Baseball Visits Pacific This Weekend

Second baseman Steven Patterson returns to Stockton to face his hometown Tigers this weekend.
 
Second baseman Steven Patterson returns to Stockton to face his hometown Tigers this weekend.
 

May 9, 2013

UC Davis Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis baseball team starts a season-long seven-game road trip this weekend as the Aggies visit Pacific for a three-game Big West Conference series starting Friday.

The Aggies and Tigers will meet at 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

UC Davis head coach Matt Vaughn will start RHP Harry Stanwyck (3-6, 5.29) on Friday, RHP Spencer Koopmans (1-6, 6.07) on Saturday and RHP Evan Wolf (2-3, 4.58) on Sunday. Pacific head coach Ed Sprague will counter with LHP John Haberman (1-5, 5.87) on Friday and RHP Jake Jenkins (0-7, 6.82) on Saturday's. His Sunday starter is TBA.

The series will be a homecoming for junior second baseman Steven Patterson, who grew up in Stockton, Calif., and stared St. Mary's HS. There are four St. Mary's graduates on the Pacific roster, including Haberman. Patterson is currently second on the team with a .331 batting average and 10 doubles.

After the weekend set at Pacific, UC Davis heads to Saint Mary's on May 14 and then Hawai'i for a three-game league series starting May 17.

UC DAVIS BREAKDOWN

Record: 16-30, 3-15 Big West (10th)

Team BA: .285 Team ERA: 5.36 Errors: 85

All-Time Series: The Aggies are 7-8 vs. Pacific in the Div. I era (2008+) and 2-4 at Klein Family Field.

Recently: The Aggies have lost four straight games since beating Santa Clara at home, 11-9, on April 30. UC Davis is coming off a heartbreaking, 4-3, loss to rival Sacramento State on Tuesday after the Hornets scored all four of their runs in the eighth inning. Nick Lynch is hitting a team-best .362. 

PACIFIC BREAKDOWN

Record: 12-31, 4-14 Big West (9th)

Team BA: .258 Team ERA: 5.55 Errors: 56

Friday SP: LHP John Haberman (1-5, 5.87)

Saturday SP: RHP Jake Jenkins (0-7, 6.82)

Sunday SP: TBA

Recently: Pacific has won two straight games after beating Hawai'i, 6-5, last Sunday to avoid a sweep and winning, 8-1, at Santa Clara on Tuesday. Tyler Sullivan is hitting a team-high .307 while Erik Lockwood has 12 doubles.

THE LAST SEVEN DAYS

UC Davis has lost four straight games since beating Santa Clara on April 30. The Aggies were swept at home by surging Cal State Northridge last weekend and fell, 4-3, to their rival, Sacramento State, on Tuesday afternoon, also at home. UC Davis went 1-4 on its five game homestand. The Aggies will now embark on a seven game roadtrip, their longest of the season. Head coach Matt Vaughn's squad will be at Pacific this weekend, visit Saint Mary's on Tuesday and finish the trip with the long trek to Hawai'i next weekend.

AROUND THE BIG WEST

Big West teams are in the seventh week of conference action, with two remaining. This weekend, in addition to Pacific hosting the Aggies,  UC Santa Barbara will visit Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton heads to UC Riverside, UC Irvine hosts Cal Poly and Hawai'i makes a trip to Long Beach State.

LAST YEAR VS. PACIFIC

UC Davis took 2-of-3 last year from Pacific at Dobbins Stadium. After game one was pushed back due to rain, the Aggies swept a Saturday doubleheader to claim the first two games - 1-0 and 9-7 - but lost the finale of the series, 1-0. In game one, Dayne Quist allowed just three hits and one walk over nine innings in a shutout performance while Paul Politi hit a walkoff home run to left. Nick Lynch went 3-for-5 with six RBIs and a run scored in the 9-7 game two win, when Harry Stanwyck tossed two innings of one-hit relief. In game three, a RBI groundout in the fifth inning was all Pacific starter Mike Hager (eight innings) and reliever John Prato Matthews (one inning) needed as the pair recorded a shutout with 10 hits allowed and no walks. The Aggies had a chance to walkoff again and sweep the series as David Popkins and Politi led off the ninth with back-to-back singles but two fielder's choices and a strikeout ended the threat.

A TOUGH ROAD TO TRAVEL

UC Davis faced one of the toughest league schedules in the Big West this season. The Aggies started out at Cal Poly before hosting Cal State Fullerton and tripping to Long Beach State. UC Davis went 0-9 through the first three weekends of league play but rebounded with a sweep of then-second place UC Riverside on April 19-21. But the tough slate continued, as the Aggies visited nationally ranked UC Irvine the following weekend before hosting second place Cal State Northridge last weekend. UC Davis has swept or been swept in each of its first six Big West series.

SWINGING THE STICKS

UC Davis leads the Big West with a .285 team batting average, which is tied with UC Irvine. Pacific is hitting .258 as a team, second to last in the conference. The Aggies feature four players hitting .300 or better (Nick Lynch, Steven Patterson, Cameron Olson and Austin Logan) and three more hitting over .280 (Tino Lipson, John Williams and Seth Batty). In addition to 14 appearances and two starts on the mound, LHP Spencer Henderson has made four starts at first base, including two last weekend against Cal State Northridge. He is hitting .421 in 19 at-bats with five runs scored and two RBIs.

HIT PARADE

The Aggies have 460 hits through 46 games, an average of 10 per game. In the Big West, UC Davis ranks No. 1 in total hits and has 24 more than second place Cal Poly (436). The Aggies also rank No. 1 in doubles (81), No. 3 in runs scored (252), No. 3 in RBIs (228), and No. 3 in on-base percentage (.364). Nick Lynch's .362 batting average is the third best in the Big West this season.

NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP FOR LYNCH

Nick Lynch was a named a Freshman All-American by Louisville Slugger last season, and the first baseman is showing last year was definitely not a fluke. Lynch hit .302 last season with four homers, eight doubles and 26 RBIs. This year the sophomore is hitting .362 with six doubles and 26 RBIs. Lynch has really come around lately, hitting a team-best .447 over the last 10 games with a whopping .522 on-base percentage in that same span. Lynch is currently riding a 12-game on-base streak after getting his nine-game hit streak snapped on Tuesday against Sacramento State. Lynch hit .556 (5-for-9) with six RBIs in three games against Pacific last year.

PATTERSON IS GOING STREAKING

Steven Patterson lost his team-best 10-game hitting streak last weekend at UC Irvine, but he still maintains a 17-game on-base streak, matching Paul Politi for the longest on the team this season. Patterson was hitting .297 before the on-base streak started on April 7 against Cal State Fullerton, but is now hitting .331. Patterson has recorded seven multi-hit games during the streak and posted 15 RBIs. He returns to his hometown of Stockton this weekend. 

PATTERSON AND PLATE DISCIPLINE

UC Davis has struck out 215 times this season, the fewest in the Big West. UC Riverside leads the league with 305 strikeouts and no other team has fewer than 230. 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 20.6 at-bats, which ranks No. 6 in the NCAA. Behind the Aggies' second baseman in the rankings are Paul Politi (14.2, 57th) and Tino Lipson (13.2, 68th). 

TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM

UC Davis ranks No. 1 in the Big West and No. 15 in the nation in batters hit by pitches. The Aggies have been plunked 76 times this season. Hawai'i is last in the league, having been hit by just 17 pitches.

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 20 pitches this season by himself and is just one away from matching David Butterworth's single-season school record of 21, set in 2003. Lynch has been hit by 31 pitches in his career, placing him seventh in school history.

POLITI IN THE RECORD BOOKS

Senior Paul Politi's double against Santa Clara on April 30 moved him to No. 3 all-time at UC Davis in career hits, edging out current assistant coach Tony Schifano, who was in third with 214. Politi now has 217 hits in his storied career. Politi also became just the third player in school history to reach 700 at-bats in his first at-bat at UC Irvine on April 26. The Los Gatos native is tied with former Aggie great and current member of the St. Louis Cardinals, Daniel Descalso, for No. 7 with 42 career doubles. Politi ranks No. 9 all-time with 187 games played (he has started all of those games as well) and is just outside the top-10 with 109 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 4.32 ERA and six saves in a team-high 22 appearances as the Aggies' closer. Opponents are hitting just .175 against the 6-foot-4 genetics major from Sacramento, although he has struggled with 23 walks in 33.1 innings. Williams is fourth on the staff with 17 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 solid 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 4.76 currently. He allowed just two runs on seven hits in seven innings with no walks and three strikeouts in a start against Sacramento State on Tuesday. Gallagher threw 1.1 perfect innings with a strikeout on Sunday against Cal State Northridge. 

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 4-17 in seven series against SoCal schools Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly, Long Beach State, UC Riverside, UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge.