SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State (15-16) continues a season-long nine game homestand hosting Causeway rival UC Davis (9-16) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at John Smith Field. The Aggies picked up a slim 7-6 win over the Hornets when the teams met in Davis last Tuesday.
- Junior center fielder Ian Dawkins is the only Hornet that has started every game this season and has reached base in 29 of the 31 games. He leads the team with 25 runs scored and with 15 multi-hit games with a pair of four-hit contests. He also leads the team with eight stolen bases.
- The Hornets lead the WAC in nearly every pitching category including ERA (3.76), opposing batting average (.238), strikeout to walk ratio (2.27), WHIP (1.25), walks allowed per nine innings (3.14) and hits allowed per nine innings (8.07). Hornet pitchers have also hit the fewest batters in the league.
- Sacramento State leads the WAC while ranking 27th in NCAA Div. I with a .979 fielding percentage this season. The team has committed multiple errors in just six of 31 games this year and has 16 error-free games. The Hornets have committed just 15 errors in 18 home games this season.
- Sacramento State handed WAC-leading Grand Canyon its first conference loss on Saturday and the Hornet pitching staff had a 1.67 ERA while holding the Antelopes to a .192 batting average during the three-games series. The bullpen combined to allow just one run and one walk over 7.2 innings.
- After winning three of four games UC Davis was swept in a three-game series last weekend at Cal State Fullerton allowing 23 runs. The Aggies, who are just 2-10 on the road this season, beat the Hornets 7-6 in Davis last Tuesday scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a balk.
All Sacramento State home games stream live for free on HornetSports.com/Radio with Anthony Rifenburg and Noah Alvarez on the call. Links for the broadcast 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 (9-16)
After winning three of four games UC Davis was swept in a three-game series last weekend at Cal State Fullerton. The Aggies, who are just 2-10 on the road this season, allowed six or more runs in all three games and also permitted six runs against the Hornets when the teams met last Tuesday. Sacramento State took an early 3-0 lead and the game was tied 6-6 before the Aggies scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a balk. UC Davis ranks second in the Big West in batting average (.273), stolen bases (28), and slugging percentage (.397) but the Aggies have a 4.86 team ERA and just a .963 fielding percentage. Junior Matt Blais is expected to get the start again after allowing three runs on five hits and two walks over 6.0 innings against the Hornets last Tuesday. UC Davis has won three straight meetings with Sacramento State after losing 10 of 11 games.
Limiting the Lopes
Sacramento State handed WAC-leading Grand Canyon its first conference loss on Saturday and the Hornet pitching staff had a 1.67 ERA while holding the Antelopes to a .192 batting average during the three-games series. The Hornet bullpen combined to allow just one run and one walk with seven strikeouts over 7.2 innings in the series while the team's three starters all allowed just two earned runs or fewer. GCU entered the series having hit .351 and averaging more than eight runs per game through its first six WAC games.
Ian Does it All
Junior center fielder Ian Dawkins is the only Hornet that has started every game this season and has reached base in 29 of the 31 games. He reached in each of the first 13 games of the season and had a 14-game hitting streak into WAC play. He leads the team with 25 runs scored and with 15 multi-hit games with a pair of four-hit contests. He also leads the team with eight stolen bases this year while playing outstanding defense with just one error committed. Dawkins is hitting a robust .432 in WAC play.
The Hornets lead the WAC in nearly every pitching category including ERA (3.76), opposing batting average (.238), strikeout to walk ratio (2.27), WHIP (1.25), walks allowed per nine innings (3.14) and hits allowed per nine innings (8.07). Hornet pitchers have also hit the fewest batters in the league (19) and are third with 218 strikeouts.
Two Two-Homer Games
Over the span of eight days two Hornets had two-homer games. Andrew McWilliam hit two home runs in the first game of the doubleheader at Utah Valley on March 31 before Vinny Esposito hit a pair of two-run homers against Grand Canyon on Saturday. There have now been 75 multi-homer games in program history and McWilliam has two of them, having also hit two in a home win over Chicago State last year.
Through nine Western Athletic Conference (WAC) games Sacramento State is hitting .296 and averaging 6.0 runs per game. The Hornets have 12 homers in nine WAC games and have five starters hitting over .300. Vinny Esposito is hitting .361 and has four home runs and 16 RBIs in just nine WAC games while Ian Dawkins is hitting .432 and Andrew McWilliam is hitting .387 with three homers.
Junior Tanner Olson leads the team with 18 pitching appearances this season and is 3-1 with a 1.84 ERA. Olson has not walked a single batter this season while striking out 12 over 14.2 innings pitched. He has allowed a run in just two of his 16 appearances with six straight scoreless outings.
Call to the Hall
The Hornets inducted five players and two teams in the Sacramento State Baseball Hall of Fame prior to Saturday's game. Mike Alberghini, who played at Sacramento State from 1967-68, was inducted as well as former players Josh Payne (1997-98), Brandon Marshall (1998-99), David Flores (2005-08), and current assistant coach Tim Wheeler (2007-09). The 1986 team, which finished third at the College World Series, and the 1988 team, which finished as the national runner-up and won a program record 43 games, were also inducted.
Working the Field
Sacramento State leads the WAC while ranking 27th in NCAA Div. I with a .979 fielding percentage this season. The team has committed multiple errors in just six of 31 games this year and has 16 error-free games. The Hornets have committed just 15 errors in 18 home games this year.
Former Hornet first baseman Rhys Hoskins played his first Triple-A game last Friday, starting for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, and hit his first Triple-A home run on Sunday. Hoskins hit 38 home runs in Double-AA last season and was invited to the Phillies big league Spring Training leading up to the 2017 season.
The Hornets are in the midst of a season long nine-game homestand over a 13 day stretch with home series against Grand Canyon and New Mexico State and individual games against Fresno State, UC Davis, and San Francisco. Sacramento State has a 10-8 home record this season, averaging just under five runs per game with a 3.18 team ERA and .228 opposing batting average through 18 games at John Smith Field.
More than Alright at Night
In their first full season under the lights at John Smith Field the Hornets are 7-4 in home night games and 9-4 overall at night this season. Sacramento State's pitching has been particularly impressive at night with a 3.10 ERA and .201 opposing batting average through 13 night games. The team will play three straight night game starting on Tuesday.
Best in the WAC
Senior pitcher Justin Dillon leads the WAC in WHIP (0.77), opposing batting average (.162), and hits and walks allowed per nine innings and is second in ERA (2.05). The Hornet senior ranks seventh in NCAA Div. I in WHIP and 17th in hits allowed per nine innings after leading the nation in both of those categories earlier this year. Dillon has allowed just 32 hits and 12 walks in 57.0 innings pitched with 53 strikeouts and has gone at least six innings in every start.
Outman Brings Them In
Sophomore James Outman leads the team with 26 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 23 runs scored.
Head Coach Reggie Christiansen won his 200th game at Sacramento State in the first win in the Hornets' doubleheader sweep March 31 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.
Sacramento State earned its seventh come-from-behind win this season against Pacific on March 28. 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.
WHIP it Good
Sacramento State pitchers lead the WAC and rank 37th in NCAA Div. I with a 1.25 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) this season. The Hornets are also 38th nationally with 3.14 walks allowed per nine innings and 40th with 8.07 hits allowed per nine innings so far this season.
Freshman Parker Brahms made four straight quality starts to open his collegiate career. He has a team-high four wins and a 3.33 ERA this season, totaling 34 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 48.2 innings pitched with a .222 opposing batting average. He earned his first collegiate win allowing just three hits and one walk with nine strikeouts in seven shutout innings in the 10-0 Hornet victory over Northern Kentucky.
Happy at Home
The Hornets have had winning home records in four straight seasons and are 73-36 at home over the last five years. The team is 10-8 at home this year and has had at least 16 home wins in five straight seasons.
PJ Floyd has taken over as Sacramento State's starting second baseman and is hitting .279 with three home runs, 11 RBIs, and 18 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 .453 slugging percentage with a .398 on-base percentage this year.
Sacramento State is third in the WAC with 30 stolen bases after leading the league and ranking 68th in the nation with 70 stolen bases last year. The Hornets had at least one steal in 36 games last year with multiple steals in 15. This year Sacramento State was a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts in the Penn State series and Ian Dawkins leads the team with eight steals.
Sacramento State's first 22 games of the year were against schools from outside of California, representing seven other states. The Hornets have played three midweek teams against California schools in the last two weeks and have series against CSU Bakersfield and San Diego later this season. Sacramento State is one of 24 Div. I baseball programs in the state of California.