Pacific Northwest Awaits as Aggies Battle 'Zags

Junior Spencer Koopmans has posted a 1.82 ERA and held opponents to just a .233 average over his last five starts.
 
Junior Spencer Koopmans has posted a 1.82 ERA and held opponents to just a .233 average over his last five starts.
 

May 8, 2014

THIS WEEK IN AGGIES BASEBALL...
UC Davis (19-25 overall) at Gonzaga (20-25 overall)
Patterson Baseball Complex - Spokane, Wash.
Friday, May 9, 6 p.m. - Live Stats | Audio | Video ($)
Saturday, May 10, 6 p.m. - Live Stats | Audio | Video ($)
Sunday, May 11, 3 p.m. - Live Stats | Audio | Video ($)

The Last Meeting
Gonzaga2
UC Davis8
March 24, 2008
Davis, Calif.
Middle-Inning Surge Leads Aggies Past Gonzaga
Scott Heylman and Grant Hirneise had multiple RBI's, and UC Davis scored all eight of its runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to defeat Gonzaga, 8-2, in a non-conference baseball game at Dobbins Stadium Monday afternoon. It was the first Division I baseball game between the two schools.

PROJECTED PITCHING MATCH-UPS...
Friday:
RHP Harry Stanwyck (2-6, 6.48) vs. RHP Brandon Bailey (5-5, 3.33 ERA)
Saturday:
RHP Spencer Koopmans (4-1, 2.91 ERA) vs. RHP Andrew Sopko (4-3, 3.42 ERA)
Sunday:
RHP Evan Wolf (3-4, 3.96 ERA) vs. TBA 

FIRST PITCH: After playing to its 14th one-run decision of the 2014 season on Tuesday at Nevada, the UC Davis baseball team (19-25 overall) continues an eight-game road swing this weekend, heading to the Pacific Northwest for a three-game non-conference series against Gonzaga in Spokane, Wash. The series opens on Friday (May 9) at 6 p.m. from the Patterson Baseball Complex, with games two and three scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.

IN THE POLLS: Neither UC Davis, nor Gonzaga, 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 Spokane, Wash., as well as live streaming audio and video (subscription). Links for both the stats and the live audio will be available on the baseball schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com.

SCOUTING GONZAGA: The Bulldogs enter the weekend with a 20-25 overall record and a 15-9 mark in West Coast Conference play after taking two-of-three from BYU on the road last weekend... Gonzaga has won each of its last four WCC series following a sweep at the hands of San Diego at the beginning of April, and has emerged victorious in eight of its last 10 games... this weekend marks the first home games for Gonzaga in nearly a month as the ‘Zags have posted a 6-6 record at the Patterson Baseball Complex this season and swept a three-game series from conference rival Portland in their last home series... senior Payden Lamb leads all regulars with a .389 average to go with 28 runs scored, 11 doubles, and 22 RBI, slugging .485 on the year and posting a .455 on-base percentage... sophomore Jimmy Sinatro is also hitting better than .300 on the season (.308), scoring 19 times and driving home a team-high 26 runs... the rotation of Taylor Jones (4-2, 4.10 ERA), Brandon Bailey (5-5, 3.33 ERA), and Andrew Sopko (4-3, 3.42 ERA), have combined for four complete games and 140 strikeouts in 229 innings... the Bulldogs are batting .266 and have posted a staff ERA of 4.44, while opponents are hitting .284 against Gonzaga this season.

SERIES NOTES: This weekend will mark only the second meeting between UC Davis and Gonzaga on the diamond, and the first between the two schools since the Aggies’ first Division I season in 2008... it will be UC Davis’ first trip to Spokane after handing the Bulldogs an 8-2 defeat at Dobbins Stadium in the first-ever meeting.

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 third 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.

BACK-TO-BACK BONUS BASEBALL: Coupled with their 10-inning win at Cal State Northridge on May 4, Tuesday’s 10-inning contest at Nevada marked the first time that the Aggies have gone to extra-innings in back-to-back games since they played three straight from Feb. 20-24 last season. With Tuesday’s loss, UC Davis is now 2-2 in extra innings this season and 13-11 in such contests dating back to its first Division I season in 2008.

#WINNING: With their wins in games two and three at Northridge, the Aggies matched their overall (19) and Big West Conference win totals (5) from all of last season with 10 chances remaining in the regular season to surpass those marks.

AND THEY WERE RUN-NIN’: UC Davis’ 11 runs in game two of its series with Cal State Northridge tied a season high (11-2 win over Portland on Feb. 23) and marked the third time this season the Aggies have reached double-digits in that category. The 11-0 shutout victory over the Matadors last Saturday, was the largest winning margin for UC Davis since an 11-run, 19-8, victory vs. UC Riverside on April 21, 2013, and was the largest shutout win since a 16-0 victory at Cal State Northridge on May 2, 2010.

NO MARGIN FOR ERROR: A 6-5 loss on Tuesday at Nevada marked the 14th one-run contest for UC Davis this season as the Aggies fell to 7-7 in such games in 2014. In addition, seven of the team’s last 10 contests have been decided by two runs or fewer as UC Davis is just 2-5 in those games.

BARKER’S BAT IS HIS BITE: Junior outfielder Kevin Barker has reached base safely in each of his last 22 games dating back an 0-for-4 performance against New Mexico State on March 15, surging past teammate Adam Young for the longest such streak by an Aggie this season. Barker’s streak includes a string of hits in each of his last 12 contests, batting .365 (19-for-52) with seven runs scored and eight RBI during that stretch, and hits in 19 of the 22 games where he has reached safely. The San Francisco, Calif., native ranks tied for seventh in the Big West in hits (56) and is the fourth-best hitter in the league with a .352 average heading into this weekend.

MORE ON THE STREAKS: Barker’s 22-game reached base safely streak is the longest for an Aggie since Steven Patterson did so in 31 consecutive games from April 7, 2013, to Feb. 16, 2014, while his 12-game hitting streak is the longest since Patterson’s 13-game run from April 30-May 24 last season.

DOUBLES VISION: As part of his current hitting streak, Barker collected a double in six straight games from April 22 (vs. Saint Mary’s) to May 3 (at Cal State Northridge), upping his team-best total to 10 -- ranking him just outside the top 10 in the Big West Conference entering the weekend.

TAKE TWO: Why have one, when you can take two? The Aggie bats slugged seven doubles as part of a 13-hit attack during in a 13-6 series opening loss at Cal State Northridge last Friday, falling just two shy of the school single-game doubles record set against Cal Poly in 2005. 

COMEBACK KIDS: UC Davis has been adept at coming from behind this season, erasing a deficit for a win in 10 of their 19 victories in 2014.

AND THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING: The Aggies twice reached double-digit hits in their series win at Cal State Northridge over the weekend and added 11 more on Tuesday night against Nevada, giving the offense 19 such performances this season and an average of 8.95 hits per game. UC Davis is averaging 10.5 hits per game over its last four contests, amassing 42 hits in that span -- one more than in its previous six games combined.

HUNGRY LIKE A WOLF: Wolf’s last three starts have left opposing hitters howling as the senior right-hander has posted a 1.59 ERA over his last 22.2 innings, holding opponents to just a .197 (15-for-76) average in that span despite going 0-1 with two no decisions.

KEEPING OPPONENTS “KOOP”-ED UP: Junior right-hander Spencer Koopmans has been stellar over his last five starts dating back to April 2, allowing just five earned runs over his last 24.2 innings for a 1.82 ERA and holding opponents to a .233 average (20-for-86). Thanks to those performances, he has seen his ERA drop nearly half a run to 2.91 -- good for second on the team. 

QUALITY YOU CAN COUNT ON: Wolf’s eight-plus innings last weekend at Northridge marked his team-best sixth quality start of the year (start of at least six innings, allowing three earned runs or fewer) and the 16th of the season by an Aggie pitcher. UC Davis is 6-2 with eight 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 .175 (63-for-361) 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: 1-0, 3 no dec., 0.38 ERA, .195 (16-for-82) avg. against
Evan Wolf: 3-2, 2.30 ERA, .197 (28-for-142) 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 second on the team with 15 walks -- 12 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 team-best .550 on-base percentage over his last 14 starts.

TANNER’S TEAR: Yeah, he’s drawing walks, but this kid can hit as well. Bily exploded for an 11-game hitting streak before having his run snapped in the series finale at Cal State Northridge, batting .514 (18-for-35) over that stretch with 12 runs scored and seven RBI. He has recorded a hit in 13 of his 14 starts this season, including six multi-hit contests and a season-high three hits at UC Riverside on April 17.

BEAST MODE: Borrowing a page out of Marshawn Lynch’s playbook, the Aggies’ own Nick Lynch has been beastly at the plate, logging multiple hits in three of his last four contests, batting .429 (6-for-14) with a pair of runs scored and three RBI. The three multi-hit games give him 14 on the season (good for third on the team) and 45 for his career -- the most of any active Aggie entering the weekend. Lynch, who also leads all active players with 18 career multi-RBI games, has 33 career two-hit performances (most among active players) and is one of only two active UC Davis hitters (Tino Lipson) who has a two-hit, three-hit, four-hit, and a five-hit game, in their careers.

DOUBLE TROUBLE IN THE BIG WEST: Nearly half of the Aggies’ 65 doubles this season have come against Big West Conference pitching as UC Davis leads the league with 32 doubles in conference contests, leading second-place Cal Poly (29) by three, while Barker and junior Nick Lynch rank in a tie for fourth with their five “two-baggers” on the season.

HIP-HIP HOO-RAZO: Freshman left-hander Orlando Razo has been lights-out for the Aggies out of the bullpen as of late, allowing just one earned run over his last 13.1 innings of work (0.68 ERA), scattering 12 hits and striking out six while lowering his ERA from 2.40 at the start of the run to a team-best 1.71 heading into the weekend.

ALWAYS ROOM FOR MORE: Out of a possible 107 scoring innings this season, the Aggies have crossed home plate multiple times in 46 of them -- a rate of 43 percent.

WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER: A lot of Aggies have had a hand in UC Davis’ 19 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. After driving home the game-winner in both of UC Davis’ wins at Cal State Northridge over the weekend, senior Adam Young has taken over the team lead in the category with four, while eight different Aggies lead the way with a pair of game-winning runs scored.

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.

MR. RELIABLE: Senior right-hander Harry Stanwyck is steadily moving up the UC Davis appearances list as his 11 starts this season give him 65 games pitched overall -- moving him into fifth place on the school’s all-time list, passing Justin Fitzgerald (2005-08).

“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.

TAKE THEM OUT TO THE BALLGAME...: 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).