SACRAMENTO, Calif. - With eight of its next nine games to be played on the road, Sacramento State (22-13) looks to extend its four-game winning streak with a contest against local rival Pacific (15-18) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Stockton.
- For the first time in program history Sacramento State swept each of its first three home WAC series of the season. Sacramento State is now tied with Seattle U atop the WAC Standings at 10-2.
- The Hornets are averaging 5.5 runs per game and hitting .296 over their last 11 games. The team has 32 extra-base hits in the stretch, including eight home runs, with a .434 slugging percentage.
- Senior Chris Lewis was named WAC Hitter of the Week after going 11-for-17 (.647) with 8 RBIs and 5 runs scored in four games. He had multiple hits in each game with a trio of three-hit games.
- Sacramento State leads the WAC and is tied for 27th in NCAA Div. I with 34 double plays turned this year. The Hornets turned six double plays in the Chicago State series with four in one game.
- Pacific enters the week on a five-game winning streak, with four of those wins coming on the road. The Tigers are a strong offensive team averaging five runs per game having hit 25 home runs.
SAC - Tanner Olson (Jr./RHP, 2-3, 4.61 ERA)
PAC - Taylor Johnson (So./RHP, 3-2, 4.91 ERA)
Tuesday's game will stream live on HornetSports.com/Radio with Anthony Rifenburg on the play-by-play call. Pacific will also provide video and live stats on pacifictigers.com and linked above. All game day media links can always be found on the baseball schedule page on hornetsports.com. For more content and game updates follow @hornetsports and @SacStBaseball on twitter and like Sacramento State Athletics and Sacramento State Hornet Baseball Fans on facebook.
Pacific Tigers | Overall: 15-18 | WCC: 7-8 | Home: 9-8
Pacific enters the week on a five-game winning streak, with four of those wins coming on the road. The Tigers are a strong offensive team averaging five runs per game with 25 home runs. Danny Mayer has slugged nine homers and Gio Brusa has eight and leads the team hitting .333. Pacific's pitching staff has totaled a 5.24 ERA with a .299 opposing batting average. Among Pacific's home wins are two victories over San Francisco and one over Fresno State, who they also beat on the road. The Hornets are 40-32 all-time against the Tigers with the teams splitting their home-and-home matchups in each of the last two seasons.
For the first time in program history Sacramento State swept each of its first three home WAC series of the season. The pitching staff has a 1.87 ERA in nine home league games and a 2.36 ERA in12 WAC games overall while the offense is averaging nearly five runs scored per game in WAC competition. With their latest sweep the Hornets moved into a tie with Seattle U at 10-2 atop the WAC standings.
Chicago Style Sweep
The Hornets completed their third home WAC sweep of the season with a dominant performance against Chicago State. Sacramento State hit .337 and outscored Chicago State 19-5 with the pitching staff holding the Cougars to a .171 batting average with a 1.38 ERA. All three starting pitchers turned in quality starts and earned wins with junior Max Karnos throwing an 8-inning shutout on Saturday. Chris Lewis hit .667 with 5 RBIs and Brandon Hunley and Bronson Grubbs both hit .500 in the series. Andrew McWilliam hit two home runs on Saturday and the Hornets totaled six doubles in the series.
Lewis Lighting it Up
Senior Chris Lewis was named WAC Hitter of the Week on Monday after hitting 11-for-17 (.647) with 8 RBIs and 5 runs scored over the week. He had multiple hits in each of the four games, including a trio of three-hit games. He drove in all four Sacramento State runs in Sunday's 4-1 win over Chicago State, had three RBIs on Tuesday at Nevada, and scored three times on Saturday. Over his last eight games Lewis has seven multi-hit lines, hitting .545 with 10 RBIs over that stretch. For his career he now ranks sixth in program history with 117 RBIs and with 42 doubles.
The Hornets are averaging 5.5 runs per game and hitting .296 over their last 11 contests. The team has tallied 32 extra-base hits in the stretch, including eight home runs, with a .434 slugging percentage. The squad has 20 steals in the 11 games while five Hornets are hitting better than .300. Chris Lewis is hitting .478 with 12 RBIs and Andrew McWilliam is hitting .364 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in the stretch.
Sacramento State leads the WAC and is tied for 46th in the nation with 51 stolen bases this year. The Hornets were 10-for-11 in stolen base attempts against Northern Colorado, 9-for-9 in their season-opening series win at Auburn, and have at least one steal in 25 games this year with multiple steals in 11 games. Sacramento State finished second in the WAC with 79 stolen bases last season.
Hornet senior Tyler Beardsley has not only taken over the job of closer but has become the team's finisher as well. Of the 20 games Beardsley has pitched this year the team has won 17 of them as he has allowed just one earned run in 24.1 innings pitched, good for a miniscule 0.34 ERA and a .195 opposing batting average. He has a WAC-high eight saves, tied for the 19th best save total in NCAA Div. I, but also four wins, having finished 18 games this year (no other WAC pitcher has finished more than 11 games).
Curtains After Seven
Sacramento State is undefeated this season when leading after the seventh inning. The team is 16-0 when leading after seven innings and has just one loss this year when leading through four (14-1). The team is 17-0 when leading after eight and is 3-0 in extra innings.
Sacramento State leads the WAC and is tied for 27th in NCAA Div. I with 34 double plays turned this year. The Hornets turned six double plays in the three-game Chicago State series, including four in the first seven innings on Saturday. Twelve different players have been part of a defensive double play this season, including five pitchers. The team also leads the WAC with a .970 season fielding percentage.
Sophomore center fielder Bronson Grubbs has been superb both in the field and at the plate this year. Among his 103 putouts this year are dozens of sensational catches and he also has an outfield assist and just one error after committing just one error all season last year. His bat has shined as well as he has taken over the team lead with a .324 season batting average with 15 runs scored with hits in 13 of the last 14 games.
The Pen is Mighty
The Hornet bullpen has been strong all season and especially so in WAC play. The back end of the bullpen - junior Chad Perry and senior closer Tyler Beardsley - have combined to allow only one earned run and 12 hits with 19 strikeouts over 19.1 innings. Jonny Palsha has also thrown 3.2 scoreless relief innings in league play and as a whole the Hornet bullpen has a 1.95 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP, and a .174 opposing batting average over 27.2 innings of relief in 12 WAC games.
Putting the H in DH
Freshman designated hitter Matt Smith has a hit in 25 of the first 29 games he has played in his collegiate career. He opened the season with a 16-game hitting streak, the longest in the WAC this season, and he also has an RBI in 16 contests this year. He missed a week and a half after getting hit by a pitch March 6 but is third on the team with 19 RBIs on the season. A local product from Placerville, Smith his hitting .315 for the season.
Leaders of the Pack
The Hornets completed a season sweep of Nevada with a 7-2 win last Tuesday in Reno. Senior Chris Lewis was 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs, juniors Gunner Pollman and Brandon Hunley each hit solo home runs and both reached base four times, and junior Tanner Olson allowed just two runs on four hits in six solid innings. The Hornets had a 5-2 win over the Wolf Pack at Raley Field in March as well, with Olson also the winning pitcher in that contest. Former conference foes in the WAC, Sacramento State is now 5-3 against Nevada since the Wolf Pack left the league for the Mountain West following the 2012 season.
Sacramento State began the season with just one scheduled doubleheader but has played three so far due to rain and field conditions. Ironically, the one doubleheader that was originally scheduled, against South Dakota State on March 5, was not played due to weather. The most recent doubleheader, at CSU Bakersfield last Saturday, was actually not completed as the second game was suspended after the eighth inning and completed on Sunday. The Hornets are 3-3 this year in their doubleheader games.
The Hornets finished 9-4 on their 13 game homestand over 19 days. The homestand was the longest in the Div. I era of the program, eclipsing a 10-game home stretch in 2005. The Hornets had WAC series sweeps of North Dakota and Northern Colorado and single wins over Cal Poly, San Francisco, and William Jessup while also hosting New Mexico for two games. The homestand was originally going to be 12 games before the William Jessup game was added.
Sacramento State is 9-2 in 1-run games this year after starting the year 8-0 in those contests. A strong back end of the bullpen and timely hitting have made the Hornets nearly unbeatable in close games, especially on their home field. Of the team's 14 home wins this year are six 1-run victories with two walk-off wins.