Aggies look for sweep of Causeway rival on the road

April 10, 2017

ON DECK…
GAME 26: UC Davis (9-16) at Sacramento State (15-16)
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
6:00 p.m.
John Smith Field
Sacramento, Calif.
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Live Audio | Tickets

ON THE MOUND…
Probable starters for this week's game
Tuesday: RHP Matt Blais (0-1, 4.50 ERA) at RHP Austin Root (0-0, 3.27 ERA)

FIRST PITCH: The UC Davis baseball team looks to finish off a regular season sweep of its Casueway rival for the second consecutive season as the Aggies (9-16 overall) make the short 20 mile jaunt to Sacramento State to take on the Hornets on Tuesday (April 11) under the lights at 6 p.m. at John Smith Field.

IN THE POLLS: Neither UC Davis, nor Sacramento State, are ranked among the top 25 entering this week's game.

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AGGIES INVADE RALEY FIELD: Tickets are still available for this week's Big West Conference series between UC Davis and Cal Poly, with game two of the series held at Raley Field -- home of the Triple-A San Francisco Giants' affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats -- on Friday night (April 14) at 6 p.m. Single-game tickets for the Raley Field game are available for $13 for adults and $5 for students, while a special three-game pass for the series is also available for $16 for adults. For more information, please contact the UC Davis athletics ticket office at (530) 752-AGS1.

SCOUTING THE HORNETS: Sacramento State enters the week with a 15-16 overall record and a 3-6 mark in Western Athletic Conference play after dropping a second mid-week game at home against Fresno State and 2-of-3 in a conference series against Grand Canyon to open a nine-game homestand… Having lost 5-of-6 overall after winning three straight, the Hornets are 10-8 at home this season… Junior outfielder Ian Dawkins continues to lead the team offensively, batting .369 on the season with 25 runs scored, seven extra-base hits, and 21 RBI… Sophomore James Outman has driven in a team-high 26 runs to go along with seven doubles, four home runs, and a .261 average, while junior Vinny Esposito has slugged a team-high five home runs and driven in 22… Tuesday's scheduled starter is freshman right-hander Austin Root, who has yet to log a decision with posting a 3.27 ERA in 14 appearances, striking out 16 in 22 innings and holding opponents to a .275 average.

SERIES NOTES: According to yearly record that date back to 1960, Sacramento State leads the all-time series with UC Davis, 109-86-3, but the Aggies have won the last three straight meetings, sweeping a pair of mid-week games from the Hornets last season by the combined score of 15-3, and posting a walk-off 7-6 victory at Dobbins Stadium last Tuesday (April 4)… Sacramento State leads the series, 14-11, during UC Davis' Division I era… Not counting two Hornet "home games" at Raley Field in 2014 and 2015, the Aggies are 5-5 against their Causeway rivals in Sacramento, snapping a five-game skid with their 7-1 win last season on May 10, 2016… Prior to that, UC Davis' last win at John Smith Field was in 2010 by the score of 11-3.

AGGIES-HORNETS… ROUND 1: A balk with runners on the corners and two outs in the ninth inning scored Jacob Thomas with the winning run as the Aggies edged the Hornets, 7-6, in a back-and-forth affair at Dobbins Stadium. Caleb Van Blake finished 2-for-5 with a pair of runs and an RBI -- including the first home run of his career -- while junior right-hander Zach Stone earned the win in relief, allowing one hit and striking out three over the final two innings.

CONFERENCE CALL: Sacramento State is the second Western Athletic Conference opponent for UC Davis this season after the Aggies took 2-of-3 from Utah Valley at home earlier this year… UC Davis is a combined 121-137-3 (.469) overall against the current WAC baseball alignment, with a majority of those games (198) coming against the Hornets since the 1960 season… The Aggies have also faced Grand Canyon (15-9), New Mexico State (3-1), Utah Valley (7-3), CSU Bakersfield (4-8), and Seattle (6-7)… UC Davis is scheduled to face Grand Canyon in a three-game series later this season on May 19-21 at Dobbins Stadium in the final weekend series of the regular season.

CAUSEWAY CUP-DATE: Thanks to strong performances during the fall and winter seasons, UC Davis has already wrapped up the Causeway Cup for the fifth consecutive season -- and the ninth time in 13 seasons overall -- in the annual head-to-head battle between the two schools separated by just 20 miles. With five events remaining between the two programs, the Aggies lead the scoring, 57.5-5, out of a possible 80 total points heading into Tuesday's baseball game in Sacramento, with a pair of men's golf tournaments and the annual Causeway Dual on the track on April 28 in Davis, Calif., remaining on the schedule.

ALUMNI NEWS -- THREE AGGIES MAKE OPENING DAY ROSTERS: Three former UC Davis baseball standouts were among their respective team's 25-man rosters when the 2017 Major League Baseball season opened on Sunday (April 2). Veteran Major Leaguer Daniel Descalso made his debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks in thrilling fashion, tying the game with an RBI single with two outs in the ninth and, later, coming around to score the game-winning run in walk-off fashion as Arizona defeated San Francisco, 6-5.

Joe Biagini, who made his Major League debut with Toronto last season, and Ty Kelly, who also debuted with the New York Mets in 2016, also made the Opening Day rosters, with the former allowing one hit in 1.2 innings of relief against Baltimore on Monday. Kelly was designated for assignment by the Mets after one pinch-hit appearance against Atlanta and has been claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays (as of April 10).

Elsewhere, Eddie Gamboa, who was acquired by the Texas Rangers in the offseason, will start the year with the Triple-A Round Rock Express, while Max Cordy is in his second season in the Minnesota Twins organization, and will begin the year with the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels.

SHORT HOPS…
• The three-straight wins by the Aggies in the series with the Hornets is their longest winning streak since UC Davis won seven-in-a-row from March 10, 2007 - April 15, 2008…
• The Aggies rank second in the Big West with a .273 average and a .397 slugging percentage, while ranking third in home runs and tied for second in stolen bases with 28…
• UC Davis pitchers have picked off a league high 10 runners and have allowed the fewest hits (232) in the conference…
• The homer-happy Aggies have slugged nine home runs in their last eight games, giving them 19 for the season -- surpassing last years total of 16 in 53 games and the most in a single season since they had 22 during the 2012 campaign…
• The Division I era record for home runs in a season is 34 set in the program's inaugural Division I season of 2008…
• The two home runs in each of the last two games against Cal State Fullerton marked the fourth and fifth times this season that UC Davis has hit multiple home runs in a game -- something that had happened only four times in the last three years...
• Four home runs by Ryan Anderson and Cameron Olson have them ranked in a tie for 10th on the Division I era single-season list -- the most since Olson hit five last year and six off the record of 10 held by Ryan Royster in 2008...
• With hits in each of the three games at Cal State Fullerton over the weekend, senior catcher Ignacio Diaz has now reached base safely in his last 15 games -- the longest such streak by an Aggie since Tanner Bily and Cameron Olson logged streaks of 16 games last season…
• Since returning to the lineup during the series at Creighton, sophomore Caleb Van Blake has been one of the Aggies' most consistent hitters, collecting a base hit in seven of his 10 games, including a six-game hitting streak that including a career-high tying three hits in game two of the series at Cal State Fullerton…
• The 15 hits in game two against the Titans marked the 10th time in 25 games that the Aggies have reached double digits in that category and are tied for the second-highest single-game total on the year (19 at Creighton on March 26, and 15 vs. CSUN on March 31).

The Last Meeting
Sacramento State6
UC Davis7
April 4, 2017
Davis, Calif.
Aggies balk-off with a victory over the Hornets
Sacramento State right-hander Alex Dentoni balked home UC Davis senior Jacob Thomas with the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning, as the host Aggies edged the Hornets, 7-6, in a non-conference contest on Tuesday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.