. 3 in the Big West with a team-high .365 batting average while Politi is slugging a team-best .473 and ranks No. 2 in the league with 20 runs scored. He also leads the Aggies with 17 RBIs and seven doubles.

• WOLF THE SUNDAY STOPPER

Sunday starting pitcher Evan Wolf has been a bit of a slump stopper for the Aggies this season. Wolf has a .233 opponent batting average and is 1-0 in six starts, but the Aggies are 5-1 in games he has started. The only loss came last Sunday at Seattle U, 3-2, but Wolf left after six innings with the score tied at 2-2. Wolf leads all UC Davis starting pitchers with a 2.59 ERA and is first on the team with 31.1 innings pitched. He has just six strikeouts on the season, but has issued only seven walks.

• SWINGING THE STICKS

UC Davis is tied with Cal Poly for the second best team batting average in the Big West, checking in at .292. Only UC Irvine, at .298, is better than either the Aggies or Mustangs. UC Davis is also second in the league in doubles, with 38, behind Cal Poly's 45 doubles. The Aggies have scored 129 runs this season, also the second most in the Big West. Despite the big offensive numbers, UC Davis is the most patient team in the Big West, with a league-low 99 strikeouts. Cal State Fullerton has struck out a league-high 164 times.

• THE 10-HIT MARK

UC Davis has eclipsed the 10-hit mark in 12 games this season. The Aggies started out hot, posting 10+ hits in seven of their first nine games but went cold in the next five games. Lately the bats have come back around, as UC Davis has recorded 10+ hits in five of the last eight games, including 17 in a midweek game against Nevada on March 12. The Aggies' season-high is 23 hits in a 22-4 victory over visiting San Jose State on Feb. 20. UC Davis had 11 more hits in Monday's 9-2 road win against the Spartans.

• PITCHING SHOWS PROMISE

After playing a tough non-conference schedule with 12 of its first 22 games against schools from either the Pac-12 or the Big 12, UC Davis has the worst team ERA in the Big West at 5.20. But the Aggies' pitching staff has shown improvement lately. Over the last six games, UC Davis has a team ERA of 3.81, which would be the fourth best mark in the league over the course of the year. Opponents have hit just .240 against the Aggies during that stretch, in which UC Davis posted a 3-3 record. The highlight victory was a 2-1 walkoff win over Stanford on Tuesday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium, in which the Cardinal collected only four hits and just one after the second inning.

• FIVE FRESHMEN ARMS

UC Davis has used five freshmen pitchers out of the bullpen this season. True freshmen Spencer Henderson, Jordan Lazor, Dan Gallagher and Zach Williams plus redshirt freshman Max Cordy have all seen action. Cordy has a 3.46 ERA in a team-high 11 appearances with three saves as the Aggies' primary closer. Opponents are hitting just .143 against the 6-foot-4 genetics major from Sacramento, Calif. Williams is tied with sophomore Craig Lanza for second on the staff with nine appearances. Jordan Lazor made his collegiate debut on Monday at San Jose State, allowing one run on two hits in two innings of relief. Combined, the five freshmen have made 28 appearances. 

• BARKER'S GOING STREAKING

Center fielder Kevin Barker has a six-game hitting streak heading into this weekend's series at Cal Poly, the longest active streak on the team. Barker is hitting .435 in 23 at-bats over that six-game stretch, with two RBIs, six runs, two doubles and one triple. 

• WILLIAMS LOVES THE SPARTANS

Based on his numbers in two games against San Jose State, John Williams loves to play against the Spartans. The right fielder, who is the 21st most difficult batter in the nation to strike out (once every 20 at-bats), is 6-for-11 with two doubles, two triples, four runs and seven RBIs. He has a team-high 1.091 slugging percentage when playing San Jose State.