SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State (14-12) plays a pair of local midweek games this week, facing Causeway rival UC Davis (8-13) in Davis at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and hosting Fresno State (15-12) at 6 p.m. Wednesday at John Smith Field.
- Sacramento State has scored at least five runs in seven straight games and is hitting .337 during that stretch while averaging 7.6 runs with a .397 on-base percentage and .547 slugging percentage.
- The Hornets lead the WAC while ranking seventh in NCAA Div. I with a .982 fielding percentage this season with 14 error-free games. The Hornets have committed just five errors in the last 10 games.
- Vinny Esposito has recorded five straight multi-hit games, hitting 11-for-24 (.458) with 9 RBIs during the stretch. He has two home runs, a double, and a triple slugging .833 in his last five games.
- UC Davis is 6-5 at home and ranks second in the Big West hitting .281. Sacramento State had won 10 of 11 games and five straight road meetings with the Aggies before two losses last year.
- Fresno State is hitting .289 as a team this year and ranks 13th in Div. I with 12 triples. The Bulldogs are 4-4 on the road this season but have played just two non-conference road games all year.
Both games will stream live for free on HornetSports.com/Radio. Links for the audio and video broadcasts and live stats are available above and on the baseball schedule page on hornetsports.com. Follow @SacStBaseball on twitter for in-game updates and see more on the official team pages on facebook and instagram.
Scouting UC Davis (8-13)
UC Davis is 6-5 at home this season after taking 2-of-3 games in a home Big West series vs. CSUN last weekend. The Aggies rank second in the Big West hitting .281 this season and lead the league with a .403 slugging percentage. UC Davis also leads the Big West with 1.29 stolen bases per game but has a 4.43 team ERA. The Aggies hosted Utah Valley earlier this year, winning 2-of-3 games, and had a home win over Penn State. Four UC Davis starters are hitting better than .300 this season with Ryan Anderson hitting .363 with three homers and a team-high 15 RBIs and Ignacio Diaz hitting .348. Sacramento State had won 10 of 11 games overall and five straight meetings with the Aggies in Davis before UC Davis won both meetings between the teams last season. The Hornets still own a 40-34 advantage in the all-time series with their Causeway rival.
Scouting Fresno State (15-12)
Fresno State dropped 2-of-3 games at New Mexico last weekend and is 4-4 on the road this season. The team has played just two non-conference road games all season, winning at San Francisco and losing at Pepperdine. The Bulldogs are 6-6 in Mountain West play losing 2-of-3 at home against San Diego State and winning a series at Air Force. The Bulldogs are hitting .289 as a team this year and rank 13th in NCAA Div. I with 12 triples. Fresno State has turned 30 double plays but the team has a 5.33 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP. The Bulldogs do lead the Mountain West with 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings and are second with 9.09 hits allowed per nine innings. Zach Ashford is hitting .356 and Aaron Arruda is hitting .336 with five home runs and 26 RBIs. The Hornets beat the Bulldogs 5-4 in 11 innings at Raley Field last year but Fresno State has a 57-20 edge in the all-time series.
Sacramento State has scored at least five runs in seven straight games and is hitting .337 during that stretch. The Hornets have averaged 7.6 runs per game with a .397 on-base percentage and .547 slugging percentage with 30 extra-base hits, including 10 home runs. Six starters are hitting better than .300 with three hitting .430 or better, with Andrew McWilliam hitting .438 and Vinny Esposito and Ian Dawkins both hitting .433. Esposito has 13 RBIs in the last seven games.
Working the Field
The Hornets lead the WAC while ranking seventh in NCAA Div. I with a .982 fielding percentage this season. The team has committed multiple errors in just three of 26 games this year and has 14 error-free games. The Hornets have committed just five errors in the last 10 games.
Hits in Bunches
Vinny Esposito has recorded five straight multi-hit games, hitting 11-for-24 (.458) with 9 RBIs. He has two homers, a double, and a triple slugging .833 in his last five games. He was 3-for-5 with a home run and a career-high tying 4 RBIs in the second game of the Utah Valley series and has at least one RBI in six of his last seven games.
Head Coach Reggie Christiansen won his 200th game at Sacramento State in the first win in the Hornets' doubleheader sweep on Saturday at Utah Valley. Christiansen reached 200 Sacramento State wins in less than six and a half seasons as head coach, winning his 200th game with just 182 losses. Christiansen earned his 300th overall career victory in 12 years as a head coach when the Hornets beat Northern Kentucky on Feb. 26.
Through six Western Athletic Conference (WAC) games Sacramento State is hitting .326 and averaging 7.3 runs per game. The Hornets have nine homers in six WAC games and have five starters hitting over .330. Andrew McWilliam is hitting .480 with three home runs and Vinny Esposito has hit .440 with 12 RBIs in just six league games.
More than Alright at Night
In their first full season under the lights at John Smith Field the Hornets are now 6-2 in home night games and 8-2 overall at night this season. Sacramento State's pitching has been particularly impressive at night with a 2.93 ERA and .190 opposing batting average through 10 night games. The team will play its first two WAC night games Friday and Saturday against Grand Canyon.
Best in the WAC
Senior pitcher Justin Dillon leads the WAC in WHIP (0.71), opposing batting average (.154) and hits allowed per nine innings (4.78) and is second in ERA (1.84). The Hornet senior ranks sixth in NCAA Div. I in WHIP and 11th in hits allowed per nine innings after leading the nation in both of those categories earlier this year. Dillon has allowed just 26 hits and nine walks in 49.0 innings pitched with 42 strikeouts and has gone at least six innings in every start.
Sacramento State earned its seventh come-from-behind win this season against Pacific last Tuesday. The Hornets trailed just 1-0 and took the lead for good in the second inning after they rallied from an early deficit to win in the late innings three times in the previous two weeks. The Hornets trailed 4-1 after the first inning at Nevada on March 14, trailed 2-0 at home to Minnesota after the third last March 16, and were down 2-0 after one inning at Wichita State on March 22 but came back to win all three of those games. The team is 7-8 in games when the opponent scores first and has lost just four times when scoring first.
Primarily hitting in the leadoff spot, junior center fielder Ian Dawkins has reached base in all but one game this season. He reached in each of the first 13 games of the season and is hitting .358 overall with a .437 on-base percentage. He leads the team with 12 multi-hit games with a pair of four-hit contests and is currently on a career-high 12 game hitting streak, his second hitting streak of at least seven games this year.
Hitting the Road
Sacramento State played 13 of its first 18 games of the season at home but is now concluding a stretch with eight of nine games, including the first two WAC series, played on the road. The Hornets have five road wins this year and have won at least 10 road games in each of the last six seasons.
WHIP it Good
Sacramento State pitchers rank 39th in NCAA Div. I with a 1.25 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) this season. The Hornets are also 44th nationally with 3.16 walks allowed per nine innings and 48th with 8.08 hits allowed per nine innings so far this season.
PJ Floyd has taken over as Sacramento State's starting second baseman and has been outstanding, hitting .324 with three home runs, 11 RBIs, and 17 runs scored. He had a career-long nine game hitting streak and reached base in 13 straight games into the Northern Colorado series. Floyd homered in the ninth inning in both games of Sacramento State's doubleheader at No. 11 Washington and has a team-best .544 slugging percentage and .437 on-base percentage this year.
First Intrastate Game
Last Tuesday's game against Pacific was the first this season for the Hornets against another school from California. The team's first 22 games of the year were against schools from outside of California, representing seven other states. The Hornets have 14 total games against other California schools scheduled through the remainder of the regular season with series against CSU Bakersfield and San Diego. Sacramento State is one of 24 Div. I baseball programs in the state of California.
Outman Brings Them In
Sophomore James Outman leads the team with 22 runs batted in. Outman has five multi-RBI games with three 3-RBI games and a 4-RBI performance. He totaled 11 RBIs in the Northern Kentucky series and is also second on the team with 21 runs scored.
Sacramento State leads the WAC in ERA (3.75), opposing batting average (.238), strikeout to walk ratio (2.25), WHIP (1.25), and walks allowed per nine innings (3.16) and is second in hits allowed per nine innings (8.08). In 2016 the team was second in the WAC in ERA, WHIP, and opposing batting average.
Happy at Home
The Hornets have had winning home records in four straight seasons and are 72-33 at home over the last five years. The team is 9-5 at home this year and has had at least 16 home wins in five straight seasons.