Aggies close regular season with three at UC Irvine

May 24, 2017

ON DECK…
GAMES 49-51: UC Davis (20-28, 9-12) at UC Irvine (21-32, 7-14)
Thurs.-Sat., May 25-27, 2017
6:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Irvine, Calif.
Anteater Ballpark
Game Coverage:
Thursday: Live Stats | Audio (UCI) | Tickets
Friday: Live Stats | Audio (UCI) | Tickets
Saturday: Live Stats | Audio (UCI) | Tickets

ON THE MOUND…
Possible starters for this week's series
Thursday: LHP Orlando Razo (5-3, 4.34 ERA) at RHP Louis Raymond (4-5, 3.72 ERA)
Friday: RHP Justin Mullins (4-3, 3.76 ERA) at TBA
Saturday: LHP Robert Garcia (2-7, 4.08 ERA) at TBA

FIRST PITCH: The UC Davis baseball team (20-28 overall, 9-12 in Big West Conference play) closes out its 2017 schedule on the road this weekend, returning to Southern California for a three-game set against UC Irvine, beginning Thursday (May 25) at 6:30 p.m. at Anteater Ballpark. Game two is scheduled for Friday (May 26), also at 6:30 p.m., with Saturday’s (May 27) series finale scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.

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

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SCOUTING UC IRVINE: The Anteaters enter the week with a 21-32 overall record and a 7-14 mark in Big West play, having won four of their last six contests following a 12-4 win over UCLA on Tuesday night... UC Irvine has dropped six of its seven league series this year, having taken 2-of-3 from Hawai’i for its only win... In their last conference weekend, the Anteaters dropped 2-of-3 on the road at UC Riverside, winning the opener, 12-4, before falling 9-3 and 12-2 in the final two games of the series... Junior Keston Hiura paces the offense, batting .419 in all 53 games, with 45 runs scored, 21 doubles, eight home runs, and 38 RBI... He is slugging .672 and has an on-base percentage of .556 thanks to 50 walks and 10 hit by pitches... Right-handers Louis Raymond and Cole Spear lead the weekend rotation with four wins apiece, with Raymond posting a 3.72 ERA and 50 strikeouts... Opponents are hitting .298 against the Irvine staff this year.

SERIES NOTES: According to records that date back to the 1970 season, UC Irvine leads the all-time series with UC Davis by a, 31-8, count, including a 21-6 advantage for the Anteaters during the Aggies’ Division I era... UCI took 2-of-3 from UC Davis in Northern California last season, and has won the last four Big West series between the two programs... The Aggies have won the opening game of the series in each of the last two seasons, posting an 8-3 win in 2015 and a 9-6 victory last year... UC Davis’ only series win against the Anteaters came in 2012 when the Aggies took 2-of-3 at home... UC Davis is just 3-15 against UCI on the road, with the locations of three games in the series unknown.

CONFERENCE CALL: UC Davis is a combined 80-154 (.342) in Big West Conference play since joining the league, finishing as high as fifth in the standings in 2012 and posting a program-best 13 conference victories during its inaugural Big West season in 2008... The nine conference wins this season have surpassed last year’s total (5-19), and are the most for the Aggies since they finished 9-15 back in 2015... One more conference victory (with three to play) would give UC Davis double figures for only the fourth time in the program’s Division I history, joining the 2008 (13), 2012 (12), and 2011 (10), squads... A sweep of UC Irvine this weekend on the road would bring the Aggies to .500 in league play, giving them a record at .500-or-better in the rugged Big West for only the third time since joining the league alongside the 2008 (13-11) and 2012 (12-12) squads.

“SERIES”-IOUS BUSINESS: UC Davis enters the weekend against UC Irvine having won two of its last three weekend series... The four Big West series wins this season 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.

ANDERSON TIES RECORD STREAK: Sophomore Ryan Anderson’s lengthy hitting streak came to an unfortunate end in Monday’s contest against Pacific, as the Tigers held the Pleasanton, Calif., native’s bat in check to stop his run at 19 consecutive games -- a streak that saw him bat .359 (28-for-78) with nine doubles, a triple, two home runs, 10 runs, and 19 RBI. Anderson’s streak ties that of former standout Paul Politi, who hit safely in 19 games from May 13, 2012, to March 1, 2013, for the longest hitting streak in the program’s Division I era.

HE’S GOING THE DISTANCE: For the first time in his career, senior right-hander Justin Mullins went the full nine on the mound for the Aggies in their win over Grand Canyon in game two of the series last weekend. The reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week put forth another award-worthy performance to beat the Antelopes, allowing just one run on six hits, while retiring 13 of the final 14 batters he faced en route to his third win in as many starts. During that run, Mullins has allowed just two earned runs over his last 24 innings (0.75 ERA), scattering 15 hits and striking out 11, while holding opposing hitters to a .179 average (15-for-84).

THAT’S A LOTTA OFFENSE: The 16 runs scored in the Aggies’ 16-1 win over Grand Canyon in game two of the series marked the highest scoring output for UC Davis since a 16-12 victory at Saint Mary’s on May 14, 2013, while the 21 hits that it took to get there were the most since the Aggies had the same number at Hawai’i on May 18, 2014. Most of the 16 runs came in a huge sixth inning that saw the first 11 UC Davis hitters reach base safely on seven hits and four hit batters, scoring 10 times in the frame -- the first time in the program’s Division I history that the Aggies have scored 10 runs in a single inning, and the first since putting up 11 in the fourth inning of a 14-5 win over Cal State Dominguez Hills on April 10, 2004.

EXTRA, EXTRA!: After more than a calendar year between extra-inning contests, the Aggies ended a four-game skid in such games with their 4-3 win in 10 innings against UC Riverside on May 12. UC Davis is 1-1 in extra innings this season, evening up its record at 18-18-1 in extra innings since the Aggies’ Division I debut in 2008.

MASON MASHING: Senior Mason Novak has been on an absolute tear to close out the 2017 campaign, logging hits in each of his last six contests -- including his fourth multi-hit performance in the team’s last five games with a 2-for-3 day against Pacific on Monday (May 22). During his run, Novak is hitting a robust .522 (12-for-23) with six runs scored, four walks, and four RBI, raising his average 65 points in the process.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME: Senior Jacob Thomas has had the decisive run in seven of the Aggies’ victories this season -- the most of any UC Davis player this season (Cameron Olson is second with three) -- and has given his team the lead for good in four of the team’s last six wins. At the plate, 10 different Aggie hitters have been credited with the game-winning RBI, led by sophomore Ryan Anderson, who has four.

BRUISE CRUISE: If teammates Ryan Hooper and Alex Aguiar sport any more tape, it’s going to look like part of the uniform. Hooper was plunked twice last week to bring his season total to 13 on the year, placing him third in the Big West heading into the final weekend. Aguiar was a little more worse off, hit three times to give him 12 on the season, moving him into fourth in the league.

SWING AND A MISS: Five more strikeouts in his start against Grand Canyon last week improved junior Orlando Razo’s career high total to 76 this season, moving him into sole possession of fourth on the school’s single-season list during the Division I era -- just nine back of the record of 85 (which also ranks 10th on the school’s all-time list) set by Dayne Quist in 2012.

JACKED: UC Davis’ 28 home runs are just one shy of its total from the last two years combined and stand as the second-highest total in the program’s Division I history, trailing only the record of 34 smacked in 2008. Senior Cameron Olson, who holds the program’s Division I career record with 16 home runs, ranks tied for second on the single-season list with seven, while teammate Ryan Anderson is tied for fourth with six.

MR. BASEBALL… TOO FAST!: The Aggies were 3-for-4 in stolen bases last week against Grand Canyon and Pacific, increasing their season total to 59 -- keeping them in second place in the Big West behind only Long Beach State (62) entering the final weekend of the regular season. Individually, junior Alex Aguiar ranks tied for seventh in the league with 11 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.

GOT HEEM: While the Aggies have been busy swiping bags, senior catcher Ignacio Diaz has been doing his best to see that opponents don’t do so against UC Davis, standing tied for second in the league with 17 runners caught stealing entering the weekend.