* A Brief Preview
Following four weeks of Big West Conference play, the Sacramento
State baseball team will play five non-conference games this week.
The Hornets (19-28 overall, 3-9 Big West) open the week against
Hawai'i on Tuesday before moving to Raley Field to take on No. 8
Stanford on Wednesday. The team concludes its week with a three-game
set at UC Riverside starting on Friday.
Sacramento State enters the week having lost four of its last five
and 18 of its past 22 games. The team was riding a four-game losing
streak until it defeated Cal Poly on Sunday.
Hawai'i is currently 22-24 overall. The Rainbows took two of three
against Oregon State over the weekend. UH opened the season with a
2-1 series victory over the Hornets in Honolulu.
Stanford is 34-12 overall but lost two of three at California over
the weekend. The Cardinal hosts Santa Clara on Tuesday.
UC Riverside was swept by Cal State Fullerton in its three-game
series and now owns a 16-29 overall record. The Highlanders took all
three games against the Hornets earlier this year.
* A Look at Last Week
Tuesday, the Sacramento State bullpen collapsed late in the game,
allowing four runs in the ninth inning en route to a 4-3 loss to
Santa Clara. The defeat spoiled a spectacular effort by freshman
Marshall Plouffe who allowed only one hit in seven inning of work.
Joe Evans was the lone bright spot for the Hornet offense. The senior
hit his team-leading 11th and 12th home runs of the season.
Friday, Cal Poly claimed a victory in a seesaw game which saw each
team lead. The Mustangs jumped ahead, 4-1, after the third inning
only to see Sacramento State post a 5-4 advantage after the top of
the sixth. Cal Poly responded with four runs in the bottom half of
the inning and added a run in the eighth to win, 9-5.
Freshman Bobby Ciani had three hits to lead the Hornets. Dave Lusk
and Evans each added a pair of hits.
The hard luck continued on Saturday. After trailing, 2-0, Sacramento
State tied the game in the sixth inning. The Mustangs, however,
posted single runs in the seventh and eighth and never relinquished
the lead before winning, 4-3.
Freshman Chris Kinsey continued to pitch well for the Hornets. Kinsey
allowed three earned runs through seven innings and struck out six in
Sunday, the team ended its four-game losing streak with a 6-2 win
over Cal Poly. Senior Mike Miranda recorded his third complete game
of the season to improve to 7-4. The Stockton, Calif., native struck
out four and walked two in the win.
The Mustangs led, 2-0, after fourth inning but Sacramento State
responded with a pair of runs in the fifth on five singles. Carlos
Morales put the team up for good in the seventh when he hit a
three-run home run. Morales, who ended the day 3-for-5 with four RBI,
added the final run when he scored from third on a balk in the ninth.
A Look at the Hornets
* On the Leaderboard
Sacramento State gained a little ground in the Big West statistical
categories. The Hornets are now sixth in the league with a .273
batting average but remain seventh with a 5.33 team ERA.
Individually, Aurelio Jackson leads the conference with 36 stolen
bases. Jackson's closest competitor is Long Beach State's Jeremy Reed
(21). Michael Penbera dropped into second place behind LBSU's Josh
Alliston (10) with nine saves.
Jeff Groeger is tied for second in strikeouts with 86. Fullerton's
Kirk Saarloos leads the league with 118 K's and a 1.73 ERA.
* Never Know
After throwing his third complete game of the season, Mike Miranda
now leads the team with seven victories. The senior, however, has
been far from consistent when it comes to the lengths of his starts.
Miranda has thrown eight or more innings in seven of his 13 starts.
In his other six outings, the longest he has gone is 7.0 innings and
he has only broke five innings in three of those games.
The Stockton, Calif., native highlighted his season with a four-hit
shutout against Long Beach State but the lasted only 7.0 innings in
his next two starts combined. He then got back on track against Cal
Poly where he allowed seven hits and struck out four.
* Back in the Swing
After a stretch in which he looked like Mark McGwire, Joe Evans hit a
bit of a home run dry spell. The catcher, however, appeared to have
his swing back last week where he clubbed two homers against Santa
Evans, who earlier this year hit 10 round-trippers in 63 at-bats, had
gone 50-straight ABs without a home run. The two against the Broncos
raised his season total to 12 and made him just the third player to
have three multi-home run games in a season since Sacramento State
moved to Division I in 1990. The 12 homers ranks ninth all-time on
the school's single season list.
* Marshall Art
Freshman Marshall Plouffe made the most of his first collegiate start
last week. The right-hander threw seven innings of shutout ball
against Santa Clara and did not allow a hit for the first 6.1 innings
of the game.
The Castaic, Calif., native tallied eight strikeouts and allowed only
five balls outside the infield (four flyouts, one hit).
In his last three appearances (8.0 IP), Plouffe has struck out 10 and
surrendered just the one hit and no runs.
* Other Notes
The longest active hitting streak on the team is just three games
(three players)...Bobby Ciani became the seventh player on the team
to hit second this season...Jackson has hit first in every game.