SACRAMENTO, Calif. - With just two weeks remaining in the regular season Sacramento State (24-24) plays its final midweek game of the year at 6:05 p.m. Tuesday at Fresno State (25-22). The Hornets will look to even the season series after the Bulldogs had a 9-0 win in Sacramento in April.
- In his last six starts Sacramento State freshman Parker Brahms is 5-0 with a 0.84 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and a .174 opposing batting average over 42.2 innings. The Hornets have won each of Brahms' last six starts, with the freshman recording his first complete game shutout in a three-hitter Saturday.
- The Hornets are 15-7 in night games this season. The team's pitching has been particularly impressive at night with a 2.75 ERA and .212 opposing batting average. Tanner Olson, who will start Tuesday night, has pitched 11.2 scoreless night innings this season allowing four hits and no walks.
- Sacramento State leads the WAC in nearly every pitching category including ERA (3.71), opposing batting average (.241), strikeout to walk ratio (2.22), WHIP (1.26), and hits allowed per nine innings (8.14). Hornet pitchers have also hit the second fewest batters and are third with 337 strikeouts.
- The Hornets are 9-12 in league play with one conference series remaining. Sacramento State enters the week in fifth place but every other league team will play conference games this weekend. The top six teams qualify for the WAC Tournament but league-leading Grand Canyon is still ineligible.
- Fresno State had a five game winning streak come to an end on Sunday. The Bulldogs, who are 15-11 at home this year, are hitting .306 with 44 home runs and rank 12th in NCAA Div. I in hits and ninth nationally in doubles. Fresno State beat the Hornets, 9-0, on April 5 at John Smith Field.
Tuesday's game will stream live on HornetSports.com/Radio with Anthony Rifenburg and Andrew Tomsky on the call. Fresno State will also provide a live video stream. Links for the 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 Fresno State (25-22)
Fresno State had a five game winning streak come to an end on Sunday in a loss at UNLV. The Bulldogs have taken 2-of-3 games in each of their last two series and have recent midweek wins at UC Riverside and Cal Poly. Fresno State is 15-11 at home this season and 13-11 in the Mountain West. The squad is hitting .306 as a team this year with 44 home runs, ranking 12th in NCAA Div. I in hits and ninth nationally with 107 doubles. The Bulldogs average nearly seven runs per game but have a 5.81 team ERA. In April Fresno State recorded a 9-0 win over the Hornets at John Smith Field, taking an early 5-0 lead in the first inning and tallying four doubles and a home run while limiting the Hornets to six singles. The Hornets last beat the Bulldogs in Fresno in 2014 but will be looking for a season split for the second straight year in the 79th Div. I meeting between the teams.
In his last six starts Sacramento State freshman Parker Brahms is 5-0 with a 0.84 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and a .174 opposing batting average over 42.2 innings. The Hornets have won each of Brahms' last six starts, with the freshman recording his first complete game shutout in a three-hitter Saturday at Chicago State. He earned WAC Pitcher of the Week honors after throwing six shutout innings in a win at Seattle U, allowing just three singles and two walks with six strikeouts against the Redhawks while delivering his second shutout of the season. Brahms now leads all WAC pitchers with a 2.20 ERA and is tied with teammate Justin Dillon for the league lead with a 1.00 WHIP. His current 2.20 ERA would be the seventh best in a season in program history.
The Hornets are 9-12 in league play with one conference series remaining. Sacramento State enters the week in fifth place but every other league team will play conference games this weekend while the Hornets will not. Only the Hornets and Grand Canyon have played 21 conference games to this point with the rest having played 18. The top six teams qualify for the WAC Tournament but league-leading Grand Canyon is still ineligible, meaning that only the bottom two teams in the final standings will not compete in the postseason.
Working the Field
Sacramento State leads the WAC while ranking 9th in NCAA Div. I with a .982 fielding percentage this season. The Hornets have 27 error-free games this season and have committed just 1 error in the last 10 games, going error free in both the CSU Bakersfield and Chicago State series. The single season program record for fielding percentage is .979, accomplished in 2012 and 2013.
The Hornets lead the WAC in nearly every pitching category including ERA (3.71), opposing batting average (.241), strikeout to walk ratio (2.22), WHIP (1.26), and hits allowed per nine innings (8.14). Hornet pitchers have also hit the second fewest batters in the league (31) and are third with 337 strikeouts.
Liking the Lights
In their first full season under the lights at John Smith Field the Hornets are 11-7 in home night games and 15-7 overall at night this season. Sacramento State's pitching has been particularly impressive at night with a 2.75 ERA and .212 opposing batting average through 22 night games. Tanner Olson, who will start Tuesday night at Fresno State, has pitched 11.2 night innings this season and has not allowed a run with just four hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts with a .105 opposing batting average and 2-0 record.
Over the last 13 games Vinny Esposito and Kody Reynolds have combined for eight home runs, three triples, eight doubles, and 28 RBIs. Esposito is hitting .370 in the stretch with three homers, three doubles, and three triples with a .426 on-base percentage and .704 slugging percentage while Reynolds has five home runs and five doubles and is hitting .357. Reynolds hit his first career grand slam last Saturday at Chicago State.
Sacramento State had a string of 15 straight successful stolen base attempts and has been successful on 28 of its last 32 steal attempts. The Hornets lead the WAC with 56 stolen bases this year after leading the league and ranking 68th in the nation with 70 stolen bases last year. Ian Dawkins leads the team and is third in the WAC with 14 steals.
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 43 of the 48 games. He had a 14-game hitting streak into WAC play and is currently on an 11-game hit streak. He leads the team with 22 multi-hit games with a pair of four-hit contests. He leads the WAC with 69 hits and is third in the league with 14 stolen bases while playing outstanding defense with just one error.
Sacramento State has hit 14 home runs in the last 13 games. The Hornets recorded their first five-homer game since March 2014 in the 9-0 win at Seattle U and hit five homers over two games against San Francisco. Kody Reynolds and Vinny Esposito homered in both USF games and James Outman hit two long balls in the 9-0 win. The squad ranks third in the WAC with 35 home runs this season.
Senior Justin Dillon leads the WAC with 81 strikeouts, having struck out at least five batters in all but three games this season. he has three double-digit strikeout games, including a program record tying 13 in the no-hitter against Northern Kentucky. He has entered the top-10 in program history with 160 career strikeouts.
Vinny at the Bat
Vinny Esposito is tied for the WAC lead with 29 RBIs in league games. Since the start of conference play on March 24 Esposito has hit .330 with seven home runs, seven doubles, five triples, and 35 RBIs over 29 games. He is slugging .661 in the stretch and is 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts.
The Hornets made some history in an 11-1 mercy rule win in eight innings over CSU Bakersfield on April 29. Vinny Esposito tied the program record with two triples in the game and Kody Reynolds matched the single-game record with three doubles, becoming the first Hornet in 16 years to record a three-double game. Esposito became the first player in program history to record two triples and a home run in the same game. The Hornets totaled nine extra-base hits on the night.
Three Two-Homer Games
James Outman became the third Hornet to record a two-homer game this year on April 22 at Seattle U. 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. The three 2-homer games equal the program's most in a season since the 2009 team had six such games.
WHIP it Good
Sacramento State pitchers lead the WAC and rank 26th in NCAA Div. I with a 1.26 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) this season. The Hornets are also tied for 23 in the nation with five shutouts and ranks 35th nationally with 8.14 hits allowed per nine innings this season.
Walk It Off
Sacramento State picked up its third walk-off win beating CSU Bakersfield 11-1 in 8 innings via the WAC 10-run rule. The team's second walk-off win of the season was a 2-1 victory in 12 innings over New Mexico State when 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.
Five Times Thirty
The Hornets are just six wins shy of recording their sixth straight 30-win season. The current streak of five straight 30-win years is the longest such streak since a string of nine straight 30-win seasons from 1985-1993. The team has also recorded winning WAC records and double-digit conference wins in each of the last five years.
Happy at Home
The Hornets have had winning home records in four straight seasons and are 77-41 at home over the last five years. The team is 14-13 at home this year and has had at least 16 home wins in five straight seasons.