SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball team will kicks off another four-game weekend as they take on Santa Clara in four games starting Thursday. The first two games of the series will take place on the road at Santa Clara's Stephen Schott Stadium on Thursday and Friday while the last two will be played at home at John Smith Field on Saturday and Sunday.
The full weekend schedule is available on the 2018 Hornets baseball schedule.
How To Listen
All four of Sacramento State's games this weekend can be heard live online at HornetSports.com/Radio with baseball play-by-play broadcaster Anthony Rifenburg. Live stats will be available online at HornetStats while in-game updates will be provided on Twitter, @SacStBaseball.
The two games in Santa Clara will also be available to watch online through wccsports.com
- Parker Brahms enters the weekend with a 0.00 ERA. That number is best in the conference and tied for the best in all of NCAA Div. I players. Among all pitchers in the country with an 0.00 ERA, Brahms' 21.0 innings pitched are the most (18.2 second best).
- James Outman stole four bases in a single game this past weekend, going 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts against Milwaukee. Outman now has seven steals on the season, tied with Matt Smith for most on the team and 10th most in the conference.
- With four games scheduled this weekend against Santa Clara, Sacramento State will have played half (eight of 16) of their games so far this season against WCC opponents. The Hornets went 2-4 in six games against WCC teams during the 2017 season.
- Sacramento State has already played three extra-inning games this season, more than any other WAC team (UT Rio Grande Valley has two). Last season, the Hornets played just six extra-inning contests all season.
- Santa Clara enters this weekend with an 8-3 record, the best record in the WCC. They are riding a four-game win streak, all at home, and are 7-3 at Stephen Schott Stadium overall this season. The two teams have not faced each other in a decade, with their last game during the 2008 season at Santa Clara.
By The Numbers
8: Gae hit streak for Steven Moretto to start his Hornets career. The streak stretched from Feb. 17 - March 3.
26: Stolen bases for the Hornets through 12 games, 10th most in NCAA Div. I. They stole six in one game vs. Milwaukee.
21: Consecutive scoreless innings thrown by Parker Brahms to start the 2018 season, most by a pitcher in NCAA Div. I.
Scouting The Broncos
- The Broncos enter this weekend's four-game set with the WCC's best record at 8-3, including 7-3 at home.
- As a team, the Broncos are hitting .214 and own a 2.94 team ERA.
- Santa Clara is coming off a 2017 campaign in which they ended the year 13-40, including 9-18 in conference, good for seventh.
- This year, the Broncos were picked to finish eighth of 12 in the WCC's preseason coaches poll.
- Santa Clara has not faced Sacramento State since the 2008 season, a game the Broncos won in Santa Clara, 7-6.
- The Broncos are led offensively by Jake Brodt, who is hitting .283 with a .630 slugging percentage. The senior slugged two grand slams in the same inning earlier this season, garnering him national media attention, the WCC's Player of the Week award, and the NCBWA National Hitter of the Week award.
Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer
The Hornets have teamed up with Go 4 The Goal, a program dedicated to helping children with cancer to achieve their goals. The program is known for it's gold laces that teams will wear in an effort to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer. The Sacramento State baseball team has partnered with Go 4 The Goal and is raising money through their team page. More information can be found online by visiting Sacramento State baseball on HornetSports.com.
Pitcher of the Week
Sacramento State's Parker Brahms was named the WAC Pitcher of the Week for his performance last week at Pacific and against Milwaukee. The sophomore right-hander was brilliant last Saturday against Milwaukee, throwing seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and one walk while striking out seven. He picked up his first win of the season in the effort. He also threw a scoreless inning last Tuesday at Pacific, a start that served more as a mid-week pitching session to prepare for Saturday. The award is the second for Brahms, who was named Pitcher of the Week once as a freshman.
Parker Brahms, scheduled to start at home Saturday, enters this weekend with 21 scoreless innings to start the 2018 campaign. Brahms is one of 23 qualified pitchers in all of NCAA Div. I to own a 0.00 ERA, though his 21.0 innings pitched are the most of those pitchers. As of Thursday, Brahms has thrown 2.1 more innings than the next closest pitchers (Chris Holba of East Carolina and Noah Sills of Lamar University both with 18.2 scoreless innings pitched).
On the Road
After four games in three days at home at John Smith Field, Sacramento State travels to the Bay Area for a quick two-game road trip to Santa Clara. The Hornets, who have played just three games away from John Smith Field this season, are 1-2, including one neutral game. Sacramento State is hitting .237 in those three games while the pitching staff owns an ERA over five (5.04).
Outman on the Run
James Outman stole four bases in one game this past weekend, going 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts Saturday against Milwaukee. He is just one of two players this year in all of NCAA Div. I baseball with four steals in a single game (Marcus Ragan, Little Rock). Overall, the power-hitting right fielder stole five bases over the weekend, giving him seven on the season. He is tied with Matt Smith for the team lead in stolen bases.
Sacramento State Stealers
Sacramento State is 26-for-30 (87%) in stolen base attempts this season, leading the WAC in the category and ranking 10th in all of NCAA Div. I baseball. James Outman and Matt Smith lead the team with seven stolen bags apiece (Outman 7-7, Smith 7-8). They are also tied 21st in NCAA Div. I. Eight different Hornets players have swiped a bag this season, including six who have stolen at least two (Steven Moretto, Outman, Smith, Vinny Esposito, Ian Dawkins, Alex de Watteville).
Moretto's Streak Snapped
Steven Moretto had his eight-game hit streak come to an end on Sunday against Gonzaga. The true freshman, who missed the team's season opener, had a hit in each of his first eight career games. After going 0-for-4 against Gonzaga, Moretto recorded a hit in each of his next two games and has reached safely in 10 of his first 11 games. Moretto leads the team with a .310 batting average and two home runs.
Sacramento State has already played three extra-inning games this season, more than any other WAC team (UT Rio Grande Valley has two). They are 1-2 in extra inning games this season, having lost at home to Washington in 11 innings and also to San Francisco at home in 11 innings. Last season, the Hornets played just six extra-inning contests all season, going 5-1 in those games.
Root on a Roll
Austin Root made his best start of the season last Sunday night against Milwaukee, throwing eight innings of one-run ball, giving up just five hits, no walks, and striking out seven. It was the longest outing by a Hornets pitcher this season both in innings (eight) and pitches thrown (97). Root took a no decision for his effort as the Hornets won in the 11th inning. The eight-inning outing following a scoreless three-inning relief appearance Root made last Tuesday. Over his last two games, Root as allowed just six hits and one run while walking none and striking out 11 in 11 innings.
First Time Fox
Sacramento State's veteran reliever Ty Fox made his first career start this last Monday at home against Gonzaga. Fox threw three innings while allowing two runs in what was the team's four game in three days. Fox, a second-year pitcher for the Hornets, appeared in 32 games last season, all of them in relief.
Home Run Drought
After slugging five home runs in their first seven games, Sacramento State has not homered in their last six games. Steven Moretto, who leads the team with two long balls this season, has not homered since Feb. 24 against San Jose in San Francisco. James Outman, who last season tied for the team lead with 11 home runs, has just one through the first 12 games. All five of the team's home runs have been of the solo variety.
Familiar with the WCC
Through 12 games this season, Sacramento State has played five against West Coast Conference teams (two vs. San Francisco, one vs. Pacific, two vs. Gonzaga) and are 1-4 in those games. With this weekend's four-game set against Santa Clara, the Hornets will have played over half of their games (nine of 16) against WCC opponents. With another game against Pacific and two games later this season against Saint Mary's, Sacramento State will have played 12 games against the WCC. Last season, Sacramento State played just six games against WCC opponents, going 2-4.
The Hornets have relied heavily on freshman pitchers through the season's early going. The team's five true freshman pitchers have already combined for 19 appearances and have thrown 32.0 innings.
Similarly, Sacramento State has relied regularly on freshman starters in the field. Steven Moretto, Keith Torres, Dylan McPhillips, and redshirt freshman Josh Urps have a combined 42 starts, with Urps having started every game this season.
Sacramento State has enjoyed the big inning this season, scoring four or more runs in an inning four times. The team's five-run third inning at Pacific was their highest scoring inning of the season. In games in which they score four or more in a single frame, they Hornets are 2-1.
Worth the Sacrifice
As a team, Sacramento State has 11 sacrifice hits and six sacrifice flies through 12 games. Josh Urps leads the WAC and is third in all of NCAA Div. I with five sacrifice bunts.
Freshman catcher Dylan McPhillips has two sacrifice flies and a sacrifice bunt this year. His two sac flies are 3rd in the WAC and 46th in the nation.
Leaving Them Stranded
The Hornets continue to struggle with runners in scoring position, hitting just .164 as a team in such situations. The struggles have plagued most of the lineup, as only James Outman (4-10, .400) and Steven Moretto (4-13, .308) are hitting above .300 with runners in scoring position.
WAC Preseason Coach Poll
The Hornets were picked to finish third in the WAC in the 2018 Preseason Coaches Poll. They received 51 points, including one first place vote, finishing behind first-place Grand Canyon (61 points, five votes) and New Mexico State (54 points, two votes). The rest of the conference breaks down as follows: 4. Seattle U (46), 5. CSU Bakersfield (32), 6. Utah Valley (30), 7. UT Rio Grande Valley (23), 8. Northern Colorado (19), 9. Chicago State (8).
All-Conference Preseason Team
Sacramento State had three players named to the 2018 All-WAC Preseason Team, the most since they had five named to the 2015 team. This year's trio is Vinny Esposito (First Base), Ian Dawkins (Outfield), and James Outman (Outfield). The selection is Esposito's second (also 2016).
Six Times Thirty
With 32 wins in 2017, Sacramento State recorded its sixth consecutive 30-win season, the longest such streak since a string of nine straight 30-win seasons from 1985-1993. The team has also recorded double-digit conference wins in each of the last six years.
Best In the West
Sacramento State and baseball powerhouse Cal State Fullerton are the only two NCAA Div. I baseball programs in California to have won 30 or more games in each of the last six seasons. They have just 35 fewer wins during that stretch than Cal State Fullerton.
-- HornetSports --