Files associated with this release:
WAC Tourney Notes 2012.pdf
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WAC Tournament Central
BASEBALL BEGINS WAC TOURNEY ON THURSDAY
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The regular-season Western Athletic Conference champion Sacramento State baseball team will play its first WAC Tournament game in more than three years at 3 p.m. on Thursday at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Ariz.
Sacramento State baseball begins its run at the WAC Tournament at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
The Hornets (29-26, 11-7 WAC), who earned a bye as the No. 2 seed, will await the results of two first round games on Wednesday before knowing their opponent for Thursday's game. The highest seeded winner of Wednesday's two opening round games will meet the Hornets at 3 p.m. on Thursday with No. 1 seed New Mexico State hosting the lower seeded winner at 7 p.m.
No. 4 seed Hawai'i plays No. 5 seed Fresno State at 3 p.m. on Wednesday before No. 3 seed Nevada takes on No. 6 seed Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m.
Fans can keep tabs on the game via free live stats and a free online radio broadcast at www.hornetsports.com. The WAC is also offering streaming video of all tournament games for $17.95.
SACRAMENTO STATE BREAKDOWN
Team BA: .294 Team ERA: 5.29 Errors: 44
Tournament History: The Hornets are 1-6 in three all-time WAC Tournament appearances. They advanced to the WAC Tournament from 2006-08 but missed the cut from 2009-11. The team’s lone win was, 8-5, over New Mexico State in 2008. In seven total games at the WAC Tournament, the Hornets have played Fresno State three times (0-3).
WAC TOURNAMENT SEEDS
No. 1: New Mexico State* (35-20, 11-7)
No. 2: Sacramento State* (29-26, 11-7)
No. 3: Nevada* (31-23, 11-7)
No. 4: Hawai’i (30-23, 10-8)
No. 5: Fresno State (25-25, 8-10)
No. 6: Louisiana Tech (24-26, 7-11)
* Shared WAC Regular Season Title
HORNETS DOMINATE WAC AWARDS
Andrew Ayers was named WAC Player of the Year, Rhys Hoskins earned WAC Freshman of the Year and head coach Reggie Christiansen was selected as the league’s coach of the year. Ayers, a junior from Eureka, Calif., is only the second Hornet to ever earn WAC player of the year honors. Mike Eby was named WAC Western Division Player of the Year in 1995. Hoskins is the first player at Sacramento State to receive the conference’s freshman of the year award and Christiansen is the first to be named coach of the year. The only honor the Hornets did not claim was WAC Pitcher of the Year, which went to Nevada sophomore Bradey Shipley.
ONE TO WATCH
Second baseman Andrew Ayers was named WAC Player of the Year after he tore up the conference - to the tune of a .427 batting average, 13 runs, seven doubles, one triple, two home runs and 18 RBIs. The junior also made just one error in 18 WAC games.
HORNETS CLAIM FIRST WAC TITLE
Sacramento State won a share of its first-ever Western Athletic Conference title with an 11-7 league record in 2012. Nevada and New Mexico State also posted 11-7 conference marks to claim their first WAC regular season titles as well. The Hornets, who have had a .500 or better WAC record just three times in 11 seasons, won their first conference title since claiming the Div. II Northern California Athletic Conference in 1986.
WAC SERIES RECAPS
Louisiana Tech (L, 7-5) (W, 2-1) (W, 11-6):
The Hornets took 2-of-3 at La Tech to open their conference season (April 6-8). The Bulldogs won the first game, 7-5, before the Hornets rallied to win game two (2-1) and game three (11-6). Clay Cederquist went 5-for-10 in the series while Rhys Hoskins has a team-best five RBIs and a home run. Brennan Leitao earned WAC pitcher of the week after tossing a complete game with one run on five hits and a career-high eight strikeouts.
New Mexico State (L, 16-4) (L, 6-1) (W, 10-7):
Then No. 25 ranked New Mexico State took 2-of-3 from the Hornets at John Smith Field (April 14-15). The Aggies took both games of a doubleheader on Saturday before the Hornets won game three, 10-7, on Sunday. Trevor Paine hit .625 in two games against NMSU while Andrew Ayers hit a home run and had three RBIs. R.J. Davis pitched a perfect inning for a save on Sunday while Brandon Creel was strong in relief, not giving up a hit in five innings with four strikeouts.
Nevada (W, 2-0) (W, 8-7) (L, 9-1):
The Hornets took 2-of-3 from visiting Nevada (April 20-22) to win their second conference series of the season. Dallas Chadwick earned WAC pitcher of the week honors after he struck out eight over seven innings and combined with Tyler Hoelzen and closer R.J. Davis to shut out Nevada in game one. Andrew Ayers hit .636 in the series with two runs, a double and five RBIs. Davis recorded three strikeouts and allowed just one hit in two innings with two saves.
San Jose State (W, 7-2) (W, 8-3) (L, 8-7):
The Hornets took 2-of-3 at San Jose State (April 27-29) but missed a sweep for the second straight weekend. Dallas Chadwick tossed a complete game in the opener while fellow starting pitcher Brennan Leitao earned the win in game two. Hunter Adrian hit .571 in the series with a triple and a home run. Rhys Hoskins had a team-high five RBIs with another home run. Trevor Paine also homered against the Spartans. Brandon Creel was again strong in relief, tossing three hitless innings over two appearances.
Fresno State (W, 9-7) (L, 10-6) (L, 8-6):
After winning two straight league series, the Hornets dropped 2-of-3 at Fresno State (May 4-6). Hunter Adrian hit .500 in the series while Justin Higley had a team-best five RBIs and three runs. Rhys Hoskins led the team with four runs scored with an RBI. The Hornets hit .336 in the series but had a 7.20 team ERA. Every pitcher to make an appearance in the series allowed at least one run.
Hawai’i (W, 7-6) (W, 10-3) (W, 10-2):
The Hornets rebounded from thier loss at Fresno State with a series sweep of Hawai’i, Sacramento State’s first WAC sweep since 2008, when they also swept Hawai’i at home. The Hornets needed extra innings to defeat the Rainbows in game one, when Derrick Chung hit a walk-off single in the 12th. Chung earned WAC hitter of the week honors after hitting .643 against the Rainbows with four runs, one double, one home run and four RBIs. Sacramento State hit four home runs in the series.
CHUNG SETS CAREER RUNS RECORD
With a home run to left in the sixth inning to help sweep Hawai’i on May 13, senior Derrick Chung became the runs leader in Sacramento State Div. I history. His 139 career runs scored eclipsed the previous record of 138 (Aurelio Jackson, 1998-01).
CHUNG NAMED JOHNNY BENCH AWARD SEMIFINALIST
Derrick Chung was named a Johnny Bench Award semifinalist by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission last week, making him one of the final 12 catchers in the running for the prestigious award. Three finalists will be named on June 4 and the award will be presented on June 28. Buster Posey and Kurt Suzuki have won in previous years.
Sacramento State is No. 6 in the nation in fielding percentage (.979) this week and has been ranked in the top-10 since the NCAA published its first official stats on March 4. In that span, Sacramento State led the nation for four weeks. Overall, the Hornets have made just 44 errors in 55 games. Head coach Reggie Christiansen led his team 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 (.355) and senior Derrick Chung (.346) rank No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the conference in batting average.
BETTER WITH THE BATS
Last season, Sacramento State had one regular starter hit better than .270 (Blake Miller, .289). This season, the Hornets have six regular starters hitting .280 or higher, with four players hitting over .300.
DOUBLES FOR DAYS
Sacramento State has hit 112 doubles this season, good for No. 22 in the NCAA. The Hornets have tallied at least one double in all but seven of 55 games and have 3-or-more on 14 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 20 of the last 21 games and tallied five doubles in a three-game series with UNLV last weekend. The Hornets’ season high in a WAC series was nine over three games at Louisiana Tech. 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. Chung is third in the WAC with a .346 batting average. He hit .529 over four games two weeks ago, including a three-game sweep of Hawai’i, 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 23 points to .294. He set the school’s career runs scored record with 139 and is in the top-5 all-time in at-bats (694), hits (204) and doubles (48). He is the fourth player in school history to reach 200 career hits.
HOELZEN SETS APPEARANCE RECORD
Tyler Hoelzen, a junior transfer, set the single-season school record when he made his 28th relief appearance of the year on May 19 vs. UNLV. Mike Penbera set the previous record (27) in 2000.
DAVIS NEARS SAVES RECORD
Senior R.J. Davis has eight saves with a 4.38 ERA. The closer role has not been a prominent one in Sacramento State baseball history. The single season record for saves is just 11, set by Mike Frame in 1989. Last year, Brandon Sandoval and Brandon Creel led the team with two saves each.
FOUR WAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Catcher Derrick Chung and starting pitchers Dallas Chadwick, Tanner Mendonca and Brennan Leitao were Sacramento State’s winners of Verizon WAC weekly awards this season. 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).