Baseball Plays Host to Cal State Northridge

Black baseball tank tops will be given to students before Sunday's game.
 
Black baseball tank tops will be given to students before Sunday's game.
 

May 2, 2013

UC Davis Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | CSUN Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis baseball team begins the final month of the 2013 season by hosting Cal State Northridge at Dobbins Stadium this weekend for a three-game Big West Conference series starting Friday.

The Aggies (16-26, 3-12 Big West) will meet the second-place Matadors (26-18, 11-4) at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

UC Davis head coach Matt Vaughn will start RHP Harry Stanwyck (3-5, 5.07 ERA) on Friday, RHP Spencer Koopmans (1-6, 6.31) on Saturday and RHP Evan Wolf (2-2, 4.64) on Sunday. Cal State Northridge head coach Matt Curtis will counter with LHP Jerry Keel (6-1, 2.13), RHP Calvin Copping (5-3, 3.13) and LHP John Salas (2-5, 3.09). 

Students will recieve free baseball tank tops before Sunday's game.

UC DAVIS BREAKDOWN

Record: 16-26, 3-12 Big West (T-9th)

Team BA: .288 Team ERA: 5.29 Errors: 80

All-Time Series: The Aggies are 11-4 vs. Cal State Northridge in the Div. I era (2008+) and 5-1 at Dobbins Stadium.

Recently: The Aggies snapped a four-game losing streak with an 11-9 victory over Santa Clara at home on Tuesday. The game was the first in a five-game homestand for UC Davis. Nick Lynch (.353) and Steven Patterson (.340) both rank in the top-20 of the Big West in batting average. 

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE BREAKDOWN

Record: 26-18, 11-4 Big West (2nd)

Team BA: .263 Team ERA: 3.88 Errors: 41

Friday SP: LHP Jerry Keel (6-1, 2.13)

Saturday SP: RHP Calvin Copping (5-3, 3.13)

Sunday SP: LHP John Salas (2-5, 3.09)

Recently: Cal State Northridge has won seven of its last eight games, including sweeps of Hawai’i and Pacific. Starter Jerry Keel has the third best ERA (2.13) in the Big West and is coming off a complete game, one-run victory at Pacific last Friday.

TANK TOP GIVEAWAY

The UC Davis athletics department will give away black baseball-specific tank tops (pictured to the right) to students who attend Sunday’s game against Cal State Northridge. The supply is limited.

ONE TO WATCH

Pitcher Evan Wolf was the Aggies’ top starter early in the season but struggled in his last few starts. He righted the ship, however, at No. 21 UC Irvine last Sunday. He allowed just one run on two hits over six innings in a no-decision outing.

THE LAST SEVEN DAYS

UC Davis lost four road games last week, with three coming via walkoff. The Aggies lost, 7-6, in the 10th inning at Santa Clara on April 23 before being swept at No. 21 ranked UC Irvine over the weekend. UC Davis fell, 4-3, in the first game on a walkoff squeeze bunt in the ninth and, 5-4, in the third game on a walkoff two-out double in the ninth. The Aggies avenged the loss at Santa Clara with a win, 11-9, over the Broncos on Tuesday afternoon.

AROUND THE BIG WEST

Big West teams are in the sixth week of conference action, with three remaining. This weekend, in addition to the Aggies hosting Cal State Northridge,  UC Irvine will be at UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside visits Cal Poly, Long Beach State heads to Cal State Fullerton and Hawai’i makes the long trip to Pacific.

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 five weekends of Big West play, the Aggies have met first place Cal State Fullerton plus third-place UC Irvine, fourth-place Long Beach State, fifth-place Cal Poly and seventh-place UC Riverside, but the Highlanders were in second before the Aggies swept them at home on April 19-21. The No. 21 ranked Anteaters were the third nationally ranked Big West team the Aggies played in five total Big West series (No. 4 Cal State Fullerton, No. 21 Cal Poly). This weekend the Aggies host the red-hot Matadors, who have won six straight league games. 

SWINGING THE STICKS

UC Davis leads the Big West with a .288 team batting average. Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine (.286) are tied for second. The Aggies feature four players hitting .315 or better (Nick Lynch, Steven Patterson, Cameron Olson and Austin Logan) and four more hitting over .280 (John Williams, Tino Lipson, Seth Batty and Adam Young). Olson, a backup catcher and designated hitter, is hitting .500 over his last five games.

HIT PARADE

The Aggies have 424 hits through 42 games, an average of 10.1 per game. In the Big West, UC Davis ranks No. 1 in total hits and has seven more than second place Cal State Fullerton (417). The Aggies also rank No. 1 in doubles (79), No. 2 in runs scored (237), No. 2 in RBIs (215), and No. 3 in on-base percentage (.368). Nick Lynch’s .353 batting average is the third best in the Big West this season.

POLITI AND LYNCH HEATING UP

Paul Politi and Nick Lynch are picking things up as of late as the Aggies’ offense continues to produce at a high level. Lynch ranks No. 3 in the Big West with a .353 batting average and is hitting a team-best .414 over the last 10 games with a .538 on-base percentage. A sophomore first baseman, Lynch has a six game hitting streak going, second on the team to Politi’s seven game streak. Politi also has a team-best 15-game on-base streak. A career .300 hitter, the senior third baseman is hitting .277 this year but has a .366 on-base percentage. He has three doubles, two homers and seven walks over the last 10 games.

PATTERSON STILL ON FIRE

Steven Patterson lost his team-best 10-game hitting streak on Sunday at UC Irvine, but he still maintains a 14-game on-base streak. He was hitting .286 before the on-base streak started on April 12 at Long Beach State, but is now hitting .340. Patterson has recorded five three-hit games during the streak. The junior transfer from Delta College has 14 RBIs over the last 10 games after posting 15 in his first 31 games with the Aggies. 

PLATE DISCIPLINE

UC Davis has struck out 201 times this season, the fewest in the Big West. Cal State Northridge leads the league with 287 strikeouts. The Aggies feature three of the top-100 hardest batters to strikeout in the nation. Steven Patterson has one of the nation’s elite eyes, as he strikes out just once every 22.3 at-bats, which ranks No. 4 in the nation. Behind the Aggies’ second baseman in the rankings are third baseman Paul Politi (13.3, 66th) and Tino Lipson (12.6, 82nd). 

BASEBALL AGAINST THE BAY AREA

UC Davis is now 5-1 against Bay Area teams this year after splitting with Santa Clara in its last two midweek games. The Aggies beat San Jose State twice, Stanford once and Saint Mary’s once to open the year before splitting with the Broncos. UC Davis has just one more midweek game upcoming against a Bay Area school, with 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 4-14 in six series against SoCal schools Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly, Long Beach State, UC Riverside and UC Irvine.

TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM

UC Davis ranks No. 2 in the Big West and No. 19 in the nation in batters hit by pitches. The Aggies have been plunked 69 times this season, behind only UC Santa Barbara (71).

LYNCH GETS ON BASE THE HARD WAY

While the Aggies have been hit by a large amount of pitches as a group, sophomore Nick Lynch has been hit by 18 pitches this season by himself and is just three away from matching David Butterworth’s single-season school record of 21, set in 2003. Lynch has been hit by 29 pitches in his career, placing him seventh in school history.

LAST YEAR VS. CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE

UC Davis took 2-of-3 last year from Cal State Northridge at Matador Field. Like they did in each of their last three Big West series a season ago, the Aggies won the first two games before dropping the finale. UC Davis won, 9-5, in the opener and 8-2 in the second game before falling 6-3 in game three. Tino Lipson had a two-run double in the first game while Spencer Koopmans, who will start on Saturday, tossed two innings of one run (unearned), one hit relief. Former starter Tom Briner went the distance in the second game, allowing just two runs (one earned) on eight hits in a complete game. Lipson once again had two RBIs. In the third game, UC Davis tallied 11 hits but scored just three runs while the Matadors posted six runs on seven hits. Paul Politi hit a team-best .538 in the series while Lipson hit .429 with four RBIs. For Cal State Northridge, starter Jerry Keel allowed two runs on eight his in seven innings in a game two loss while Nate Ring his a team-best .444. The Aggies made seven errors in the series.

POLITI IN THE RECORD BOOKS

Senior Paul Politi’s double against Santa Clara on Tuesday moved him to No. 3 all-time in program history with 215 career hits. Politi entered the game tied with current assistant coach Tony Schifano for third at 214. Politi also became just the third player in school history to reach 700 at-bats in his first at-bat at UC Irvine last Friday. Politi is tied with former Aggie great and current member of the St. Louis Cardinals, Daniel Descalso, for No. 7 with 42 career doubles. Politi is just outside the top-10 with 108 career 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 3.77 ERA and six saves in a team-high 20 appearances as the Aggies’ closer. Opponents are hitting just .181 against the 6-foot-4 genetics major from Sacramento. Williams is fourth on the staff with 16 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 5.16 currently. He has allowed five earned runs over his last seven appearances (16 innings). Gallagher has not pitched since March 12.