BASEBALL TAKES FOUR GAME WIN STREAK TO NEW MEXICO STATE
• Winners of four straight and six of their last seven games, the Sacramento State baseball team will travel to New Mexico State to face the Aggies in a three-game Western Athletic Conference series.
• The recent success has taken the Hornets' overall record to 19-14 overall and 5-4 in the WAC. The team swept then-first place Texas State over the weekend and now finds itself just a game back of CSU Bakersfield and UT Arlington for the top spot in the conference.
• New Mexico State (18-15, 4-5) has faced the same three WAC opponents as the Hornets. The Aggies went 1-2 against CSUB and Texas State before taking two of three against Dallas Baptist.
• The games on Friday and Sunday will be broadcast by New Mexico State on KSNM AM 570 with Jeff Matthews.
• Saturday's game will have a live video stream provided by www.AggieVision.tv.
• Live stats for all home games can be viewed on NMStateSports.com.
• With the reconfiguration of the WAC, Sacramento State has only faced San Jose State more times than the Aggies. The two teams have been fairly evenly matched with the Hornets leading the all-time series, 28-26.
• Last year, the teams split a four-game series at John Smith Field. The Aggies, who were ranked 25th at the time, won the first two (16-4, 6-1) before Sacramento State evened things out with 10-7 and 8-7 victories.
Below is a look at how Sacramento State stacks up against this weekend's opponent in overall statistics.
|Last 10 Game||6-4||5-5|
A LOOK BACK AT THE TEXAS STATE SERIES
Sacramento State earned its first three-game series sweep of the season last weekend when it won all three games against Texas State.
On Friday, the Hornets scored all of their runs in the third inning but it proved to be enough to defeat the Bobcats, 3-2. Nathan Likes went 3-for-4 at the plate and Ty Nichols earned the victory after allowing four hits in six innings.
Chris Lewis went 4-for-4 and Justin Higley hit a three-run home run on Saturday to propel the team to a 7-5 victory. Tanner Mendonca (1-3) earned his first victory of the season and was one of five Sacramento State pitchers to take the mound.
Sunday's game wasn't decided until the final play where second baseman Andrew Ayers' made an over-the-shoulder catch with one out and the bases loaded in the ninth inning. Ayers then was able to gun down the would-be tying run at the plate to preserve the 1-0 victory.
Sophomore Brennan Leitao did not allow a hit for the first 6.2 innings of the game and pitched into the ninth inning. Sutter McLoughlin closed the game for his fourth save of the week.
A LOOK BACK AT THE SIMPSON GAME
David Del Grande drove in a career high four runs and Lewis added three more hits in the team's 7-0 win over Simpson. The game against the NAIA school was a late add to the schedule and took the place of the rain out at Fresno State which will not be made up.
The Hornets took a 1-0 lead on a Del Grande sacrifice fly in the second inning and added three more runs in the sixth on a bases clearing double by Del Grande.
Zach Morgan (3-2) combined with two other pitchers for the shutout victory.
A LOOK AHEAD
Sacramento State will make its third trip to Texas this season, facing UTSA for the first time in program history from April 19-21.
SCOUTING THE AGGIES
New Mexico State, once again, boasts a high-powered offense as the team has scored 10 or more runs in eight games. The Aggies are hitting .290 as a team and are led by reigning WAC Hitter of the Week Bobby Lecount and Tanner Rust. Lecount hit .462 with six walks, nine RBI, two home runs, a double, a triple and scored six runs in four games last week.
At home, NMSU is 15-5 this season and hitting .345 as a team. Rust (.421), Lecount (.420) and Kyle Phillips (.403) have all posted big numbers at Presley Askew Field. Seven of Lecount's eight home runs this year have come at home.
On the mound, Friday starter Adam Mott (4-3, 4.70) has also had success at home, going 3-0 with 25 strikeouts.
Sacramento State has recorded back-to-back shutout victories for the first time in the school's Div. I era (1990-pres.). The team defeated Texas State, 1-0, on Sunday before blanking Simpson, 7-0, on Tuesday.
The last time the Hornets held the opposition scoreless in consecutive games came in 1988 when it swept a doubleheader against Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay), winning both games, 8-0.
That same season, the team swept UC Davis, 12-0 and 6-0, in a doubleheader.
McLOUGHLIN NAMED WAC POW
Sutter McLoughlin became the first Sacramento State player to earn a WAC award this season as he took home the conference's Pitcher of the Week honor on Monday.
The freshman closer earned four saves during the week, surrendering just one hit, one intentional walk and an unearned run in four innings of work. The Rio Americano HS graduate now leads the WAC, and is tied for ninth nationally, with eight saves. His total is the highest among freshman in the nation this season.
In Sacramento State history, McLoughlin has already moved into a tie for fourth place along with last season's leader R.J. Davis and current San Francisco Giants Triple-A pitcher Mitch Lively (2007). The school's Div. I era record is held by Michael Penbera who had 10 in 2001. The overall record of 11 was set by Mike Frame in 1989.
McLoughlin has also worked his way into a tie for eighth place on the career saves list at Sacramento State.
Sacramento State is 5-1 in the month of April and a lot of that success can be linked to a pair of freshmen who have been productive at the plate.
Chris Lewis leads the team with a .565 (13-23) average in the month with a double, triple, six RBI and five runs scored.
Lewis' success is nothing new as he has reached base safely in 24 consecutive games and 31 of the 33 games this year. The redshirt freshman has already had a 13-game hit streak this year and is currently riding a team-best 10 gamer. He leads the team with a .357 average, .399 on-base percentage, 45 hits and 27 RBI.
Lukes is hitting .455 (10-22) in April which has raised his overall average to .283. The true freshman also had a double, a triple and scored six runs in the last six games.
Sophomore Rhys Hoskins also appears to be back on track after a slow start to the season. The first baseman, who was a Freshman All-American a year ago, is also hitting .455 (10-22) with five runs and two RBI.
• The Hornets' nine primary starters have accounted for 96.3 percent (1094-1136) of the team at-bats this season.
• The team ranks 10th in Div. I this season with a .980 fielding percentage.
• After allowing only two home runs through the first 24 games of the season, the Hornets surrendered six in the three games at Dallas Baptist.
• Sophomore Rhys Hoskins picked up his 100th career hit at Dallas Baptist.
• CSU Bakersfield, Seattle, Texas State, UTSA, UT Arlington and Dallas Baptist are all in their debut season in the WAC.