SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State (18-19, 4-8 WAC) returns to the road after consecutive home series to face defending regular season WAC champion Seattle U (12-22-1, 4-8 WAC) for three games starting Friday. Game times are set for 5 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, and noon Sunday in Bellevue, Wash.
- In consecutive weeks Sacramento State handed a previously unbeaten, WAC-leading team its first conference loss. Parker Brahms was the starting pitcher in both games, a 7-1 win over Grand Canyon and a 2-1 win in 12 innings over New Mexico State. GCU and NMSU were both 7-0 in WAC play.
- Sacramento State hit five home runs in two games against San Francisco with Vinny Esposito and Kody Reynolds homering in both games and Dawsen Bacho hitting one. Esposito has six home runs in his last 13 games and as a team the Hornets have hit 18 homers over their last 15 contests.
- The Hornets lead the WAC in nearly every pitching category including ERA (3.88), opposing batting average (.239), strikeout to walk ratio (2.26), WHIP (1.26), walks allowed per nine innings (3.18) and hits allowed per nine innings (8.12). Hornet pitchers have also hit the fewest batters in the league.
- The Hornets have been successful on 11 straight stolen base attempts, having not had a runner caught stealing since April 4 at UC Davis. Sacramento State was a perfect 6-for-6 in steals against New Mexico State and the Hornets lead in the WAC with 39 stolen bases for the season.
- The reigning regular season WAC champion, Seattle U was picked to win the league again this year but lost two all-WAC pitchers. The Redhawks have a 5.67 team ERA while allowing 6.3 runs per game. The squad is hitting .275 with 37 stolen bases and ranks 24th in the nation with 184 walks.
All three games of the Seattle U series will stream live for free on HornetSports.com/Radio with Anthony Rifenburg on the call. Saturday's game will be video streamed on the WAC Digital Network and the Friday and Sunday games will stream through goseattleu.com. 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 Seattle U (12-22-1, 4-8 WAC)
The reigning regular season WAC champion, Seattle U was picked to win the league again this year but lost all-WAC pitchers Nick Meservey and Tarik Skubal. The Redhawks have a 5.67 team ERA while allowing 6.3 runs per game this season. The squad is hitting .275 and ranks 24th in the nation with 184 walks drawn and is second in the WAC, behind the Hornets, with 37 stolen bases. In WAC play Seattle U was swept by New Mexico State and lost series against Chicago State and UT Rio Grande Valley but took 2-of-3 at Northern Colorado. Austin Lively leads the team hitting .384 with 22 RBIs while Aaron Stroosma leads the WAC with 14 steals and leads the team with 5 home runs and 30 RBIs hitting .336. The Hornets and Redhawks split four games last year with Seattle U earning a 5-4 win in the WAC Tournament. Seattle U had a home sweep of Sacramento State in 2015.
Sacramento State hit five home runs in two games against San Francisco this week. Kody Reynolds and Vinny Esposito homered in both games and Dawsen Bacho cleared the center field wall in the Hornet home game on Monday. Esposito has six home runs in his last 13 games and as a team the Hornets have hit 18 homers over their last 15 contests. The squad ranks third in the WAC with 26 home runs this season.
First League Losses
In consecutive weeks Sacramento State handed a previously unbeaten, WAC-leading team its first conference loss. On April 8 Parker Brahms allowed just one run over 7.2 innings and Vinny Esposito hit a pair of 2-run homers as the Hornets handed Grand Canyon, which was 7-0 in WAC play, a 7-1 loss. Less than a week later Brahms pitched another gem, allowing just one unearned run in seven innings, and James Outman had a walk-off RBI single in the 12th when the Hornets beat New Mexico State 2-1 last Friday, handing the Aggies their first league loss after also starting 7-0.
Sacramento State has been successful on 11 straight stolen base attempts, having not had a runner caught stealing since April 4. The Hornets lead the WAC with 39 stolen bases this year after leading the league and ranking 68th in the nation with 70 stolen bases last year. The squad was a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen bases vs. New Mexico State and Ian Dawkins leads the team with 10 steals this year.
Sacramento State pitchers struck out 34 New Mexico State batters in the three-game series, averaging more than 11 strikeouts per game with at least 11 in each contest. Hornet pitchers tallied double-digit strikeouts in five of seven games.
Walk It Off
Sacramento State picked up its second walk-off win of the season beating New Mexico State 2-1 in 12 innings last Friday. James Outman delivered the walk-off knock, singling up the middle to drive in Blake Edmonson from second base. Earlier this year the Hornets had a 6-5 walk-off victory over Northern Kentucky in 11 innings, winning on an infield single from Ian Dawkins.
Outman Brings Them In
Sophomore James Outman leads the Hornets with 30 runs batted in with five multi-RBI games with three 3-RBI games and a 4-RBI performance. He totaled 11 RBIs in the Northern Kentucky series and also leads the team with 29 runs, scoring three times in the two games against San Francisco.
Walk That Way
Hornet hitters drew 19 walks in three games against New Mexico State. The team had seven walks in the series opener and nine in the 2-1 extra-inning win in game two. Sacramento State ranks fourth in the WAC with 129 walks drawn this year.
Sacramento State beat UC Davis, 1-0, last Tuesday night with its only hit a James Outman home run in the second inning. Both teams had only two base runners through the first eight innings and the game took just one hour and 45 minutes, Sacramento State's shortest home game of the season by 22 minutes. It was the quickest nine-inning game played by the Hornets since a 1-0 home win over Louisiana Tech on April 27, 2013 that lasted just 1:42.
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 32 of the 37 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 16 multi-hit games with a pair of four-hit contests. He is tied for fourth in the WAC with 51 hits and also leads the team with 10 stolen bases while playing outstanding defense with just one error. Dawkins is hitting .380 in WAC play.
The Hornets lead the WAC in nearly every pitching category including ERA (3.88), opposing batting average (.239), strikeout to walk ratio (2.26), WHIP (1.26), walks allowed per nine innings (3.18) and hits allowed per nine innings (8.12). Hornet pitchers have also hit the fewest batters in the league (22) and are third with 265 strikeouts.
Junior Tanner Olson and sophomore Alex Dentoni have anchored a strong Hornet bullpen this year. Olson has made 21 pitching appearances this season and is 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA. Olson has not walked a single batter this season while striking out 16 over 18.1 innings pitched, allowing a run in just two of his 18 appearances. Dentoni is tied for the team lead with four wins and leads the squad with three saves while posing a 1.91 ERA over 28.1 innings. He has recorded four straight scoreless appearances with nine straight scoreless innings.
Working the Field
Sacramento State leads the WAC while ranking 30th in NCAA Div. I with a .978 fielding percentage this season. The Hornets have 18 error-free games and have committed just 20 errors in 23 home games this year. The squad has only 11 errors in 17 night games.
Liking the Lights
In their first full season under the lights at John Smith Field the Hornets are 10-5 in home night games and 12-5 overall at night this season. Sacramento State's pitching has been particularly impressive at night with a 2.96 ERA and .204 opposing batting average through 16 night games. Tanner Olson has allowed just three singles and no walks with eight strikeouts in 9.2 scoreless innings at night.
Best in the WAC
Senior pitcher Justin Dillon leads the WAC in WHIP (0.84), opposing batting average (.178), and hits allowed per nine innings (5.66). The Hornet senior ranks 17th in NCAA Div. I in WHIP and 26th in hits allowed per nine innings after leading the nation in both of those categories earlier this year. Dillon has allowed just 39 hits and 13 walks in 62.0 innings pitched with 59 strikeouts and has gone at least five innings in every start.
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 April 8. 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.
Former Hornet first baseman Rhys Hoskins is playing his first season at Triple-A, starting for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. Hoskins is hitting .311 with four homers through 14 games this season after he hit 38 home runs in Double-AA last year and was invited to the Phillies big league Spring Training leading up to the 2017 season.
WHIP it Good
Sacramento State pitchers lead the WAC and rank 31st in NCAA Div. I with a 1.26 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) this season. The Hornets are also 39th nationally with 3.18 walks allowed per nine innings and 38th with 8.12 hits allowed per nine innings so far this season.