Aggies break from Big West to host Grand Canyon

May 18, 2017

ON DECK…
GAMES 45-47: Grand Canyon (27-24) at UC Davis (18-26)
Thurs.-Sat., May 18-20, 2017
2:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Phil Swimley Field at Dobbins Stadium
Davis, Calif.
Game Coverage:
Thursday: Live Stats
Friday: Live Stats
Saturday: Live Stats | Live Video

FIRST PITCH: On a bye week from Big West Conference play, UC Davis welcomes Western Athletic Conference regular season champion Grand Canyon to Phil Swimley Field at Dobbins Stadium for a three-game series this week, beginning Thursday (May 18) and running through Saturday (May 20). First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. for each of the first two games of the series, with a 1 p.m. first pitch on Saturday, which will be preceded by “Senior Day” festivities.

IN THE POLLS: Neither UC Davis, nor Grand Canyon, are ranked among the top 25 heading into this weekend’s series.

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SCOUTING GRAND CANYON: The Western Athletic Conference regular season champion Antelopes enter the week with a 27-24 overall record and a 20-4 mark in league play... Grand Canyon has won eight of its last 11, and seven of its last nine on the road, improving to 12-15 away from home this year... Junior outfielder Tom Lerouge leads all regulars with a .364 average on the year, scoring 31 runs and driving in 25 of his own... Lerouge is one of six Antelopes hitting better than .300 on the year, helping Grand Canyon to a .296 average as a team... The weekend rotation has combined to post a 3.81 ERA between the three, with Jake Repavich and Jack Schneider leading the way with six victories apiece -- the latter a perfect 6-0 on the season.

SERIES NOTES: UC Davis leads the all-time series with Grand Canyon, 15-9, but the two program’s have not met since the 2004 season when the Aggies swept the Antelopes in a four-game series in Phoenix, Ariz., outscoring them 34-15 in the process... UC Davis has won the last five consecutive meetings with Grand Canyon... The two last played in Northern California back in 2003, as the Aggies and Antelopes split a four-game series... All told, UC Davis is 6-5 against Grand Canyon at home, including a four-game sweep in 2001, and three straight wins by the Antelopes in 1999.

CONFERENCE CALL: Grand Canyon is the third Western Athletic Conference opponent for UC Davis this season after the Aggies took 2-of-3 from Utah Valley and split a pair of midweek games against Causeway rival Sacramento State earlier this year... UC Davis is a combined 121-138-3 (.468) overall against the current WAC baseball alignment, with a majority of those games (199) coming against the Hornets since the 1960 season… The Aggies have also faced Grand Canyon (15-9), New Mexico State (3-1), Utah Valley (7-3), CSU Bakersfield (4-8), and Seattle (6-7).

MULLINS EARNS BIG WEST WEEKLY HONORS: Senior right-hander Justin Mullins became the third UC Davis pitcher to pick up a Big West Pitcher of the Week award on Monday afternoon (May 15) after throwing 8.1 shutout innings to help the Aggies to a win over UC Riverside and a league series victory. The honor was the first of Mullins’ career, joining teammates Orlando Razo (Feb. 27 and April 17) and Robert Garcia (May 8) as UC Davis honorees this year. It marks only the second time in the program’s Division I history that three different Aggie pitchers have won weekly pitcher of the week honors, joining Eddie Gamboa (April 21), Brad McAtee (April 28), and Andy Suiter (May 5), doing so during the 2008 season. Read the complete release here: http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/051517aaa.html.

“SERIES”-IOUS BUSINESS: UC Davis enters the weekend against Grand Canyon having won each of its last two weekend series after taking 2-of-3 from UC Riverside for its fourth conference series win of the year... The four Big West series wins are the most for the program since the Aggies won five in conference play during the 2012 campaign -- the most since joining the league in 2008... Each of the last six Big West series wins for the Aggies have seen them take 2-of-3 from their opponents dating back to a sweep of UC Riverside in 2015... Of UC Davis’ 30 all-time series wins in Big West play, 19 have been at home, while 11 have come on the road... Eight of the Aggies’ last 11 Big West series wins have been at home.

#WINNING: Having taken 2-of-3 from UC Riverside, UC Davis improved to 9-12 in Big West Conference play, surpassing last season’s league win total and the most for the program since the Aggies finished with nine Big West triumphs in 2015. One more conference win and UC Davis will post double-digit wins in league play for the fourth time since joining the conference: 2008 (13), 2012 (12), and 2011 (10).

RYAN IS RAKING: Thanks to a career-high three hits on Tuesday night at Nevada, sophomore Ryan Anderson extended his team-best hitting streak to 16 consecutive games -- tied for the fourth longest in the program’s Division I history, matching Jake Jefferies and his 16-game run from Feb. 29-March 26, 2008. During his current run, Anderson is batting .365 (23-for-63) with six doubles, two home runs, and a team-high 16 RBI, driving in at least one run in 11 of those contests.

TWO’S COMPANY, BUT THREE’S A CAREER HIGH: Anderson’s first career three-hit game finally got the Pleasanton, Calif., native off the “schneid,” setting a new benchmark at the plate after collecting 23 two-hit games over the past two-plus seasons as an Aggie.

HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAY!: Junior right-hander Zach Stone has had a busy week, racking up a win and a save against UC Riverside over the weekend, and bringing home his third save of the season in the Aggies’ midweek win at Nevada on Tuesday night. The two saves extended his school-record total to 25 for his career, while the Eureka, Calif., native improved to 5-2 in the series opener against the Highlanders, clinching his 12th career victory and moving into fourth on the porgram’s Division I wins list.

WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER: Game-winning hits in each of the first two games of the series against UC Riverside gave sophomore Ryan Anderson four on the season -- the most of any Aggie thus far this season... With his three-run home run on Tuesday at Nevada, sophomore Caleb Van Blake became the 10th different UC Davis player to drive in a game-winning run... Senior Jacob Thomas has been in the right place at the right time the most this season, scoring a team-best six game-winning runs.

SWING AND A MISS: Following his seven-strikeout performance in the opener against UC Riverside, junior Orlando Razo increased his career high total to 71 this season, moving him into a tie for fourth on the school’s single-season list during the Division I era -- just 14 back of the record of 85 (which also ranks 10th on the school’s all-time list) set by Dayne Quist in 2012.

OLSON INCHES CLOSER: Senior Cameron Olson, who set the program’s Division I mark with his 16th career home run against No. 9 Long Beach State on April 28, moved even closer to the all-time top 10 with another long ball in the opener against UC Riverside last weekend, standing just one shy of a four-way tie for 10th. Olson’s seven home runs this season are the most in the program’s Division I era since Kyle Mihaylo hit the same number in 2010 and are just three back of Ryan Royster’s record of 10 set in 2008.

JACKED: With three home runs in its last four games, UC Davis has collected 28 on the year -- now the second-highest total in the program’s Division I and just six back of the record of 34 smacked in 2008. With Olson hitting seven, and teammate Ryan Anderson hitting six more, the Aggies have two sluggers with at least six home runs in a season for the first time since 2008 when Royster (10) and Mihaylo (six) did so.

THAT’S GONNA LEAVE A MARK: Olson has found his way -- albeit a painful one -- into another UC Davis record book category, as his 27 career hit by pitches places him 10th on the all-time list, just one back of Scott Heylman for ninth.

MR. BASEBALL… TOO FAST!: Seven more steals against UC Riverside and Nevada have increased the Aggies’ total to 56 on the year, keeping them in second place in the Big West Conference entering the weekend behind only Long Beach State (62). Individually, junior Alex Aguiar ranks tied for seventh in the league with 10 on the season, helping UC Davis to its third-highest season total in the school’s Division I history behind only the 2015 (103) and 2016 (78) seasons.