May 20, 2014
THIS WEEK IN AGGIES BASEBALL...
UC Santa Barbara (31-17-1, 9-12) at UC Davis (23-28, 7-14)
Dobbins Stadium - Davis, Calif.
Thursday, May 22, 2:30 p.m. - Live Stats | Audio (KDVS 90.3 FM)
Friday, May 23, 2:30 p.m. - Live Stats | Audio
Saturday, May 24, 1 p.m. - Live Stats | Audio (KDVS 90.3 FM)
PROJECTED PITCHING MATCH-UPS...
Thursday: RHP Spencer Koopmans (4-2, 2.92 ERA) vs. LHP Justin Jacome (7-2, 2.74 ERA)
Friday: RHP Harry Stanwyck (3-7, 5.45 ERA) vs. RHP Austin Pettibone (4-1, 2.79 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Evan Wolf (4-5, 4.23 ERA) vs. RHP Shane Bieber (2-4, 3.86 ERA)
FIRST PITCH: Following a series win over Hawai’i to kick-off its season-ending homestand, the UC Davis baseball team (23-28 overall, 7-14 in the Big West Conference) looks to close out its 2014 campaign on a high note, welcoming UC Santa Barbara to Dobbins Stadium for a three game series. The two teams open play on Thursday afternoon (May 22) at 2:30 p.m., with games two and three to follow on Friday and "Senior Day" Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
IN THE POLLS:
Neither UC Davis, nor UC Santa Barbara, are ranked among the nation’s top 25 entering this week’s contests.
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I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties, live statistics will be available for all of this week’s games from Dobbins Stadium, as well as live streaming audio. Links for both the stats and the live audio will be available on the baseball schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com. Thursday’s and Saturday’s games will also be broadcast locally on KDVS 90.3 FM.
SCOUTING UC SANTA BARBARA: The Gauchos enter the final weekend of the regular season with a 31-17-1 overall record and a 9-12 mark in Big West Conference play... UC Santa Barbara took two-of-three on the road at San Francisco -- part of a string of seven consecutive games away from home to close out the regular season... the Gauchos are 3-4 in league series this season, last taking two-of-three from Cal State Northridge back on May 9-11 by the scores of 4-3 and 6-0 in the first two games before falling, 4-1, in the finale... senior Joey Epperson leads all regulars with a .383 average to go along with 12 doubles, 44 runs scored, four home runs, and 29 RBI, while walking 28 times... junior Tyler Kuresa is hitting .283 on the year and provides the pop with nine home runs and 43 RBI... sophomore left-hander Justin Jacome leads the team with seven wins on the mound to go with a 2.74 ERA in 11 starts, holding opponents to a .254 average in just over 72 innings... junior right-hander Austin Pettibone (4-1, 2.79 ERA) and freshman right-hander Shane Bieber (2-4, 3.86 ERA) round out the UCSB rotation.
SERIES NOTES: According to records dating back to 1960, UC Santa Barbara holds a narrow, 15-14, lead in the all-time series with UC Davis, with the first meeting between the two schools coming in 1964 (an 8-6 win by the Aggies on the Central Coast)... since making the jump to Division I, UC Davis is 8-10 against the Gauchos... UCSB has won the last four meetings with the Aggies, including a sweep of UC Davis at Dobbins Stadium last season... the Aggies’ last win in the series came on April 28, 2012, in Santa Barbara by a 10-6 score... UC Davis’ last series win over the Gauchos came in 2010, sweeping UC Santa Barbara as part of a four-game winning streak... the Aggies are 6-9 at home against the Gauchos.
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 fourth 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.
#WINNING: UC Davis’ 23 victories this season marks the fourth time in the program’s Division I history that the Aggies have topped the 20-win plateau, posting the most wins since they finished 27-30 during the 2012 campaign. With its two wins over Hawai’i this past weekend, UC Davis blew right past last year’s total in conference play (5-22), but the Aggies need a sweep of UC Santa Barbara this upcoming weekend to post their fourth season of 10-or-more wins in Big West action.
BLACKJACK!: UC Davis’ 21 hits in its series finale against Hawai’i on Sunday were a season high and the most since the Aggies, who had six different players collect multiple hits against the Rainbow Warriors, finished with 22 hits in a 16-12 win at Saint Mary’s on May 14, 2013. The performance marked, coincidentally, the 21st time this season that UC Davis has finished with 10-or-more hits in a game while posting its fourth contest with double digits in the runs column.
IT’S GONNA BE MAY!: Every little thing they do, seems to be enough for the Aggies’ offense as UC Davis has kicked off the month of May with its best offense performance of any month thus far this season. The Aggies are batting a robust .307 as a team through its 11 contests this month, so far topping the .280 they hit in March when they finished 8-7, while averaging 5.36 runs and 10.18 hits per game during the month of May -- higher than any other month this season.
MAY SHOWERS: Of hits, that is. Eight different Aggie hitters are batting better than .300 en route to helping the team to its fantastically offense month, with five players also collecting double-digit hits since May 1, led by Tanner Bily and his 14 base knocks -- including a team-best trio of doubles and eight RBI.
BYE, BYE, BYE: It might sound crazy, but it ain’t no lie... Spencer Brann has made a spectacular return to the lineup after missing the team’s previous eight games due to an injury suffered following a collision at home plate in the first game of the UC Irvine series on April 26, slugging his first two home runs of the year and logging hits in each of the team’s last four games. The senior from Hollister, Calif., is batting a stellar .500 (8-for-16) with five runs scored, a double, and three RBI, while slugging .938 in that span.
OH, STEWARDESS?: I speak home run. Brann’s home run at Raley Field against Sacramento State in a mid-week win ended a streak of 128 innings without an Aggie “round-tripper” dating back to Brian Ruhm’s grand slam against the Hornets in the first meeting between the two programs on April 15 at Dobbins Stadium. Prior to that, UC Davis had endured an even longer streak of 182.1 innings without a home run between Kevin Barker’s solo shot against Santa Clara on March 7 and Tanner Bily’s first career shot against Long Beach State on April 13.
EVEN STEVEN: There wasn’t much that Sacramento State, nor Hawai’i, could do to keep senior Steven Patterson off the basepaths this past week. The Stockton, Calif., hit .500 (5-for-10) for the week, with a double and three RBI, but also worked the count in his favor to the tune of seven walks (against only one strikeout) to help boost his on-base percentage to .706 for the four games. Patterson, who made his return to the lineup as a pinch hitter on May 11 at Gonzaga after missing almost a month due to a foot injury, upped his average to .333 on the year (fourth on the team) and his on-base percentage to .447 -- thanks, in part to his 21 total walks (second on the team) -- to stand behind only Tanner Bily’s .495 on-base percentage this season.
IN THE “NICK” OF TIME: Despite being held to only a pair of hits last week, RBI machine Nick Lynch continued to come though in the clutch for the Aggies, driving home five runs in the four games against Sacramento State and Hawai’i. A run-scoring ground-out and a sacrifice fly by the junior helped the Aggies end an eight-game losing streak to the Hornets, just days before adding another sacrifice fly and a two-run double against the Rainbow Warriors in Sunday’s 12-3 win in the finale. The performances brought his team-high total to 31 this season, surpassing his previous career high of 28 set in 2013, while the finale against Hawai’i was his 20th career multi-RBI game -- the most of any active Aggie.
BATTERS UP!: A huge fifth inning by UC Davis in the series finale against Hawai’i saw the Aggies send 13 hitters to the plate against the Rainbow Warriors, the most since they paraded 14 hitters to the dish during a nine-run seventh en route to a 22-4 win over San Jose State on Feb. 20, 2013. The seven runs in the inning on Sunday marked the third time this season that UC Davis has scored at least that many runs in an frame, and the fifth time the Aggies have plated five-or-more runs in an inning in 2014.
BILY’S BIG STICK: Right in the middle of a big sophomore season, Bily continued his hot hitting last weekend against Hawai’i, finishing 6-for-13 (.462) at the plate, including a career-high 4-for-6 performance with two runs scored in the series finale. Bily leads the team with a .378 average over 27 games this season -- including a robust .440 average in 15 Big West Conference contests -- and became only the third Aggie to collect at least four hits in a game in 2014, joining teammates Kevin Barker (four hits vs. San Jose State and five hits at UC Riverside) and Izaak Silva (four hits at Gonzaga).
GOING THE DISTANCE: Senior right-hander Harry Stanwyck went the distance on 135 pitches in the Aggies series opener against Hawai’i last Friday, the second UC Davis hurler (Evan Wolf) to throw a nine-inning complete game in 2014 and the second career complete game for the Castro Valley, Calif., native -- the first coming against Pacific on May 10, 2013, in a 2-0 shutout in Stockton.
A BULLISH 'PEN: The Aggies’ relief corps have been stingy over the team’s last 10 games, allowing just four earned runs (six overall) over its last 26.2 innings for a 1.35 ERA, holding opponents to a .207 average (19-for-92) and posting a better than 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (17 strikeouts against only eight walks). As a reward, the bullpen posted three wins while going 3-for-4 in save opportunities in that span.
KEEPING OPPONENTS “KOOP”-ED UP: Junior right-hander Spencer Koopmans has been stellar over his last six starts dating back to April 12, allowing just eight earned runs over his last 33.2 innings for a 2.14 ERA and holding opponents to a .250 average (30-for-120). Thanks to those performances, he has seen his ERA drop a half a run to 2.92 -- good for second on the team -- while ranking tied for seventh in the league in fewest hits allowed (60) entering the week.
JUSTIN TIME: Freshman right-hander Justin Mullins followed up his career-high 4.1-inning performance at Gonzaga on May 10 with his first career win as an Aggie in Saturday’s victory over Hawai’i, throwing 1.2 innings of relief while allowing a run on a hit in UC Davis’ 5-2 triumph. The Napa, Calif., native has allowed just three earned runs over his last 12 innings (four appearances) for a 2.25 ERA, striking out nine and holding opponents to an average of .150 (6-for-40).
LORD OF THE (SACRIFICE) FLIES: After collecting just one sac fly in their previous 13 games combined (and just nine overall on the year), the Aggie hitters came through with a pair of run-scoring fly balls in a mid-week win over Sacramento State -- the most for UC Davis since it had a pair against Saint Mary’s on May 14 of last season in a 16-12 victory in Moraga, Calif. The Aggies added two more in game two against Hawai’i and another in the finale against the Rainbow Warriors to finish with five on the week -- the same number as in their previous 32 games combined.
SAVE IT!: Junior right-hander Raul Jacobson has been the “save”-ior out of the bullpen as of late for the Aggies, logging the first three saves of his career to nail down wins over Cal State Northridge (May 3), Sacramento State (May 13), and Hawai’i (May 17). Over his last five appearances (11 innings), Jacobson has allowed just one earned run (0.82 ERA) on eight hits, striking out eight, and holding opponents to a .216 (8-for-37) average, while dropping his ERA more than half of run to 3.53 in the process.
QUALITY YOU CAN COUNT ON: Wolf’s eight innings last weekend against Hawai’i marked his team-best seventh quality start of the year (start of at least six innings, allowing three earned runs or fewer) and the 19th of the season by an Aggie pitcher. UC Davis is 8-2 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 .186 (84-for-451) average with four starters posting ERA’s under three.
Stats in Quality Starts
Harry Stanwyck: 3-1, 1.60 ERA, 26 strikeouts, .187 (29-for-155) avg. against
Spencer Koopmans: 1-0, 3 no dec., 0.38 ERA, .195 (16-for-82) avg. against
Evan Wolf: 3-2, 2 no dec., 2.93 ERA, .213 (37-for-174) avg. against
Max Cordy: 1-0, 2.08 ERA, .050 (2-for-40) avg. against
WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER: A lot of Aggies have had a hand in UC Davis’ 23 victories this season as 11 different players have combined to drive home the game-winning run, while 12 different Aggies have scored the game-winning run in 2014. Austin March (last Friday at Gonzaga) and Spencer Brann (Tuesday at Sacramento State) became the latest heroes for UC Davis with their game-winning hits, while Spencer Henderson scored his first game-winning run of the year against the Bulldogs. Senior Adam Young, who leads the team with four game-winning RBI, joins Kevin Barker and Steven Patterson with a team-high three game-winning runs.
DOUBLE TROUBLE IN THE BIG WEST: Nearly half of the Aggies’ 74 doubles this season have come against Big West Conference pitching as UC Davis ranks a close second to Cal Poly (43) with 35 doubles in conference contests. Overall, the Aggies rank tied for third with their 74 doubles on the year and have collected at least one extra-base hit in each of the last 20 games.
ALWAYS ROOM FOR MORE: Out of a possible 125 scoring innings this season, the Aggies have crossed home plate multiple times in 53 of them -- a rate of just under 43 percent.
NO MARGIN FOR ERROR: A 2-1 loss in last week’s series opener against Hawai’i marked the 16th one-run contest for UC Davis this season as the Aggies fell to 7-9 in such games in 2014.
COMEBACK KIDS: UC Davis has been adept at coming from behind this season, erasing a deficit for a win in 12 of their 23 victories in 2014.
“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).