Powerhouse 'Eaters Pay a Visit to Dobbins

Sophomore Tanner Bily is hitting .647 with eight runs scored, six RBI, and seven walks over his last six starts.
 
Sophomore Tanner Bily is hitting .647 with eight runs scored, six RBI, and seven walks over his last six starts.
 

April 24, 2014

THIS WEEK IN AGGIES BASEBALL...
UC Irvine (25-14, 8-1) at UC Davis (17-20, 3-9)
Dobbins Stadium - Davis, Calif.
Saturday, April 26, 11:30 a.m. - Gametracker | Audio
Saturday, April 26, 30 min. after the end of game one - Gametracker | Audio
Sunday, April 27, 1 p.m. - Gametracker | Audio

*ED NOTE: Schedule and links updated to reflect postponement of Friday's game due to rain

PROJECTED PITCHING MATCH-UPS...
Saturday (Game 1): RHP Harry Stanwyck (2-5, 6.22 ERA) vs. Andrew Morales (7-0, 0.61 ERA)
Saturday (Game 2): RHP Spencer Koopmans (3-1, 3.71 ERA) vs. LHP Elliot Surrey (6-2, 2.11 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Evan Wolf (3-3, 4.70 ERA) vs. RHP Evan Brocl (6-3, 3.41 ERA)

FIRST PITCH: Following a two-hit victory over Saint Mary’s that featured one of the Aggies’ most dominating pitching performances of the season, the UC Davis baseball team (17-20 overall, 3-9 in the Big West Conference) returns its focus to league play this weekend, welcoming UC Irvine for a three-game series at Dobbins Stadium. The series opens on Friday (April 25) at 2:30 p.m., with games two and three following on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.

IN THE POLLS: UC Davis is unranked... UC Irvine is ranked No. 28 in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball and is receiving votes in both the NCBWA and USA Today polls entering the week.

YOU “LIKE” US... YOU REALLY “LIKE” US: Fans can keep up with the latest in UC Davis Athletics by “liking” us on Facebook (Facebook.com/UCDavisAggies) and following us on Twitter (@UCDavisAggies). Fans can also “like” the baseball program on Facebook by searching for “UC Davis Baseball” and get the latest from the dugout by following the Aggies’ baseball program on Twitter (@UCDavisBaseball). Gameday in-game updates are also available on Twitter by following us @UCDavisInGame.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties, live statistics will be available for all of this week’s games from Davis, Calif., as well as live streaming audio. Links for both the stats and the live audio will be available on the baseball schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com.

SCOUTING UC IRVINE: The Anteaters enter the week with a 25-14 overall record and an 8-1 mark in Big West Conference play, standing just a game-and-a-half behind Cal Poly for first place in the standings... UC Irvine has lost three of its last four, dropping a mid-week road contest at Loyola Marymount and two-of-three to San Diego State at home last week... in their last Big West series, the Anteaters swept a three-game series from Cal State Northridge at home... junior infielder Connor Spencer leads all regulars with a .367 average to go with 19 runs scored and 30 RBI... junior Taylor Sparks has provided the pop, batting .320 with team high’s in runs (26), doubles (10), triples (6), and home runs (4), to go with 25 RBI... senior right-hander Andrew Morales is a perfect 7-0 on the mound with a nation-leading 0.61 ERA (five earned runs allowed), striking out 80 in 74 innings and holding opponents to a .162 average... UCI is hitting .278 as a team (fourth in the Big West) and ranks second in the league with a 2.63 ERA, while holding opponents to a .238 average.

SERIES NOTES: According to records that date back to the 1970 season, UC Irvine leads the all-time series with UC Davis by a 24-6 count, including a 14-4 record against the Aggies as Division I combatants... the Anteaters have won the last four meetings, including a series sweep at Anteater Ballpark in 2013 by the scores of 5-4, 8-2, and 4-3... UC Davis’ last win came on May 26, 2012, in a 3-1 victory at Dobbins Stadium as part of a series win over UC Irvine after the Aggies took the first two games... four of the last nine contests have been decided by a single run... the Anteaters won nine straight from May 17, 2008 to April 21, 2011.

A LOOK BACK - UC DAVIS 3, SAINT MARY’S 1: Sophomore right-hander Max Cordy struck out a career-high 11 and teammate Tanner Bily’s RBI single in the eighth snapped a 1-1 tie as UC Davis rallied for a 3-1 win over Saint Mary’s on Tuesday. Spencer Brann drove in a pair of runs and finished with two hits, plating the tying run in the sixth and bringing home an insurance tally with a triple in the eighth. Junior Raul Jacobson earned the win to improve to 4-0 in relief while freshman Zach Stone nailed down his ninth save of the season.

PATTERSON CANDIDATE FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD: UC Davis senior infielder Steven Patterson has been selected as one of 30 candidates nationwide in the running for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award.

     “I can think of no one that deserves this recognition more than Steven,” UC Davis Head Coach Matt Vaughn said. “He epitomizes what this CLASS Award stands for, in addition to being a class act on and off the field. Anyone that is considered for this award should be a leader, someone showing the way… that is Steven Patterson.”

     An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of NCAA Division I student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character, and competition. The program is designed for college seniors utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university, pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring.

     From the list of 30 candidates, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the award in late April. Those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award.

     Patterson is one of two players from the Big West Conference on the initial list, joining UC Irvine’s Andrew Morales, and one of six from west of the Rockies along with Arizona State’s Joshua McAlister, CSU Bakersfield’s Oscar Sanay, Washington State’s Collin Slaybaugh, and USC’s Kevin Swick.

     For more information on the Senior CLASS Award, please visit them online at www.seniorclassaward.com.

STONE ADDED TO MID-SEASON WATCH LIST: UC Davis freshman closer Zach Stone has been named one of 50 players on the the mid-season watch list for the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. The list is made up of representatives from 21 different conferences, including national saves leader Sam Moore of UC Irvine, Reed Reilly of Cal Poly, and Dillon Tate of UC Santa Barbara, joining Stone from the Big West. Stone, a freshman from Eureka, Calif., who ranks second in the Big West with nine saves thus far, is one of only four freshmen on the list along with Alabama’s Thomas Burrows, Miami’s Bryan Garcia, and Indiana State’s Ryan Keaffaber. The national saves leader and four other finalists will be annouced on June 4 with the NCBWA’s All-America Committee selecting the winner during the 2014 College World Series. A complete list for the award is available online at http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/042314aaa.html.

WHY SO “SERIES”-OUS?: Despite being spread out over a span of a couple months, the Aggies took home their fourth series victory of the season thanks to their win over Saint Mary’s on Tuesday, taking two-of-three from the Gaels on the year to go with series wins over New Mexico State, Long Beach State, and San Jose State.

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU: UC Davis’ win over Saint Mary’s on Tuesday improved the Aggies to 4-2 in mid-week contests this season with two more remaining on the schedule: May 6 at Nevada and May 13 against Sacramento State at Raley Field.

YOU GOT A HOT DATE OR SOMETHING?: The Aggies needed only 2:16 to dispatch of the Gaels on Tuesday afternoon, the quickest game of the season for UC Davis and its fastest since a 2:14 contest at Hawai’i on May 19, 2013. Tuesday was the quickest home game for the Aggies since a 2-1 win over Stanford on March 26, 2013, that took just 2:11.

NO MARGIN FOR ERROR: A 7-6 loss in game two of its series at UC Riverside marked the 12th one-run contest for UC Davis this season as the Aggies fell to 6-6 in such games in 2014.

ALWAYS ROOM FOR MORE: Out of a possible 92 scoring innings this season, the Aggies have crossed home plate multiple times in 37 of them -- a rate of better than 40 percent.

“K”ORDY’S “K’s” ARE “K”ING: In one of the most dominating pitching performances of the season, sophomore right-hander Max Cordy burned visiting Saint Mary’s to the tune of 11 strikeouts on Tuesday, allowing just one run on one hit over a season-high seven innings of work. Although stuck with the no decision, it was Cordy’s second double-digit strikeout performance of the season after posting 10 strikeouts against New Mexico State on March 16, and the most for an Aggie since Dayne Quist struck out 11 against UC Riverside almost two years ago to the day on April 20, 2012.

SEVEN HEAVEN: Cordy’s seven innings against the Gaels on Tuesday marked only the fourth time this season an Aggie starting pitcher has pitched at least seven innings and the first time since Harry Stanwyck pitched 7.1 innings in a win at No. 18 Cal State Fullerton on April 4.

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK: After missing the better part of four games following an injury in the opener against Long Beach State, junior outfielder Kevin Barker has returned to the Aggies’ lineup with a vengence, going 8-for-15 (.533) with five RBI against UC Riverside -- including a career-high five hits in the opener -- and adding a double and run scored against Saint Mary’s on Tuesday, having now reached base safely in each of his last 15 contests. Barker’s five hits against UCR marked the first five-hit game by an Aggie since Nick Lynch finished 5-for-5 at Saint Mary’s on May 14, 2013, and the San Francisco native is hitting .500 (10-for-20) during his current five-game hitting streak.

BYE, BYE, BILY: UC Davis sophomore Tanner Bily has made it difficult for Head Coach Matt Vaughn to take him out of the lineup following his performance over the past couple of weeks. After opening the season 0-for-4 in limited action, Bily has absolutely exploded since slugging his first hit of the year (a three-run home run) against Long Beach State on April 13, batting .647 (11-for-17) with eight runs scored, six RBI, and seven walks, over the last six games -- four of those games with multiple hits, including a 3-for-5 effort in the opener against UC Riverside.

“STONE” COLD CLOSER: With his ninth save of the year on Tuesday against Saint Mary’s, freshman closer Zach Stone passed three former Aggie greats and moved into sole possession of second place on the UC Davis single-season list, standing behind only record-holder Justin Fitzgerald, who saved 15 games for the Aggies in 2008. Stone’s performance this season also places him in a tie with Nik Aurora (2004-07) and Bill Brelsford (1993-96) for eighth on the career list behind Fitzgerald, who also holds the career record with 19 saves from 2005-08.

TINO TEES OFF: Following a stretch that saw the junior go 0-for-21 at the plate, infielder Tino Lipson has broken out of his slump in a big way, collecting hits in five of his last seven contests, batting .346 (9-for-26) with three runs scored, accounting for better than half of his 17 hits this season during that stretch and helping him raise his average better than 60 points.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME: Junior right-hander Raul Jacobson has been exactly that in 2014, improving to 4-0 on the year after earning the win against Saint Mary’s on Tuesday. All four victories have come in relief for Jacobson, who has come in from the bullpen in all 14 of his appearances this season, allowing just one run on four hits over 8.1 innings combined in those four victories -- all decided by two runs or fewer against Seattle (Feb. 15), Santa Clara (March 7), Long Beach State (April 11), and Saint Mary’s (April 22). Jacobson leads the team in wins and ranks fifth with a 3.86 ERA over 30.1 innings of work, holding opponents to a .187 average.

AND THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING: UC Davis tied a season high with 18 hits in its opener at UC Riverside last week -- matching the mark set against Long Beach State on April 11 and the most for the Aggies since they finished with 22 at Saint Mary’s on May 14, 2013. The performance marked the 16th time in 37 games this season that UC Davis has reached double-digits in that category, posting a 12-4 record in those games.

HIP-HIP HOO-RAZO: Freshman left-hander Orlando Razo has been lights-out for the Aggies out of the bullpen as of late, adding to an already spectacular freshman campaign with his 3 1/3 innings of one-hit baseball on April 8 at Stanford. The southpaw from San Mateo, Calif., has allowed just one earned run over his last 11.2 innings of work (0.77 ERA), scattering 10 hits and striking out six while lowering his ERA from 2.40 at the start of the run to a team-best 1.82 heading into the weekend.

WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER: A lot of Aggies have had a hand in UC Davis’ 16 victories this season as nine different players have combined to drive home the game-winning run, while 11 different Aggies have scored the game-winning run in 2014. Steven Patterson’s walk-off winner against Nevada on (March 25) was his team-best third of the season, while Seth Batty, Evan Heptig, Patterson, Adam Young, Mason Novak, and Kevin Barker, lead the way with a pair of game-winning runs scored.

MR. RELIABLE: Senior right-hander Harry Stanwyck is steadily moving up the UC Davis appearances list as his nine starts this season give him 68 games pitched overall -- moving him into fourth place on the school’s all-time list, just seven shy of Nik Aurora’s career mark of 75 from 2004-07.

STOP, THIEF!!: After going 11 games without one (0-for-5 during that stretch), Aggie baserunners have been very active on the basepaths, swiping eight of their last 10, including tying a season high with three steals against Sacramento State on April 15.

AHEAD OF THE GAME: Dobbins Stadium has been a welcome sight for the Aggies this season as they are a solid 10-6 at home compared to just 2-11 in true road games in 2014. The 10 home victories this season are just two shy of the team’s total from all of last year (12-18) as UC Davis has won nine of its last 12 at the friendly confines and is well-ahead of the pace that didn’t see UC Davis claim its 10th win on its home turf last year until the 21st home date of the year. Overall, the Aggies’ 17 victories this season are just two shy of last year’s total (19).

TAKE THEM OUT TO THE BALLGAME...: Speaking of bunches, the fans came out to support the Aggies in game two of their series against Long Beach State to the tune of a “Picnic Day” crowd of 1,511 -- the largest crowd ever to see a UC Davis baseball game at Dobbins Stadium in the Division I era (2008-present).

BONUS BASEBALL: UC Davis’ 4-3 win in 10 innings over Nevada on March 25 snapped a four-game losing streak in extra-inning contests, improving the Aggies to 12-10 in extras dating back to their first Division I season.

“0” YES!: UC Davis’ 4-0 shutout of New Mexico State on March 15 in game three of their series was the Aggies’ first since they blanked former Big West rival Pacific, 2-0, in the opening game of a three-game series on May 10, 2013, in Stockton, Calif.

WALK THIS WAY: Patience, grasshopper. The nine walks drawn against Stanford pitching on April 8 marked a season high and the most for the Aggies since they had the same number against Utah on Feb. 20, 2012. UC Davis hitters have drawn at least one walk in all but two games this season -- at No. 5 Cal Poly on March 28, and at No. 18 Cal State Fullerton on April 4 against Titans’ ace Thomas Eshelman, who has walked only three hitters in 76.1 innings all season. Tanner Bily’s three walks against Sacramento State on April 15 matched Adam Young for the most by an Aggie this season after the senior drew a trio of free passes against the Cardinal.