Aggies head to Albuquerque for three

May 16, 2018

GAME 48-50: UC Davis (15-31, 7-14 BWC) at New Mexico (18-32-1, 11-19 MWC)
Fri. - Sun., May 18-20, 2018
6:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Santa Ana Star Field
Albuquerque, N.M.
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Video

Probable starters for this weekend’s game
Friday: RHP Matt Blais (3-7, 5.50 ERA) vs. RHP Justin Slaten (2-8, 6.75 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Jared Sasaki (3-5, 4.41 ERA) vs. RHP Cody Dye (4-6, 5.72 ERA)
Sunday: LHP Chris Brown (3-5, 5.32 ERA) vs. Nathaniel Garley (2-4, 5.17 ERA)

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DAVIS, Calif. — UC Davis will make its way to Albuquerque, New Mexico for its final road series of the season to face the Lobos of New Mexico for the first time in program history. The three-game set begins on Friday (May 18) at 6:30 p.m. at Santa Ana Star Field, continuing on Saturday (May 19) at 2 p.m., followed by a 1 p.m. first pitch for the finale on Sunday (May 20). 

UC Davis, nor New Mexico, are ranked among the top 25 squads this week. 

The Lobos kicked off their 2018 campaign at the Surprise Tournament held in Surprise, Arizona, where they dropped a pair of games to then-ranked No. 2 Oregon State and stole one from Big West Conference member, Cal Poly, by a 3-1 margin… Hosting Central Michigan in its home opener at Santa Ana Star Field, the Lobos recorded their first series victory taking three of four from the Chippewas before beginning Mountain West Conference play… Playing two series apiece against Nevada, Fresno State, Air Force, and San Diego State, New Mexico holds an 11-19 league record, taking both series wins over Air Force and splitting with San Diego State… The Lobos also took two of three against UNLV before enduring a three-game sweep by San Jose State… Against non-conference opponents, the Lobos dropped a meeting against then-ranked No. 3 Texas Tech and rolled to a pair of wins over Columbia, before splitting a two-game series with Grand Canyon… Junior Hayden Schilling paces the New Mexico lineup with a .323 average at the plate and leads the team with 53 hits, 14 doubles, and 26 drawn walks… Despite appearing in only 29 of the Lobos’ scheduled games this season, junior outfielder Jared Mang leads the offense with a .549 slugging percentage and 29 RBI, and has belted a team-high eight home runs… As a staff, the Lobos carry a 6.57 ERA with opponents averaging .310 against… New Mexico’s all-sophomore rotation includes right-hander Cody Dye (4-6, 5.72 ERA), who has allowed 50 earned runs on 96 hits over a team-high 78.2 innings of work, while walking 28 and pacing the staff with 66 strikeouts over 13 starts this season… RHP Justin Slaten (2-8, 6.75 ERA) carries a .302 average against over 65.1 innings pitched, while right-hander Nathaniel Garley (2-4, 5.17 ERA) has recorded one save in 17 appearances with a .295 average against over 54 innings on the mound. 

This weekend’s series with the Lobos will mark the first meeting between the two schools in baseball.

Recycled Notes

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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).

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.

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.

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

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