BASEBALL MEETS SEATTLE FOR FIRST TIME IN WAC SERIES
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• With just three weeks remaining in the 2013 regular season, the Sacramento State baseball team will head to the Pacific Northwest for a three-game series with Seattle U beginning on Friday. The first game of the series will start at 6 p.m. Saturday's game gets under way at 2 p.m. and the final game will begin at noon on Sunday. All three games will be played at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue, Wash.
• Sacramento State enters the weekend with a 26-18 overall record and a 10-8 mark in Western Athletic Conference games. The Hornets won the final two games against Louisiana Tech last weekend and were also victorious at Nevada on Tuesday. Counting those three wins, the team has won five of its last six games.
• One noticeable change for Sacramento State this week will be the move of Brennan Leitao to Friday from his normal Saturday spot. Leitao is 6-2 on the year with a 2.72 ERA and has won his last four starts.
• An audio broadcast of all three games of the series will streamed for free via goseattleu.com with Dan Giuliani calling the action
• Live stats for all games can be also viewed on goseattleu.com.
• Sacramento State leads the all-time series against the Redhawks, 6-1. The teams first met in 2011 where the Hornets won three of four in Seattle. Last year, Sacramento State swept an early season three game series at John Smith Field. Four of the seven games have been decided by one run.
Below is a look at how Sacramento State stacks up against this weekend's opponent in overall statistics.
|Last 10 Game||7-3||6-4|
A LOOK BACK AT THE LA TECH SERIES
Sacramento State captured the series against Louisiana Tech by winning the final two games. The series began with a disappointing 5-4 loss to the Bulldogs on Friday. La Tech scored four runs in the fourth inning to take a 4-2 lead.
Sacramento State appeared set to tie the game in the sixth inning but a base running blunder erased the run and resulted in a double play.
On Saturday, Brennan Leitao and Phil Maton were locked in a pitchers duel which went in favor of the Hornets, 1-0. Sacramento State scored the game's only run without a hit in the third inning. A dropped popup and hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second and a would-be double play was thrown away allowing the lead runner to score.
Maton limited the Hornets to just two hits during the game while Leitao surrendered five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Sutter McLoughlin came on for a two-inning save and struck out three.
Sacramento State was victorious, 4-1, on Sunday. Andrew Ayers went 3-for-4 with a home run and three Hornet pitchers combined to strike out 12 batters and allow just three hits.
A LOOK BACK AT THE NEVADA GAME
A grand slam from Andrew Ayers capped a five run third inning and helped the Hornets to a 7-6 win over Nevada on Tuesday at Peccole Park.
Sacramento State trailed 3-2 entering the third inning before Rhys Hoskins provided a one-out single. Nathan Lukes then walked and Chris Lewis singled to right field to load the bases. Following a pitching change and an ejection of Nevada head coach Gary Powers, Justin Higley drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the score. Ayers then hit an 0-1 pitch over the left-center field fence to empty the bases and score the team's final runs of the game.
Brandon Creel was credited with the victory out of the bullpen and McLoughlin earned his 13th save of the season.
A LOOK AHEAD
Sacramento State will play at UC Davis on Tuesday before hosting San Jose State over the weekend.
SCOUTING THE REDHAWKS
Seattle is coming off a midweek split with No. 11 Oregon. The Redhawks lost on Tuesday, 12-7, before winning, 3-2, on Wednesday.
Nick Latta is one of three starters hitting above .300 and leads the team with a .315 average and .489 slugging percentage. Seattle has 27 home runs as a team with Sean Narby leading the way with five.
Andrew Olson is the team's top starter with a 5-4 mark and 3.98 ERA. The bullpen is anchored by Eric Yardley who ranks second in the WAC with 10 saves.
Donny Harrel is in his fifth year as the head coach at Seattle.
SOTO, McLOUGHLIN NAMED WAC POWS
Junior Will Soto and freshman Sutter McLoughlin were named the Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively.
Soto helped the Hornets to a 4-1 record during the week after hitting .412 with a double, triple and home run. He slugged .765 and hit safely in each game.
McLoughlin picked up three saves and broke Sacramento State's single season record in the process. The Sacramento native struck out eight of the 13 batters he faced during the week, including all three in the ninth inning of Sunday's game.
McLoughlin earned his 13th save of the year on Tuesday at Nevada. That total ties him for sixth in Div. I and is the highest total by a freshman this season.
Not only has McLoughlin already set the Hornet single season mark, he is currently third on the career list trailing only Mike Frame (26, 1987-89) and Michael Penbera (16, 1999-2001).
Earlier this year, McLoughlin was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Watch List.
Part of Sacramento State 13-5 record in the month of April was the team's sudden power outburst. The Hornets hit 14 home runs during the month and had a slugging percentage of .422.
The primary long ball hitter was left fielder Justin Higley who hit seven of his team season high 10 home runs during the month. Higley slugged .642 in April and also tied the career record with his ninth triple.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Sophomore Brennan Leitao will get his first Friday night start this season when he faces Seattle. Leitao has earned the bump in the rotation after a stretch where he has won five of his last six starts, including four in a row. During his last four games, Leitao has 1.30 ERA and a WHIP of 0.98 in 27.2 innings.
On the year, Leitao is 6-2 with a 2.72 ERA. He has been a part of three of the team's eight shutouts and his holding the opposition to a .207 average.
Nathan Lukes and Chris Lewis are both now closing in on the Sacramento State single season record for hits by a freshman. Current Triple-A outfielder and former first round draft pick Tim Wheeler had 62 hits as a freshman in 2007. Lewis enters the weekend with 56 hits and Lukes is right behind with 55.
The pair rank first and second on the team in batting average this season. Lewis is hitting .333 while Lukes has a .313 average. In WAC play, the two are reversed with Lukes owning a team-high .362 average and Lewis second at .358.