Baseball Wraps Up 2013 vs. UC Santa Barbara

Third baseman Paul Politi will be one of six seniors honored before Sunday's game against UCSB.
 
Third baseman Paul Politi will be one of six seniors honored before Sunday's game against UCSB.
 

May 22, 2013

UC Davis Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis baseball team will wrap up its 2013 season this week with a three-game Big West Conference series against UC Santa Barbara starting Thursday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.

The Aggies (19-34, 5-19 Big West) will meet the Gauchos (31-23, 14-10) at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, 2:30 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.

UC Davis head coach Matt Vaughn will toss junior RHP Harry Stanwyck (4-7, 4.70 ERA) on Thursday, sophomore RHP Spencer Koopmans (1-8, 5.56) on Friday and junior Evan Wolf (3-4, 4.37) on Saturday. UCSB head coach Andrew Checketts will counter with RHP Austin Pettibone (8-3, 3.00), RHP Robby Nesovic (3-3, 5.48) and LHP Andrew Vasquez (2-3, 3.89).

Sunday's game will be senior day, as the Aggies will honor Patrick Hennessey, Ben Burke, Paul Politi, Mike Mazzara and Austin Logan before the game. All five seniors will be making their final appearance in a UC Davis uniform.

UC DAVIS BREAKDOWN

Record: 19-34, 5-19 Big West (10th)

Team BA: .286 Team ERA: 5.28 Errors: 94

All-Time Series: The Aggies are 8-7 against UC Santa Barbara in the Div. I era (2008+) and 2-4 at home.

Recently: The Aggies were swept at Hawai’i last weekend after scoring just four runs in the three-game series. UC Davis’ starting pitchers Harry Stanwyck, Spencer Koopmans and Evan Wolf) posted a 3.72 ERA against the Rainbow Warriors but the bullpen allowed seven runs in 4.2 combined innings (13.50 ERA). 

UC SANTA BARBARA BREAKDOWN

Record: 31-23, 14-10 Big West (T-4th)

Team BA: .235 Team ERA: 4.67 Errors: 39

Friday SP: RHP Austin Pettibone (8-3, 3.00)

Saturday SP: RHP Robby Nesovic (3-3, 5.48)

Sunday SP: LHP Andrew Vasquez (2-3, 3.89)

Recently: UCSB has taken 2-of-3 in its last five Big West series (Long Beach State, UC Riverside, UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge and Pacific). Sophomore Tyler Kuresa leads the Gauchos with 14 doubles and three triples.

ONE TO WATCH

RHP Evan Wolf didn’t pick up a decision in a 6-0 loss on Sunday at Hawai’i, but he was strong. The junior allowed just one earned run (two total) in six innings with one strikeout. He has surrendered 3-or-fewer earned runs in four straight starts. 

THE LAST SEVEN DAYS

UC Davis was swept at Hawai’i after win, 16-12, at Saint Mary’s on May 14. The Aggies went 3-4 on their season-long seven-game roadtrip which started on May 10 at Pacific and ended on May 19 at Hawai’i.  

AROUND THE BIG WEST

Big West teams are in the ninth and final week of conference action. This weekend, in addition to the Aggies hosting UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Fullerton will visit Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly heads to Pacific, Long Beach State trips to UC Irvine and Hawai’i makes the long trek to UC Riverside.

LAST YEAR VS. UC SANTA BARBARA

UC Davis went 1-2 against UCSB on the road last season. UC Santa Barbara won the first game of the series, 8-2, and the rubber match, 3-2, after the Aggies won the second game, 10-6. RHP Craig Lanza pitched 2.2 scoreless innings of relief in game one but the Gauchos got to starter Dayne Quist for eight runs on 10 hits. Paul Politi went 2-for-4 in the game whle Kevin Barker hit a solo home run. In the second game, Tino Lipson went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Barker drove in a pair of runs on another homer. RHP Harry Stanwyck allowed just one walk in two scoreless innings of relief. In game three, the Gauchos scored single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to beat the Aggies, 3-2.

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 has swept or been swept in each of its seven Big West series, other than taking 2-of-3 at Pacific from May 10-12.

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.

HIT PARADE

The Aggies have 533 hits through 53 games, an average of 10.1 per game. In the Big West, UC Davis ranks No. 1 in total hits and has 25 more than second place Cal State Fullerton (508). The Aggies also rank No. 1 in doubles (91), No. 2 in runs scored (288), No. 3 in RBIs (256), and No. 3 in on-base percentage (.361). Nick Lynch’s .361 batting average is the third best in the Big West this season.

PATTERSON IS GOING STREAKING

Steven Pattersonis currently riding a 24-game reached base streak and 11-game hitting streak, both the longest on the team this season. It very easily could be a 24-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 11-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 is hitting .327, third to(Nick Lynch and Tino Lipson on the Aggies’ roster. 

PLATE DISCIPLINE

UC Davis has struck out 252 times this season, the fewest in the Big West. UC Riverside leads the league with 359 strikeouts and no other team has fewer than 267. 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 21.8 at-bats, which ranks No. 4 in the NCAA. Behind the Aggies’ second baseman in the rankings are left fielder Tino Lipson (15.3, 36th) and third baseman Paul Politi (13.7, 58th). 

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 .361, which ranks No. 107 in the NCAA and No. 3 in the Big West, with six doubles and 28 RBIs. Lynch went 5-for-5 at Saint Mary’s last Tuesday.

TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM

UC Davis ranks No. 2 in the Big West and No. 19 in the nation in batters hit by pitches. The Aggies have been plunked 83 times this season. The only team with more in the Big West is UC Santa Barbara, which has been hit by 87 pitches this year. Hawai’i is last in the league, having been hit by just 19 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 225 hits in his standout career. Politi also became just the third player in school history to reach 700 at-bats in his first at UC Irvine on April 26. He currently stands at 762 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. 4 all-time with 194 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 4.29 ERA and six saves in a team-high 25 appearances as the Aggies’ closer. Opponents are hitting just .187 against the 6-foot-4 genetics major from Sacramento, although he has struggled with 25 walks in 35.2 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 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 non-decision start against Sacramento State on May 7. Gallagher recorded his first career win on May 14 at Saint Mary’s. 

LIPSON PROVIDING A SPARK

Sophomore Tino Lipson has seen time at shortstop (13 games), left field (13), 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 17 games, which included 11 starts in left, Lipson has jumped his batting average to .340, second best on the team. Lipson is hitting a team-best .394 in Big West games. He is getting it done with singles as just five of his 52 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 is currently riding a nine-game hitting streak.