MESA, Ariz. – Sacramento State (28-27, 12-12 WAC) enters the 2017 WAC Tournament as the No. 3 seed and will face No. 6 Seattle U (19-33-1, 8-16 WAC) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz. The first game of the double-elimination tournament, No. 4 Utah Valley vs. No. 5 Northern Colorado, will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday with the Hornets and Redhawks to follow.
- Sacramento State enters the 2017 WAC Tournament as the No. 3 seed and will face No. 6 seed Seattle U to open play. If the Hornets beat Seattle U they would face CSU Bakersfield at 3 p.m. on Thursday. A Hornet loss on Wednesday would put them in an elimination game at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
- The Hornets are making their sixth consecutive trip to the WAC Tournament, the longest postseason streak in the program's Div. I history. Sacramento State is 12-15 all-time in the WAC Tournament. The squad has won at least one game in each of its last six WAC Tournament appearances.
- Sacramento State leads the WAC in nearly every pitching category including ERA (3.92), opposing batting average (.248), strikeout to walk ratio (2.20), WHIP (1.29), and hits allowed per nine innings (8.47). Hornet pitchers have also hit the second fewest batters and are third with 374 strikeouts.
- The Hornets enter the WAC Tournament on a four-game winning streak overall while winning their last five conference games of the regular season. Over their last five WAC games the Hornets hit .313 while averaging 8.8 runs per game and had a 2.40 ERA and .211 opposing batting average.
- Sacramento State won 2-of-3 games against Seattle U when the teams met in Seattle April 21-23. The Redhawks were the preseason favorite to win the WAC in 2017 but went 8-16 in conference play. UTRGV's loss to the Hornets on Saturday gave Seattle U the last WAC Tournament berth.
All Sacramento State WAC Tournament games will stream live on HornetSports.com/Radio with Anthony Rifenburg and Andrew Tomsky on the play-by-play call. All WAC Tournament games will also be video streamed on WACSports.com/Watch. 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.
Sacramento State enters the 2017 WAC Tournament as the No. 3 seed and will face No. 6 seed Seattle U to open play on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The double-elimination tournament is being held at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Ariz., the spring training home of the Oakland Athletics, for the third consecutive season. Regular season WAC champion Grand Canyon is still ineligible for the postseason so New Mexico State earned the No. 1 seed and CSU Bakersfield is No. 2 to earn byes into the second round. If the Hornets beat Seattle U on Wednesday they would face CSU Bakersfield at 3 p.m. on Thursday. A Hornet loss on Wednesday would put them in an elimination game at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Hornets in the WAC Tournament
The Hornets are making their sixth consecutive trip to the WAC Tournament, the longest postseason streak in the program's Div. I history. Sacramento State is 12-15 all-time in the WAC Tournament with a tournament victory in 2014. The squad has won at least one game in each of its last six WAC Tournament appearances and has won its first tournament game twice, including last season. The Hornets lost their tournament opener in 2014 but came back with four straight wins to claim the title. The team also faced Seattle U in the tournament last season and took a 5-4 loss.
Streaking into the Postseason
Sacramento State enters the WAC Tournament on a four-game winning streak overall while winning its last five conference games of the regular season. Over their last five WAC games the Hornets hit .313 and averaged 8.8 runs per game while going 10-for-12 in stolen base attempts. The pitching staff had a 2.40 ERA and .211 opposing batting average during the stretch with 26 strikeouts and just 11 walks. The bullpen allowed just two earned runs in 15.2 innings in the five games.
Hot in Mesa
Sacramento State's top two hitters at the 2016 WAC Tournament, Andrew McWilliam and Kody Reynolds, make their return to Mesa. McWilliam was 5-for-12 (.417) with a double and 5 RBIs at the 2016 tournament while Reynolds had a double and hit .364. PJ Floyd also had a strong three games in Mesa hitting .300 with a home run and 5 runs.
Senior shortstop Trent Goodrich was named WAC Hitter of the Week after going 9-of-14 (.643) with 6 RBI and 4 runs in leading the Hornets to a sweep of UT Rio Grande Valley. He also had a walk and reached base in 10-of-15 plate appearances with three multi-hit games, including his first career four-hit and four-RBI game of his career on Friday. Over the last 10 games Goodrich is hitting .462 with a .543 on-base percentage, 7 RBIs, 9 runs, and 5 doubles.
In WAC play Parker Brahms went 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA and .207 opposing batting average with the team winning seven of his eight conference starts. 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, and threw a three-hit complete game shutout at Chicago State. For the season Brahms leads all WAC pitchers with a 2.68 ERA and is second in the league in opposing batting average (.220) and WHIP (1.06).
Liking the Lights
Sacramento State will be happy to open WAC Tournament play in a 7 p.m. start as, in their first full season under the lights at John Smith Field, the Hornets were 13-7 in home night games and 17-10 overall at night during the regular season. Sacramento State's pitching has been particularly impressive at night with a 3.20 ERA and .230 opposing batting average through 27 night games. Vinny Esposito is hitting .333 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 26 night games played this year. The Hornets are also 29-for-36 in steals at night.
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 50 of the 55 games. He had a 14-game hitting streak into WAC play and is currently on a team season-high 18-game reached base streak. He leads the WAC with 26 multi-hit games with a pair of four-hit contests and is just two multi-hit games shy of the singles season program record. He is also second in the WAC with 80 hits and is fourth in the league with 14 stolen bases while playing outstanding defense with just one error.
Working the Field
Sacramento State leads the WAC while ranking 23rd in NCAA Div. I with a .978 fielding percentage this season. The Hornets have 28 error-free games this season. The single season program record for fielding percentage is .979, first recorded in 2012 and matched in 2013.
He Is Root
In his last 18 relief appearances dating back to the start of conference play, junior Austin Root has a 0.99 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and .204 opposing batting average with just three earned runs allowed over 27.1 innings. He has a 20-4 strikeout to walk ratio in the stretch and in nine relief appearances in WAC play he had a 0.60 ERA with just one earned run allowed and 11 strikeouts in 15.0 innings. Root has allowed an earned run in just three of his last 18 relief outings and has a win and two saves in his last three appearances.
The Hornets lead the WAC in nearly every pitching category including ERA (3.92), opposing batting average (.248), strikeout to walk ratio (2.20), WHIP (1.29), and hits allowed per nine innings (8.47). Hornet pitchers have also hit the second fewest batters in the league (37) and are third with 374 strikeouts.
All-Time Appearance Leader
Senior pitcher Chad Perry has broken the program record with 98 career pitching appearances. Perry topped the previous program record of 91 career appearances set by Brandon Creel from 2010-13. Perry's 33 appearances last season tied for second most in a year in program history and he has pitched in at least 16 games in each of his four seasons as a Hornet. Perry has made three career starts with 95 games out of the bullpen and has a 7-3 all-time record with three saves and 78 strikeouts to 56 walks.
Vinny at the Bat
Vinny Esposito leads the Hornets with nine home runs, 48 RBI and five triples with a .525 slugging percentage this season. His nine homers are the most by a Hornet in a season since Rhys Hoskins with 12 in 2014. Since the start of conference play on March 24 Esposito has hit .349 with eight home runs, seven doubles, five triples, and 43 RBIs over 36 games. He is slugging .630 in the stretch and is 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts.
With a win in the finale at San Diego the Hornets finished the regular season with a winning non-conference record for the first time since the 2013 season. Sacramento State was 16-15 in non-conference games, winning series over Washington State and Northern Kentucky and also recording wins over high level programs including No. 11 Washington, Minnesota, Penn State, Wichita State, Nevada, and San Diego. Of the 12 non-conference teams the Hornets played they had wins over 11, with Fresno State being the only outlier.
Five Times Thirty
The Hornets are just two 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 also recorded double-digit conference wins in each of the last six years.
Sacramento State has hit 19 home runs in the last 20 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 40 home runs this season.
Sacramento State had a string of 15 straight successful stolen base attempts and has been successful on 34 of its last 40 steal attempts. The Hornets are third in the WAC with 62 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.
Senior Justin Dillon leads the WAC lead with 91 strikeouts, having struck out at least five batters in 10 starts this season. He has three double-digit strikeout games, including a program record tying 13 in the no-hitter against Northern Kentucky. He is in the top-10 in program history with 170 career strikeouts.
WHIP it Good
Sacramento State pitchers lead the WAC and rank 32nd in NCAA Div. I with a 1.26 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) this season. The Hornets are also tied for 32nd in the nation with five shutouts and rank 35th nationally with just 3.13 walks allowed per nine innings this season.
California is among the strongest states in the nation for Div. I baseball, and over the last five years the Hornets rank among the best teams in the state. Among 24 Division-I baseball teams in California, the Hornets recorded the 7th most wins over the last five years. The team won 168 total games from 2012-16, more than several perennial postseason qualifiers including Pepperdine, Stanford, Long Beach State, Cal, and Fresno State. San Diego had just three more wins than the Hornets.