BASEBALL CLOSES OUT REGULAR SEASON WITH NON-CONFERENCE SERIES VS. UNLV
The Hornets close out the regular season at home this weekend with a series against UNLV.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - With its Western Athletic Conference schedule completed, the Sacramento State baseball team will close out the 2012 regular season with a three-game non-conference series against Mountain West member UNLV this weekend.
The Hornets (29-23, 11-7 WAC) have a chance to win 30 games in a season for the first time since 2003. The Div. I program record for wins in a single season is 41, set in 1991. Sacramento State played a program-high 64 games that season while the Hornets will play their 53rd game of the year on Friday against UNLV.
Sacramento State and UNLV will meet at 3 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
It will be Senior Day for the Hornets on Sunday as the coaches and fans will recognize the achievements of seniors Hunter Adrian, Derrick Chung, R.J. Davis, Brent Hottman and Trevor Paine before the game.
SACRAMENTO STATE BREAKDOWN
Team BA: .296 Team ERA: 5.19 Errors: 40
All-Time Series: The Hornets are 2-1 all-time against UNLV in their Div. I era (1990+).
Recently: The Hornets are coming off a perfect week. Sacramento State defeated Saint Mary’s on Tuesday before sweeping Hawai’i in a three-game WAC series.
Team BA: .293 Team ERA: 4.95 Errors: 77
Friday SP: RHP Erick Fedde (5-4, 2.85)
Saturday SP: TBA
Sunday SP: LHP Jesse Garcia (1-1, 4.85)
Recently: Last weekend UNLV dropped a home series with New Mexico, 2-1. The Rebels have lost eight of their last 11 games.
WAC WEEKEND SCHEDULE
First-place Nevada at fourth-place Hawai'i (5/17-5/19)
Third-place New Mexico State at seventh-place San Jose State (5/18-5/20)
Sixth-place Louisiana Tech at fifth-place Fresno State (5/18-5/20)
UNLV at second-place Sacramento State (5/18-5/20)
LAST WEEK IN THE WAC
Fresno State - The Bulldogs took 2-of-3 on the road at New Mexico State last weekend.
Hawai’i - The Rainbows were swept at Sacramento State and were outscored 27-11.
Louisiana Tech - The Bulldogs had the weekend off.
Nevada - Remained in first place after sweeping San Jose State at home. Also defeated UC Davis, 9-8, in a midweek home game.
New Mexico State - Dropped 2-of-3 to Fresno State.
San Jose State - SJSU was swept at Nevada. The Spartans have lost six straight conference games.
WAC TOURNAMENT FAN INFO
The Western Athletic Conference Tournament runs from May 23-27 at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Ariz. The top six teams in the seven-team league advance to the WAC Tournament, which is double elimination. The top two seeds earn a bye in the first round. Click HERE for the schedule. An all-session pass for the tournament can be purchased ahead of time HERE for $30, with access to every game. Single-game tickets will also be offered at the gate. For fans that cannot attend, Sacramento State will offer a free online radio feed HERE with Hornet baseball broadcasters Nate Goodyear and Kyle Madson making the trip. A live video feed for every game is also offered by the WAC HERE for $17.95.
WORST TO FIRST?
If everything plays out in its favor this weekend, the Sacramento State baseball team could join Cornell as the only teams in the country that went from last place in its conference last season to first place this year. The Big Red went from last in their four-team Ivy League division to first place this year and defeated Darmouth for the Ivy League title. The Hornets, currently in second place, have 11 conference wins, the most in the league, but need some help to finish in first. First-place Nevada is at Hawai'i this weekend and Sacramento State needs the Rainbows to take 2-of-3 games while San Jose State, which hosts third-place New Mexico State, must win at least one game. If New Mexico State sweeps the Spartans and Hawai'i sweeps Nevada, the Hornets earn the No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament but the Hornets, Aggies and Rainbows will all be regular season co-champions with identical 11-7 league records. If Nevada takes at least 2-of-3 at Hawai'i, they will earn the league title outright as they enter the weekend with a 10-5 WAC record. In another scenario, if Hawai'i takes 2-of-3 from Nevada and New Mexico State sweeps San Jose State, the Aggies earn the No. 1 seed but split the league title with the Hornets. Click HERE for the WAC standings.
Sacramento State is No. 4 in the nation in fielding percentage (.981) after leading the NCAA for four straight weeks. The Hornets led the nation with a .981 last week but slipped to a .980 after making six errors over four games last week. Overall, the Hornets have made just 40 errors in 52 games. Head coach Reggie Christiansen led Sacramento State to the second-best fielding percentage in school history last season at .969. The school record is .971, set in 2000.
HEART OF THE LINEUP
Sacramento State has two of the three best hitters in the WAC as freshman Rhys Hoskins and senior Derrick Chung rank No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the conference in batting average. Hoskins, a Sacramento native, is hitting .364 in his rookie campaign, good for No. 97 in the nation, while Chung is hitting a career-best .362, ranking him No. 107 in the NCAA.
DOUBLES FOR DAYS
Sacramento State has 106 doubles this season, good for No. 24 in the NCAA. The Hornets have tallied at least one double in all but seven games and have hit 3-or-more on 13 occassions. Sacramento State had a season-high seven doubles (out of 10 total hits) at UC Riverside on March 9. They have hit at least one double in 17 of the last 18 games and tallied 10 doubles over four games last week. The school record for doubles in a season is 137, set in 1988.
CHUNG’S CAREER YEAR
Senior catcher Derrick Chung is having the best season of his career. After hitting .275 through the first 10 games this season, Chung is now third in the WAC with a .362 batting average. He hit .529 over four games last week and was named WAC Hitter of the Week for his efforts. Chung’s previous career-best batting average was .291, in his sophomore season. He was a .271 hitter entering the season but his career average has now jumped 27 points to .298.
FOUR WAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Catcher Derrick Chung joined starting pitchers Dallas Chadwick, Tanner Mendonca and Brennan Leitao as winners of Verizon WAC player of the week awards. Chung earned the hitter award after batting .529 in four games, including a three-game sweep of Hawai’i (5/8-13). Chung had two walk-offs in that span, including a sacrifice fly in the 10th to beat Saint Mary’s in a midweek game and a walk-off single in the 12th to beat the Rainbows in the series opener. Chadwick won pitcher of the week after tossing seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and no walks against Nevada (April 20). Mendonca won the same after throwing a shutout against CSU Bakersfield (3/30) and Leitao won following his complete game victory with a career-high nine strikeouts at Louisiana Tech (4/7).
BETTER WITH THE BATS
Last season, Sacramento State had one regular starter that hit over .270 (Blake Miller, .289). This season, the Hornets have six regular starters hitting .270 or better, with four players hitting over .300.
HOELZEN TIES APPEARANCE RECORD
Tyler Hoelzen, a junior transfer, tied the single-season school record when he made his 27th relief appearance of the season on Sunday vs. Hawai’i. Hoelzen is the Hornets’ top lefty out of the bullpen.