May 16, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis baseball team will hit the road for the final time in 2013 this weekend, when the Aggies visit league newcomer Hawai'i for a three-game series starting Friday night.
The Aggies, winners in three of their last four games, and the Rainbows will meet at 9:35 p.m. PT on Friday, 9:35 p.m. PT on Saturday and 4:05 p.m. on Sunday.
UC Davis head coach Matt Vaughn will start junior RHP Harry Stanwyck (4-6, 4.66 ERA) on Friday, sophomore RHP Spencer Koopmans (1-7, 5.68) on Saturday and junior RHP Evan Wolf (3-3, 4.64) on Sunday. Stanwyck is coming off his first career shutout and complete game in a 2-0 victory at Pacific last Friday.
The Rainbows, back in the Big West after a 14-year haiatus, will throw RHP Conner Little (1-6, 4.33) on Friday, RHP Corey MacDonald (6-5, 3.84) on Saturday and RHP Matt Cooper (2-7, 3.31) on Sunday. Links for live stats and online radio are available on the UC Davis baseball schedule.
UC DAVIS BREAKDOWN
Record: 19-31, 5-16 Big West (T-9th)
Team BA: .289 Team ERA: 5.26 Errors: 91
All-Time Series: The Aggies are 2-3 against Hawai'i in the Div. I era (2008+) and 1-3 at Les Murakami Stadium.
Recently: The Aggies have won three of their last four games, including a 16-12 win over Saint Mary's on Tuesday after taking 2-of-3 at Pacific for their second Big West series win of the season. Prior to the series against the Tigers, UC Davis had either swept or been swept in its first six Big West series.
Record: 12-33, 7-14 Big West (8th)
Team BA: .235 Team ERA: 4.67 Errors: 39
Friday SP: RHP Conner Little (1-6, 4.33)
Saturday SP: RHP Corey MacDonald (6-5, 3.84)
Sunday SP: RHP Matt Cooper (2-7, 3.31)
Recently: Hawai'i took 1-of-3 at Long Beach State last weekend after winning 2-of-3 at Pacific the weekend before. The Rainbows are hitting a league-worst .235 as a team and no regular batter is hitting better than .289.
THE LAST SEVEN DAYS
UC Davis has won three of its last four games, including a 2-1 series win at Pacific last weekend and a 16-12 win at Saint Mary's on Tuesday. RHP Harry Stanwyck threw the Aggies' first shutout of the season in a 2-0 win over Pacific on Friday. The Tigers claimed game two of the series, 5-4, before the Aggies rebounded with a 10-7 victory in the rubber-match. First baseman Nick Lynch went 5-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs against the Gaels as every player in the starting lineup had at least one hit for the Aggies. Left fielder Tino Lipson is hitting a blistering .647 over the last four games, with five RBIs and four runs scored.
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. HAWAI'I
UC Davis played Hawai'i just once last year, in a midweek home game on May 14. The Aggies won, 6-3, behind a pair of Paul Politi RBIs and a six strong innings from RHP Evan Wolf, who will start on Sunday. Wolf allowed two runs on six hits in six innings with three walks and five strikeouts.
A TOUGH ROAD TO TRAVEL
UC Davis started league play with one of the toughest conference 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 UC Irvine the following weekend before hosting second place Cal State Northridge from May 3-5. UC Davis had swept or been swept in each of its first six Big West series before taking 2-of-3 at Pacific last weekend.
SWINGING THE STICKS
UC Davis leads the Big West with a .289 team batting average. Hawai'i is hitting .235 as a team, last in the conference. The Aggies feature four players hitting .300 or better Nick Lynch, Tino Lipson, Steven Patterson and Austin Logan) and three more hitting over .280 (John Williams, Cameron Olson and Seth Batty). In addition to 15 appearances and three starts on the mound, LHP Spencer Henderson has made six starts recently at first base, including two last weekend at Pacific. He is hitting .400 in 30 at-bats with, a double, a triple, two RBIs and seven runs scored.
DOUBLE THE RUNS
UC Davis ranks No. 2 in the Big West this season with 284 runs scored. That mark is exactly double Hawai'i's output, which ranks last in the league. The Rainbows have scored 142 runs this year.
The Aggies have 512 hits through 50 games, an average of 10.24 per game. In the Big West, UC Davis ranks No. 1 in total hits and has 27 more than second place Cal State Fullerton (485). The Aggies also rank No. 1 in doubles (89), No. 2 in runs scored (284), No. 2 in RBIs (254), and No. 3 in on-base percentage (.368). Nick Lynch's .371 batting average is the second best in the Big West this season.
LIPSON PROVIDING A SPARK
Sophomore Tino Lipson has seen time at shortstop (13 games), left field (10), designated hitter (6) and second base (4) as a true utility player for the Aggies. But its his move to left that coincided with his explosion at the plate. He made his first appearance in the outfield this season on April 20 against UC Riverside. Lipson was hitting .272 at the time. Over the last 14 games, which included eight starts in left, Lipson has jumped his batting average to .340, second best on the team. Lipson is hitting a team-best .407 in Big West games. He is getting it done with singles as just five of his 48 hits this season have gone for extra bases. He has made up for that, however, as he is a team-high 9-for-11 on stolen base attempts. He has 10 hits in his last 16 at-bats.
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP FOR LYNCH
Nick Lynchwas 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 as a freshman with four homers, eight doubles and 26 RBIs. This year the sophomore is hitting .371, which ranks No. 69 in the NCAA, with six doubles and 28 RBIs. Lynch went 5-for-5 at Saint Mary's on Tuesday afternoon.
PATTERSON IS GOING STREAKING
Steven Pattersonis currently riding a 21-game reached base streak, the longest on the team this season. It very easily could be a 21-game hitting streak, as Patterson has reached by means other than a hit in just three of those 21 contests. After starting the streak with a hit by pitch and a walk, he had a 10-game hitting streak snapped on April 28 at UC Irvine but started his current eight-game hitting streak the very next game, April 30 against Santa Clara. The last time Patterson did not get on base was on April 6 against Cal State Fullerton. Patterson was hitting .297 when he started the 21-game reached base streak on April 7 and is now hitting .346.
PATTERSON AND PLATE DISCIPLINE
UC Davis has struck out 237 times this season, the fewest in the Big West. UC Riverside leads the league with 335 strikeouts and no other team has fewer than 250. 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 20.4 at-bats, which ranks No. 7 in the NCAA. Behind the Aggies' second baseman in the rankings are Paul Politi (14.9, 37th) and Tino Lipson (14.1, 50th).
TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
UC Davis ranks No. 1 in the Big West and No. 14 in the nation in batters hit by pitches. The Aggies have been plunked 83 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. His 20 hit-by-pitches ranks No. 10 in the NCAA this season. 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 222 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. He currently stands at 751 career at-bats. The Los Gatos native jumped former Aggie great and current member of the St. Louis Cardinals, Daniel Descalso, for No. 5 with 43 career doubles. Politi ranks No. 8 all-time with 191 games played (he has started all of those games as well) and is tied with Dennis Flippen for No. 10 in school history with 112 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 4.08 ERA and six saves in a team-high 23 appearances as the Aggies' closer. Opponents are hitting just .182 against the 6-foot-4 genetics major from Sacramento, although he has struggled with 23 walks in 35.1 innings. Williams is fourth on the staff with 18 appearances, including two starts. 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 5.48 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 May 7. Gallagher recorded his first career win on Tuesday at Saint Mary's.
BASEBALL AGAINST THE BAY AREA
UC Davis is now 6-1 against Bay Area teams this year after winning, 16-12, at Saint Mary's on Tuesday afternoon. The Aggies beat San Jose State twice, Stanford once and Saint Mary's twice but split with Santa Clara. UC Davis scored 82 runs in those seven games, including a 2-1 walkoff win over the Cardinal.