ON THE MOUND…
Probable starters for this week’s game
Tuesday: RHP Blake Hannah (2-6, 7.98 ERA) vs. RHP Ty Fox (1-3, 3.52 ERA)
DAVIS, Calif. — After securing its sixth consecutive Causeway Cup title, and tenth since the Cup’s inaugural year in 2004, UC Davis will look to even its series with Sacramento State on Tuesday (May 6) in the final head-to-head Causeway showdown of the season (unless softball reschedules its meeting) as the Aggies make the short trip to Sacramento, Calif. for a 6:00 p.m. first pitch at John Smith Field.
IN THE POLLS
Neither UC Davis, nor Sacramento State, are ranked among the top 25 polls as of
ABOUT SACRAMENTO STATE
The Hornets kicked off their 2018 campaign splitting their home opener against Washington before dropping a two-game set to San Francisco… The Hornets are 1-5 in extra-inning battles after dropping two 11-inning matchups to Washington (4-1) and San Francisco (2-0), as well as a pair of 10-inning stretches to Santa Clara, each by one-run… The Hornets recorded their second series win of the season on the road against Big West Conference squad, UC Santa Barbara, taking the opener by a margin of 12-3, and the finale, 2-0… Sacramento State currently holds a 13-5 Western Athletic Conference record after posting its first series win over New Mexico State… The Hornets continued on with a three-game sweep of conference colleague, Chicago State, before taking two of three from Northern Colorado, CSU Bakersfield, UT Rio Grande Valley, and Seattle University… Junior Matt Smith paces the Hornets with a .331 average at the plate and co-leads the team with 12 stolen bases, while senior outfielder Ian Dawkins carries team-highs in runs (32), hits (58), and doubles (13), with a .315 average… Senior right-hander Ty Fox (1-3, 3.52 ERA) has appeared in 18 games with four starts for the Hornets this season, and holds a .241 average against over 30.2 innings of work… As a staff, the Hornets boast a 3.77 ERA with a .254 average against.
According to yearly records dating back to 1960, Sacramento State leads the all-time series record with UC Davis, 111-86-3, as well as the Division I era record, 17-11… The Aggies and the Hornets split last season’s home-and-home series, with UC Davis taking a 7-6 victory on Apr. 4, and Sacramento State blanking the Aggies just one week later, 1-0… The Aggies are 5-6 on the road at John Smith Field since 2008, recording their last win, 7-1, on May 10, 2016… UC Davis will look to snap its current two-game skid against the Hornets after dropping its first meeting of the season, 8-2, last month on Apr. 17.
- For the third week in a row, junior Ryan Anderson maintains the second spot in the conference with a team-high .345 average at the plate behind Trevor Casanova of CSUN (.377)…
- Anderson finished 6-for-13 against Long Beach State with four extra-base hits, including two homers belted in the series finale on Sunday, tying the Division I school record for homers in a single game—the seventh Aggie to do so in Division I era history and the first since Austin March recorded two homers at Pacific on Mar. 26, 2015…
- Senior Ryan Hooper also joined in on Sunday’s homerun action with a three-run blast in the fourth—his fourth of the season—helping the Aggies tie the Division I program record for homers in a game for the 11th time in the Division I era…
- Freshman Jared Sasaki tossed 6.1 shutout innings against the 49ers, allowing just seven hits and striking out three to help lift UC Davis to a 10-inning win, 3-0, on Apr. 28…
- Junior left-hander Chris Brown threw a career-high eight innings for UC Davis in its finale win on Apr. 29, allowing just one run on eight hits and striking out a pair en route to his third win of the season…
- With Saturday’s extra-inning win, the Aggies snapped a 10-game skid against the Dirtbags that began with a 4-3 loss on May 15, 2015…
- The Aggies last recorded a conference series win over Long Beach back in 2011, following an 8-1 win in the opener on Apr. 8, and an 11-1 win in game two to clinch the series…
- Since the Causeway Cup’s inaugural year in the 2004-05 season, UC Davis has claimed nine titles and has already successfully clinched its sixth consecutive win for the 2017-18 season…
- Unless softball reschedules their meeting that was cancelled due to inclement weather, Tuesday’s game at John Smith Field will mark the final event of the 2017-18 Causeway Cup schedule between the two schools.
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MURRAY SNAGS BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK ACCOLADES - 4/9
After finishing 5-for-5 at the plate and tying the school record for doubles in a single game during the Aggies’ 10-3 victory over Big West colleague, Hawai’i, freshman infielder Tanner Murray was named Big West Player of the Week as announced by the league on Monday, marking the second such accolade for the Aggies this season and the first in Murray’s career. Murray is the eighth Aggie in the program’s Division I era to collect at least five hits in a game—just one shy of the single game record set by David Popkins at CSU Bakersfield in 2012. He is also the first Aggie to tally three doubles in a single game since Nick Lynch tallied three at Santa Clara in 2015.
PLUSCHKELL NAMED BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK (2/19)
After hitting a team-high .833 at the plate in the Aggies’ road series victory over CSU Bakersfield, UC Davis senior shortstop Brad Pluschkell was named Big West Conference Field Player of the Week, as announced by the league on Monday (2/19). The conference nod marks the first player of the week award for the Aggies this season and first in Pluschkell’s career. The Pleasanton, Calif. native began his 2018 campaign 4-for-4 with two runs scored in the Aggies’ 8-1 road victory over CSU Bakersfield, followed by a second 4-for-4 effort in game two as Pluschkell scored one to help the Aggies to a 15-1 win, then wrapped up the series finale 2-for-4 with an on-base percentage of .846 and .917 slugging percentage. In addition to a nod from the conference, Pluschkell was also named Madness Big West Baseball Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
Freshman right-hander Jared Sasaki made his official debut on the mound in the ninth inning of the Aggies’ season-opener against CSU Bakersfield (Feb.16), providing UC Davis with one inning of hitless, scoreless relief to help the Aggies to an 8-1 victory to jumpstart the 2018 season. Also making his collegiate debut as an Aggie was redshirt freshman Spencer Gedestad, who was 2-for-4 in the season opener. Freshman right-hander Brett Erwin made his first appearance in the Aggies’ 15-1 victory over Bakersfield after allowing no runs on three hits across three innings of work, while freshman Tanner Murray earned his first career hit during the Aggies’ doubleheader against No. 21 St. John’s before his 10-game hitting streak came to an unfortunate end during the Aggies’ first conference series of the season at UC Riverside. In the finale against the Roadrunners, freshman Joseph Myers earned his first career start at third base, while right-handed freshman Ryan Rodriguez pitched the final two innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two in the process. Junior transfers Alex Trautner (Cabrillo College) and Joseph Torres (Glendale Community College) both appeared on the mound in the Aggies’ home opener against No. 13 Stanford earlier in the week on Feb. 19. Fellow junior transfer Dylan Spezia (Sierra College) made his debut on the mound during game two of the Aggies’ series against Creighton.
THE AGGIES AT A GLANCE
UC Davis looks to rebound off a 2017 season that saw the Aggies finish 21-30 overall and 10-14 in Big West play in 2017. Returning 18 letter winners and five starters in the field from last season’s squad, while welcoming nine newcomers and four junior college transfers, the Aggies skew young for the 2018 season. UC Davis brings back two of its top hitters from last year, including All-Big West second team selection Ryan Hooper. The senior outfielder finished second on the team with a .310 average to go along with 30 runs scored, six home runs, and 29 RBI. He stood second only to junior teammate Ryan Anderson, who led the Aggies with a .313 average in 51 games, collecting 14 doubles, six home runs and a team-high 39 RBI, collecting hits in 19 consecutive games at one point to tie the school's Division I record. Fellow returning senior Alex Aguiar started 46 of 50 games last season, posting 14 doubles, scoring 26 runs, and driving in 17. On the mound, UC Davis will look to rebuild its weekend rotation after left-handers Robert Garcia (15th round, Kansas City) and Orlando Razo (16th round, Seattle) were taken in last year's Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, and right-hander Justin Mullins (4-3, 3.55 ERA) was lost to graduation. Senior right-hander Matt Blais paces the pitching staff this season after finishing 1-3 with a 3.86 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 58.1 innings of work in 2017.
ALL HANDS ON DECK
UC Davis is set to play 13 of its games against five teams that advanced to last season’s NCAA Tournament, including Big West rival, Cal State Fullerton, who also participated in the College World Series. The Titans went 3-0 to sweep the Stanford Regional as the second seed, then went 2-1 against archrival Long Beach State in the super regional. In the College World Series, Fullerton was edged, 6-5, by the No. 1 seed Oregon State, then lost, 6-4, to Florida State in the elimination game.
Among the other post-season qualifiers, the Aggies will play three at home against St. John's (No. 3 seed in the Clemson Regional) on Mar. 2-4 as well as a home-and-home with Causeway rival Sacramento State (No. 4 seed in the Stanford Regional) first at home on April 17, then on the road on May 8, and a home-and-home with Stanford (No. 1 seed in the Stanford Regional) as the Aggies open play at Phil Swimley Field on Feb. 19 then at Klein Field on April 10. Sandwiched in-between games against the Hornets, UC Davis will travel to face conference foe Long Beach State (No. 1 seed in the Long Beach Regional) on April 27-29, then turnaround to face Fullerton (No. 2 seed in the Stanford Regional) on May 4-6 at Phil Swimley Field at Dobbins Stadium.
CAL STATE FULLERTON PICKED TO REPEAT IN BIG WEST POLL
According to a vote of the league’s coaches, Cal State Fullerton, who finished third in the conference, is picked to stand atop the 2018 league standings after picking up six first-place votes en route to a total of 73 points. Long Beach State earned the second slot with 65 points and two first-place votes, while Cal Poly was selected third with 64 points. UC Santa Barbara was selected fourth (49), followed by CSUN in fifth (48), UC Irvine received the final first-place vote and 43 points, followed by Hawai’i in seventh (27), UC Riverside (26), and UC Davis (10).
AGGIES WELCOME EIGHT FALL SIGNEES FOR 2019 SEASON
UC Davis baseball head coach Matt Vaughn announced the signing of five high schoolers along with three junior college transfers to National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at UC Davis beginning in the 2019 season. The all-California group includes local talents Jake Jordan (Elk Grove, Calif./Elk Grove HS), Cooper Morrison (El Cerrito, Calif./Albany HS), and Nathan Peng (Saratoga, Calif./Saratoga HS), in addition to Southern California standout Cade Wesolowsky (San Diego, Calif./La Jolla Country Day School) and Bakersfield, Calif. native, Jalen Smith (Stockdale HS). Cooper Morrison (El Cerrito, Calif./Albany HS) is entering his second year at Reedley College, while Justin Smith (Roseville, Calif./Woodcreek HS) is beginning his second year at Yuba College, and Wyatt Tucker (Blue Lake, Calif./Acata HS) will enter his second season at the College of San Mateo.
ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and animal science programs.
DON'T MISS OUT!
Season tickets for UC Davis softball and baseball are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at UCDavisAggies.com.
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