April 25, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis baseball team will meet its third nationally ranked foe in the last five weekends when the Aggies visit No. 21 ranked UC Irvine for a three-game Big West Conference series starting on Friday evening.
The Aggies (15-23, 3-9) and Anteaters (25-12, 7-5) will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night before playing at 1 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
UC Davis head coach Matt Vaughn will throw RHP Harry Stanwyck (3-5, 5.13) on Friday, RHP Spencer Koopmans (1-5, 5.62) on Saturday and RHP Evan Wolf (2-2, 5.05) on Sunday. UC Irvine will counter with RHP Andrew Thurman (4-3, 2.53), LHP Matt Whitehouse (3-4, 3.22) and the Big West's leader in ERA and wins, Andrew Morales (9-0, 1.34). Morales and UC Davis second baseman Steven Patterson are the reigning Big West Pitcher and Field Player of the Week, respectively.
The series pits the No. 2 team ERA in the Big West (UC Irvine, 3.11) against the No. 1 team batting average in the conference (UC Davis, .289).
UC DAVIS BREAKDOWN
Team BA: .289 Team ERA: 5.18 Errors: 73
All-Time Series: The Aggies are 4-11 vs. UC Irvine in the Div. I era (2008+) and 1-5 at Cicerone Field.
Recently: The Aggies did more than just win their first Big West game of the season on Friday versus UC Riverside, they swept the Highlanders in the three-game set. UC Davis had its four-game winning streak snapped, however, on Tuesday at Santa Clara, 7-6, in the 10th inning.
UC IRVINE BREAKDOWN
Team BA: .288 Team ERA: 3.11 Errors: 24
Friday SP: RHP Andrew Thurman (4-3, 2.53)
Saturday SP: LHP Matt Whitehouse (3-4. 3.22)
Sunday SP: RHP Andrew Morales (9-0, 1.34)
Recently: The No. 21 ranked Anteaters are tied with Cal Poly for third in the Big West standings. Despite boasting the second best team ERA in the league (3.11), UC Irvine was crushed 18-2 on Tuesday at San Diego State, its worst loss since 1989.
ONE TO WATCH - Shortstop Adam Young is hitting .409 over his last nine games, with seven RBIs and six runs scored. He has a double and triple plus two walks in that span with a .458 on-base percentage and a .545 slugging percentage.
THE LAST SEVEN DAYS - UC Davis swept UC Riverside at home before falling at Santa Clara, 7-6, in 10 innings on Tuesday night. The loss to the Broncos snapped a four-game winning streak for the Aggies, their longest of the season.
AROUND THE BIG WEST - Big West teams are in the fifth week of conference action, with four remaining. This weekend, in addition to the Aggies traveling to UC Irvine, Pacific will be at Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly will visit Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara heads to UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton makes the long trek 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 four weekends of Big West play, the Aggies met first place Cal State Fullerton plus Cal Poly and Long Beach State, which are tied with UC Irvine for third. UC Riverside is currently in sixth, but the Highlanders were in second before the Aggies swept them last weekend. The No. 21 ranked Anteaters will be the third nationally ranked league team the Aggies will have played in five total Big West series. Next weekend the Aggies host the red-hot Matadors.
SWINGING THE STICKS - UC Davis leads the Big West with a .289 team batting average. UC Irvine is second, at .288, followed by UC Riverside (.287), Cal State Fullerton (.286) and Cal Poly (.285). The Aggies feature four players hitting .300 or better (Steven Patterson, Nick Lynch, John Williams and Austin Logan) and five more hitting over .280 (Mike Mazzara, Tino Lipson, Seth Batty, Cameron Olson and Adam Young).
HIT PARADE - The Aggies have 384 hits through 38 games, an average of 10.1 per game. In the Big West, UC Davis ranks No. 2 in hits. The Aggies also rank No. 2 in runs scored (217), No. 2 in doubles (71) and No. 3 in on-base percentage (.369). Steven Patterson’s 49 hits ranks him No. 7 in the Big West this season while his .348 batting average is the fifth best in the league.
PATTERSON NAMED BIG WEST POTW - After hitting .500 with a team-high 11 RBIs in four wins, UC Davis second baseman Steven Patterson was named Big West Conference Field Player of the Week, the league announced on April 22. It was the first player of the week award for the Aggies this year and first in Patterson’s career. The Stockton, Calif., native is in his first season with the Aggies after transferring from San Joaquin Delta College.Patterson went 9-for-18 with nine runs scored, 11 RBIs, three doubles and two home runs as the Aggies defeated Nevada on Tuesday before sweeping a three-game set with UC Riverside over the weekend. Not only did he bat .500 during the course of the week, Patterson posted a .500 on-base percentage and slugged 1.000. His first home run of the weekend - and the first in his UC Davis career - was a three-run shot off the scoreboard in right field that proved to be the game-winner as the Aggies’ defeated the Highlanders, 7-4, on Saturday. He also made a slick diving stab on a grounder to start a double play in the ninth inning of Saturday’s victory. Patterson homered again on Sunday in UC Davis’ 19-8 romp over UC Riverside.
PATTERSON IS ON FIRE - Steven Patterson is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak and has 19 hits in that stretch. He was hitting .286 before the streak started on April 12 at Long Beach State, but is now hitting a team-best .348. Patterson has recorded five three-hit games during the streak, including each of the last three games. The junior has 10 RBIs over his last three games after posting 17 RBIs in his first 33 games this year. Patterson is hitting a whopping .528 during his eight-game hitting streak with an .833 slugging percentage. He’s also made just one error.
PLATE DISCIPLINE - UC Davis has struck out 174 times this season, the fewest in the Big West. Cal State Northridge leads the league, with 260 strikeouts. The Aggies feature three of the top-57 hardest batters to strikeout in the nation. Steven Patterson strikes out once every 19.4 at-bats, which ranks No. 7 in the nation. Behind the Aggies’ second baseman in the rankings are shortstop Tino Lipson (16.5, 26th) and third baseman Paul Politi (13.8, 57th).
FIRST FALTER IN THE BAY AREA - UC Davis baseball is now 4-1 against Bay Area teams this year after suffering a 7-6 extra-innings loss at Santa Clara on Tuesday. The Aggies beat San Jose State twice, Stanford once and Saint Mary’s once to open the year before stumbling against the Broncos. UC Davis has two more midweek games upcoming against Bay Area schools, including a home rematch against Santa Clara next Tuesday and a road trip to Saint Mary’s on May 14. Teams south down the 5 have not been as kind as those west on 80. The Aggies are 4-11 in five series against SoCal schools Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly, Long Beach State and UC Riverside.
TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM - UC Davis ranks No. 3 in the Big West and No. 28 in the nation in batters hit by pitches. The Aggies have been plunked 62 times this season, behind only UC Santa Barbara (64) and Cal State Fullerton (63).
LYNCH GETS ON BASE THE HARD WAY - Sophomore Nick Lynch has been hit by 17 pitches this season and is just four away from matching David Butterworth’s single-season school record of 21, set in 2003. Lynch has been hit by 28 pitches in his career, placing him seventh in school history.
LAST YEAR VS. UC IRVINE - UC Davis took 2-of-r 3 from UC Irvine in the final weekend of the season last year. The Aggies shutout the ‘Eaters, 4-0, in the first game, won 3-1 in the second game but lost, 10-1, in the finale. Then-senior Anthony Kupbens allowed just five hits in his game one shutout whle Paul Politi went 2-for-2 with a walk, hit by pitch and two RBIs. In the second game, starter Tom Briner also went the distance and allowed just one run on five hits in nine innings. Tino Lipson, David Popkins and Brett Morgan each had RBIs. Spencer Koopmans and Harry Stanwyck each tossed 2+ innings of relief in the game three loss while Politi once again led the Aggies with two hits. Politi hit .556 in the series while UC Irvine was paced by Jordan Fox and Jeff Stephens, who each hit .364. Three of Fox’s four hits were doubles.
POLITI IN THE RECORD BOOKS - Senior Paul Politi’s first at-bat on Friday at UC Irvine will be the 700th of his career, making him one of just three players in UC Davis history to do so. Politi also moved into a tie with Aggie great Daniel Descalso with 210 career hits. The pair rank sixth in program history. Politi is only four hits away from matching current assistant coach Tony Schifano for third all-time. Politi also ranks No. 9 in school history with 40 career doubles and is just outside the top-10 with 105 RBIs.
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.