Eight-Game Road Trip Opens at Cal State Northridge

Junior Kevin Barker ranks third in the Big West with his .367 average, reaching base safely in each of his last 18 contests and riding an eight-game hitting streak entering the weekend.
 
Junior Kevin Barker ranks third in the Big West with his .367 average, reaching base safely in each of his last 18 contests and riding an eight-game hitting streak entering the weekend.
 

April 30, 2014

THIS WEEK IN AGGIES BASEBALL...
UC Davis (17-23, 3-12) at Cal State Northridge (16-28, 4-8)
Matador Field - Northridge, Calif.
Friday, May 2, 3 p.m. - Live Stats | Audio (CSUN)
Saturday, May 3, 1 p.m. - Live Stats | Audio (CSUN)
Sunday, May 4, 1 p.m. - Live Stats | Audio (CSUN)

PROJECTED PITCHING MATCH-UPS...
Friday: RHP Harry Stanwyck (2-5, 5.47 ERA) vs. RHP Brycen Rutherford (3-4, 2.43 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Spencer Koopmans (3-1, 3.26 ERA) vs. LHP Jerry Keel (0-7, 3.39 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Evan Wolf (3-4, 4.42 ERA) vs. TBA

FIRST PITCH: Following a heart-breaking series that saw UC Irvine steal all three games with late-inning rallies, the UC Davis baseball team (17-23, 3-12) looks to bounce back on the road this weekend as the Aggies open a string of eight straight away from the friendly confines against Cal State Northridge (16-28, 4-8) at Matador Field. The two teams open the series on Friday (May 2) at 3 p.m. with games two and three on Saturday and Sunday scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.


 

 

IN THE POLLS: Neither UC Davis, nor Cal State Northridge, are ranked among the top 25 in the nation entering this weekend’s series.

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 Northridge, 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 CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: The Matadors enter the weekend with a 16-28 overall record and a 4-8 mark in Big West Conference play, snapping a five-game losing streak with a 9-8 win at Bakersfield on Tuesday night... in its last series, Northridge was swept at the hands of No. 23 TCU last weekend by the scores of 6-2, 1-0, and 3-0, in Fort Worth, Texas... the Matadors, which have posted 11 of its 16 wins at home this year, snapped a string of 20.2 consecutive innings without a run on Tuesday, a stretch that dated back to the seventh inning of the opener against the Horned Frogs, shutout for the fourth and fifth times this season in the final two games of the series... junior utility player Nick Blaser leads all regulars with a .355 average to go with eight doubles and 23 RBI... junior outfielder Chester Pak leads the team with 23 RBI and is second with 17 runs scored... senior left-hander John Salas leads the staff with a 4-4 record to go along with a 4.32 ERA while senior right-hander Brycen Rutherford (3-4 overall) leads the Matadors’ starters with a 2.43 ERA... junior left-hander Jerry Keel, who is 0-7 this season, leads the team with 55 strikeouts along with a 3.39 ERA... closer Shay Maltese has saved six games, posting a 1.93 ERA in 22 games.

SERIES NOTES: According to records that date back to 1990, UC Davis leads the all-time series with Cal State Northridge by the count of 19-9, including an 11-7 mark as Big West Conference rivals... the Matadors, however, have won the last four meetings with the Aggies, including a sweep at Dobbins Stadium last season by the score of 9-3, 8-5 (12 inn.), and 10-4... In its last trip to the San Fernando Valley, UC Davis took two-of-three from Northridge in 2012 with wins in the first two games of the series by the scores of 9-5 and 8-2 before falling in the finale, 6-3... since joining the Big West, the Aggies have won all three series with the Matadors held in Southern California, and are 8-5 all time in Northridge.

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.

MOVE ALONG... NOTHING TO SEE HERE: Just five days after posting their quickest game of the year in a win over Saint Mary’s (2:16), the Aggies did themselves three minutes better in the series finale against UC Irvine on Sunday, racing the Anteaters to the finish line in just 2:13. It was the fastest game for UC Davis since a 2-hour,14-minute contest at Hawai’i on May 19, 2013, and the quickest home game for the Aggies since a 2-1 win over Stanford on March 26, 2013, that took just 2:11.

COMPLETE EFFORT: Senior right-hander Evan Wolf went the distance for the first time in his career during Sunday’s series finale against UC Irvine, the first complete game of the season by an Aggies’ starter and the first since Harry Stanwyck went nine innings in a seven-hit shutout at Pacific on May 10, 2013.

STINGY STARTERS: The Aggies’ starting pitching trio of Stanwyck, Spencer Koopmans, and Wolf, did their darnedest to keep their side in the game against the Anteaters, allowing just four earned runs in 23 innings of work in the season for a 1.57 ERA. Extend that out to UC Davis’ mid-week win over Saint Mary’s, and Max Cordy’s brilliant effort, and the ERA dips even more, down to 1.50 after the sophomore allowed just one run in seven innings against the Gaels.

HUNGRY LIKE A WOLF: Wolf’s last two starts have left opposing hitters howling as the senior right-hander has posted a 2.57 ERA over his last 14 innings, holding opponents to just a .196 (9-for-46) average in that span despite going 0-1 with a no decision.

QUALITY YOU CAN COUNT ON: Wolf’s nine-inning gem marked his team-best fifth quality start of the year (start of at least six innings, allowing three earned runs or fewer) and the 14th of the season by an Aggie pitcher. UC Davis is 5-2 with seven no decisions in those quality starts and, when the Aggies have been good, they have been really good in those starts, holding opponents to a .170 (53-for-312) average with four starters posting ERA’s under three.

Stats in Quality Starts
Harry Stanwyck: 2-0, 2.65 ERA, 18 strikeouts, .175 (17-for-97) avg. against
Spencer Koopmans: 3 no decisions, 0.50 ERA, .190 (12-for-63) avg. against
Evan Wolf: 2-2, 2.62 ERA, .196 (22-for-112) avg. against
Max Cordy: 1-0, 2.08 ERA, .050 (2-for-40) avg. against

BILY’S KILLER BB’S: No, we didn’t stutter. Even though he has appeared in only 16 games, sophomore Tanner Bily has displayed the batter’s eye of a wily veteran, ranking third on the team with 13 walks -- 10 of those since breaking into the starting lineup against Long Beach State on April 13 -- and four games with two walks or more, posting a .676 on-base percentage over his last nine starts.

TANNER’S TEAR: Yeah, he’s drawing walks, but this kid can hit as well. Bily enters the week on a team-best nine-game hitting streak, batting .538 (14-for-26) since breaking into the starting lineup, scoring nine times and driving home six runs in that stretch.

BARKER’S BAT IS HIS BITE: Junior outfielder Kevin Barker has reached base safely in each of his last 18 games dating back an 0-for-4 performance against New Mexico State on March 15, tying teammate Adam Young for the longest such streak by an Aggie this season. Barker’s streak includes a run of hits in each of his last eight contests, batting .438 (14-for-32) with five runs scored and five RBI during that stretch, and hits in 15 of the 18 games where he has reached safely. The San Francisco, Calif., native ranks eighth in the Big West in hits (51) and is the third-best hitter in the league with a .367 average heading into this weekend.

PINCH-HIT HERO: The best closer in the nation? No worries for Brian Ruhm, who twice came in cold off the bench during the weekend and rapped singles off UC Irvine’s Sam Moore, who leads the NCAA with 19 saves this season, to start ninth-inning rallies in the first two games of the series against the Anteaters. The redshirt freshman from Yuciapa, Calif., has been perfect in each of his last three pinch-hit appearances dating back to the series opener against UC Riverside on April 17, and has accounted for five of the team’s seven hits in a “pinch” this season, hitting .333 in that role.

DOUBLE TROUBLE IN THE BIG WEST: Nearly half of the Aggies’ doubles this season have come against Big West Conference pitching as UC Davis ranks third in the league with 22 doubles in conference contests, just one back of Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, and junior Nick Lynch ranks in a tie for fifth with his four “two-baggers” on the season.

“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 April 22, 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.

WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER: A lot of Aggies have had a hand in UC Davis’ 17 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.

“STONE” COLD CLOSER: With his ninth save of the year against Saint Mary’s on April 22, 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.

ALWAYS ROOM FOR MORE: Out of a possible 95 scoring innings this season, the Aggies have crossed home plate multiple times in 38 of them -- a rate of 40 percent.

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.

MR. RELIABLE: Senior right-hander Harry Stanwyck is steadily moving up the UC Davis appearances list as his 10 starts this season give him 64 games pitched overall -- moving him into a tie for fifth place on the school’s all-time list with Justin Fitzgerald (2005-08).

WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER: A lot of Aggies have had a hand in UC Davis’ 17 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.

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 86.1 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.

STOP, THIEF!!: After going 11 games without one (0-for-5 during that stretch), Aggie baserunners have been very active on the basepaths, swiping nine of their last 12, including tying a season high with three steals against Sacramento State on April 15.

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.