UC Davis resumes Big West play hosting Hawai'i

April 4, 2018

GAME 24-26: Hawai'i (16-10, 2-1 BW) at UC Davis (8-15, 1-2 BW)
Fri., Apr. 6-Sun. Apr. 8, 2018
2:30 p.m. - 1 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Phil Swimley Field at Dobbins Stadium
Davis, Calif.
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Online Stream*

*will be made available to Aggie fans on game day

Complete Game Notes

DAVIS, Calif. -- UC Davis is slated to host Big West Conference rival, Hawai'i, for a three game series this weekend, beginning on Friday (Apr. 6) at 2:30 p.m., continuing on Saturday (Apr. 7) at 1 p.m. with the finale to follow on Sunday (Apr. 8) at 1 p.m. The Aggies look to continue their two-game streak after taking a 10-5 victory in the series finale at UC Riverside last weekend, followed by a 7-3 victory over San Jose State on Tuesday. Aggie fans can stay updated with the latest stats during this weekend's series via Live Stats and Big West TV, with links for both available on the schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com.

Neither UC Davis, nor Hawai'i are ranked among the top 25 squads this week.  

Coming off a mid-week loss on Monday, falling 10-1 to Pacific, Hawai'i will look to claim its second Big West series win of the season after taking two of three against the Anteaters last weekend, recording the program's first win on the road at UC Irvine... Hawai'i jumpstarted the 2018 season with a three-game sweep against Air Force before splitting back-to-back matchups against BYU and Loyola Marymount... The `Bows suffered their first series loss of the season on the road at LSU... Hawai'i is 0-2 in extra inning battles after dropping one-run scores to BYU (10 innings) and Seton Hall (11 innings)... Starting in all 26 games this season, sophomore Adam Fogel paces the Rainbow Warriors with a .347 average at the plate, logging 17 extra-base hits of 34 total on the season so far... Right-handers Jackson Rees (2-0, 2.55 ERA) and Neil Uskali (5-1, 3.29) account for over 33 percent of the `Bows innings this season combined... Rees has recorded six starts in as many appearances and leads the pitching staff with 29 strikeouts in 35.1 innings... In his seven appearances and 41 innings of work, Uksali has allowed 15 earned runs on 39 hits, walking 11 and striking out 27... Sophomore Dylan Thomas has recorded seven saves for Hawaii so far, allowing just three runs with no walks and striking out 19 across 15.2 innings on the mound. 

The `Bows lead the all-time series record against the Aggies, 14-7, after meeting for the first time back in 2005... After enduring a series sweep in 2016, UC Davis took two of three in Honolulu in last season, posting an 11-4 victory in the opener and a 9-3 win in game two to clinch the series... The Aggies enter the weekend with a 3-4 record at home against the Rainbow Warriors. 

After dropping two of three to UC Riverside in its Big West opener, UC Davis currently holds an 86-160 (.349) record in Big West Conference play since joining the league in 2008, finishing as high as fifth in the standings in 2012 and again in 2017, and posting a program-best 13 conference victories during its inaugural Big West season in 2008... The ten conference wins last season are the most for the Aggies since the 2012 squad finished 12-12 in league play. 

The Anteaters, Mustangs, and Titans share a 1-2 conference mark along with the Aggies, while CSUN, UC Santa Barbara, Hawai'i, and UC Riverside all hold a 2-1 record. With the exception of Long Beach State, who is set to open league play this week, there were no sweeps recorded in the opening week of Big West play--a testament to the degree of competitiveness among the conference's nine squads. 



Recycled Notes

Aggie fans can stay updated with the latest UC Davis athletics news by "liking" us on Facebook (Facebook.com/UCDavisAggies) and following us on Twitter (@UCDavisAggies). Fans can also keep up with the action with the baseball program by "liking" them on Facebook (search for UC Davis Baseball) and following them on Twitter (@UCDavisBaseball).

After hitting a team-high .833 at the plate in the Aggies' road series victory over CSU Bakersfield, UC Davis senior shortstop Brad Pluschkell was named Big West Conference Field Player of the Week, as announced by the league on Monday (2/19). The conference nod marks the first player of the week award for the Aggies this season and first in Pluschkell's career. The Pleasanton, Calif. native began his 2018 campaign 4-for-4 with two runs scored in the Aggies' 8-1 road victory over CSU Bakersfield, followed by a second 4-for-4 effort in game two as Pluschkell scored one to help the Aggies to a 15-1 win, then wrapped up the series finale 2-for-4 with an on-base percentage of .846 and .917 slugging percentage. In addition to a nod from the conference, Pluschkell was also named Madness Big West Baseball Player of the Week by College Sports Madness. 

Freshman right-hander Jared Sasaki made his official debut on the mound in the ninth inning of the Aggies' season-opener against CSU Bakersfield (Feb.16), providing UC Davis with one inning of hitless, scoreless relief to help the Aggies to an 8-1 victory to jumpstart the 2018 season. Also making his collegiate debut as an Aggie was redshirt freshman Spencer Gedestad, who was 2-for-4 in the season opener. Freshman right-hander Brett Erwin made his first appearance in the Aggies' 15-1 victory over Bakersfield after allowing no runs on three hits across three innings of work, while freshman Tanner Murray earned his first career hit during the Aggies' doubleheader against No. 21 St. John's before his 10-game hitting streak came to an unfortunate end during the Aggies' first conference series of the season at UC Riverside. In the finale against the Roadrunners, freshman Joseph Myers earned his first career start at third base, while right-handed freshman Ryan Rodriguez pitched the final two innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two in the process. Junior transfers Alex Trautner (Cabrillo College) and Joseph Torres (Glendale Community College) both appeared on the mound in the Aggies' home opener against No. 13 Stanford earlier in the week on Feb. 19. Fellow junior transfer Dylan Spezia (Sierra College) made his debut on the mound during game two of the Aggies' series against Creighton.

UC Davis looks to rebound off a 2017 season that saw the Aggies finish 21-30 overall and 10-14 in Big West play in 2017. Returning 18 letter winners and five starters in the field from last season's squad, while welcoming nine newcomers and four junior college transfers, the Aggies skew young for the 2018 season. UC Davis brings back two of its top hitters from last year, including All-Big West second team selection Ryan Hooper. The senior outfielder finished second on the team with a .310 average to go along with 30 runs scored, six home runs, and 29 RBI. He stood second only to junior teammate Ryan Anderson, who led the Aggies with a .313 average in 51 games, collecting 14 doubles, six home runs and a team-high 39 RBI, collecting hits in 19 consecutive games at one point to tie the school's Division I record. Fellow returning senior Alex Aguiar started 46 of 50 games last season, posting 14 doubles, scoring 26 runs, and driving in 17. On the mound, UC Davis will look to rebuild its weekend rotation after left-handers Robert Garcia (15th round, Kansas City) and Orlando Razo (16th round, Seattle) were taken in last year's Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, and right-hander Justin Mullins (4-3, 3.55 ERA) was lost to graduation. Senior right-hander Matt Blais paces the pitching staff this season after finishing 1-3 with a 3.86 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 58.1 innings of work in 2017. 

UC Davis is set to play 13 of its games against five teams that advanced to last season's NCAA Tournament, including Big West rival, Cal State Fullerton, who also participated in the College World Series. The Titans went 3-0 to sweep the Stanford Regional as the second seed, then went 2-1 against archrival Long Beach State in the super regional. In the College World Series, Fullerton was edged, 6-5, by the No. 1 seed Oregon State, then lost, 6-4, to Florida State in the elimination game.  

Among the other post-season qualifiers, the Aggies will play three at home against St. John's (No. 3 seed in the Clemson Regional) on Mar. 2-4 as well as a home-and-home with Causeway rival Sacramento State (No. 4 seed in the Stanford Regional) first at home on April 17, then on the road on May 8, and a home-and-home with Stanford (No. 1 seed in the Stanford Regional) as the Aggies open play at Phil Swimley Field on Feb. 19 then at Klein Field on April 10. Sandwiched in-between games against the Hornets, UC Davis will travel to face conference foe Long Beach State (No. 1 seed in the Long Beach Regional) on April 27-29, then turnaround to face Fullerton (No. 2 seed in the Stanford Regional) on May 4-6 at Phil Swimley Field at Dobbins Stadium. 

According to a vote of the league's coaches, Cal State Fullerton, who finished third in the conference, is picked to stand atop the 2018 league standings after picking up six first-place votes en route to a total of 73 points. Long Beach State earned the second slot with 65 points and two first-place votes, while Cal Poly was selected third with 64 points. UC Santa Barbara was selected fourth (49), followed by CSUN in fifth (48), UC Irvine received the final first-place vote and 43 points, followed by Hawai'i in seventh (27), UC Riverside (26), and UC Davis (10).

UC Davis baseball head coach Matt Vaughn announced the signing of five high schoolers along with three junior college transfers to National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at UC Davis beginning in the 2019 season. The all-California group includes local talents Jake Jordan (Elk Grove, Calif./Elk Grove HS), Cooper Morrison (El Cerrito, Calif./Albany HS), and Nathan Peng (Saratoga, Calif./Saratoga HS), in addition to Southern California standout Cade Wesolowsky (San Diego, Calif./La Jolla Country Day School) and Bakersfield, Calif. native, Jalen Smith (Stockdale HS). Cooper Morrison (El Cerrito, Calif./Albany HS) is entering his second year at Reedley College, while Justin Smith (Roseville, Calif./Woodcreek HS) is beginning his second year at Yuba College, and Wyatt Tucker (Blue Lake, Calif./Acata HS) will enter his second season at the College of San Mateo.

Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and animal science programs.

Season tickets for UC Davis softball and baseball are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at UCDavisAggies.com.

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