April 18, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis baseball team will play host to UC Riverside on Picnic Day weekend, with a three-game Big West Conference series starting on Friday afternoon.
The Aggies (12-22, 0-9 Big West) will meet the second-place Highlanders (17-15, 6-3) at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Saturday's game is free for all fans as part of the campus' Picnic Day festivities.
UC DAVIS BREAKDOWN
Record: 12-22, 0-9 Big West (10th)
Team BA: .281 Team ERA: 5.36 Errors: 62
All-Time Series: The Aggies are 6-9 vs. UC Riverside in the Div. I era (2008+) and 3-3 at Dobbins Stadium.
Recently: The Aggies rallied from a four-run deficit to win, 10-7, at Nevada on Tuesday. UC Davis is 4-1 in its last five midweek games but has been swept in three straight Big West weekend series. Second baseman Steven Patterson is hitting a team-high .371 in nine conference games.
UC RIVERSIDE BREAKDOWN
Record: 17-15, 6-3 Big West (T-2nd)
Team BA: .291 Team ERA: 4.83 Errors: 63
Friday SP: LHP Dylan Stuart (3-3, 4.01)
Saturday SP: LHP Ben Doucette (2-2, 4.75)
Sunday SP: TBA
Recently: The Highlanders saw their 11-game home winning streak snapped when they lost, 24-11, on Tuesday afternoon to UNLV. UC Riverside is 11-1 at home this year but 5-11 on the road. Joe Chavez leads the Big West in stolen bases with 13.
THE LAST SEVEN DAYS
UC Davis was swept on the road at Long Beach State before staging a four-run rally to win 10-7 at Nevada on Tuesday. Against the Wolf Pack, the Aggies were down, 7-3, before a big six-run sixth inning put them in front for good.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
Big West teams are in the fourth week of conference action. This weekend, in addition to UC Riverside traveling to Davis, UC Santa Barbara plays host to Long Beach State, Cal Poly welcomes Cal State Fullerton, Pacific gets a visit from UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge makes the long trip to Hawai’i.
A TOUGH ROAD TO TRAVEL
UC Davis has faced the toughest league schedule in the Big West thus far in the season, and it doesn’t get any easier this weekend. Through the first three weekends of Big West play, the Aggies met first place Cal State Fullerton plus Cal Poly and Long Beach State, which are both tied for second place. A third team is also tied for second in the conference standings, with a 6-3 league mark - UC Riverside. The Highlanders visit Dobbins Stadium this weekend as the Aggies continue their tough early slate.
SWINGING THE STICKS
UC Davis ranks No. 5 in the Big West Conference with a .281 team batting average, behind UC Riverside (.291), Cal State Fullerton (.288), Cal Poly (.287) and UC Irvine (.284). The Aggies feature three players hitting .300 or better (Nick Lynch, Steven Patterson and Austin Logan) plus four more hitting over .280. The Aggies are No. 3 in the league in runs scored (33), No. 3 in on-base percentage (.362) and No. 3 in doubles (60).
READY FOR FIREWORKS?
This weekend’s meeting between UC Davis and UC Riverside should feature some big time offensive output. The Aggies and Highlanders both rank in the top-3 in the Big West in runs scored while ranking in the bottom-3 in ERA and fielding percentage. Combined, UC Davis and UC Riverside average 5.7 runs per game (373 total runs/66 total games), while allowing 6.5 runs per game (430 runs/66 games). The two teams also combine to average 1.9 errors per game (125 errors/66 games).
UC Davis has struck out 161 times this season, the fewest in the Big West. UC Riverside leads the league, with 235 strikeouts. The Aggies feature three of the top-100 hardest batters to strikeout in the nation. Steven Patterson strikes out once every 16.9 at-bats, which ranks No. 22 in the nation. Behind the Aggies’ second baseman in the rankings are shortstop Tino Lipson (15.2, 37th) and third baseman Paul Politi (13.5/70th).
WE RUN THE BAY
UC Davis baseball is 4-0 against Bay Area teams this year. The Aggies have beat San Jose State twice, Stanford once and Saint Mary’s once. UC Davis has three more midweek games upcoming against Bay Area schools, including a home-and-away against Santa Clara and a road trip to Saint Mary’s. Teams south down the 5 have not been as kind, as the Aggies are 1-11 over four series against SoCal schools Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly and Long Beach State.
TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
UC Davis ranks No. 3 in the Big West and No. 21 in the nation in batters hit by pitches. The Aggies have been plunked 55 times this season, behind only Cal State Fullerton (62) and UC Santa Barbara (58).
PATTERSON HEATING UP
Steven Patterson is now second on the team with a .320 batting average. With nine hits over the last four games, the second baseman has boosted that average up from .286. Patterson had three hits in each of the Aggies’ first two games at Long Beach State last weekend and finished off the series with one hit in the finale. Patterson then went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs on Tuesday in UC Davis’ 10-7 win at Nevada. He has the Aggies’ longest active hitting streak, at four games. Patterson had three hits in the six games prior to his current outburst.
LAST YEAR VS. UC RIVERSIDE
The Highlanders took two games from the Aggies in a three-game series last season in Riverside, Calif. UC Davis won the first game, 7-2, but lost 7-6 in the second game and was shutout, 8-0, in the third and final game. All but one player in the lineup had a hit for the Aggies in their game one win, while then-first baseman Eric Johnson went 3-for-3 with two RBIs. UC Davis tied up the second game, 6-6, in the top of the eighth but UC Riverside’s David Andriese hit a RBI single down the right field line to drive in the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth. In the third game, UC Davis mustered just three hits as UC Riverside starting pitcher Trevor Frank tossed a shutout with four strikeouts and no walks. Nick Lynch hit .300 in the series while Tino Lipson had a team-high three RBIs. Pitchers Harry Stanwyck, Ben Burke and Craig Lanza each made relief appearances. Eddie Young hit a team-best .333 for the Highlanders in the series last year, while Phil Hollinsworth had three runs, three RBIs and two stolen bases. Pitcher Dylan Stuart, who will start for the Highlanders on Friday, was tagged for six runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings in last year’s game one win.
POLITI IN THE RECORD BOOKS
Senior Paul Politi has etched his name in the UC Davis record books, as the third baseman ranks in the top-10 in career hits and doubles. Politi is seventh with 204 hits and is tied for ninth with 39 doubles. He checks in at No.4 in school history with 683 career at-bats, jumping current assistant coach Tony Schifano (4th, 678).
FIVE FRESHMEN PITCHERS
After graduating seven pitchers last year, UC Davis has used five freshmen arms this season. True freshmen LHP Spencer Henderson, RHP Jordan Lazor, RHP Dan Gallagher and RHP Zach Williams plus redshirt freshman RHP Max Cordy have all seen action. Cordy has shined brightest from that group, with a 2.77 ERA in a team-high 16 appearances with five saves as the Aggies’ closer. Opponents are hitting just .167 against the 6-foot-4 genetics major from Sacramento. Williams is third on the staff with 14 appearances. Jordan Lazor made his collegiate debut on March 25 at San Jose State, allowing one run on two hits in two innings of relief. He tossed a scoreless ninth inning on April 12 at Long Beach State in his second career apperance. Henderson is a lefty arm out of the pen and a reserve first baseman for the Aggies in the spring but plays tight end in the fall on the football team. Henderson has lowered his ERA from 9.73 on March 5 to 5.24 currently. He has allowed four earned runs over his last 14 innings. Gallagher has not pitched since March 12. Combined, the five freshmen have made 43 appearances and three starts.