SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball team travels south to take on the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos for a three-game weekend series. Sacramento State's last game, scheduled for this past Tuesday at home against Nevada, was cancelled due to rain.
How To Listen
All three of this weekend's games against Santa Barbara can be heard live online at HornetSports.com/Radio with baseball play-by-play broadcaster Anthony Rifenburg. The games will also stream online at bigwest.sidearmstreaming.com. Live stats will be available online at HornetStats.com while in-game updates will be provided on Twitter, @SacStBaseball.
- 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. Among the 12 pitchers in the country with a 0.00 ERA, Brahms' 28.0 innings pitched are the most (24.2 second best).
- James Outman homered in back-to-back games last weekend for the Hornets, giving him three home runs on the season. Outman now leads the team in home runs and is tied for the team lead in doubles (5). Last year he had 11 home runs and 15 doubles.
- Sacramento State has stolen 33 bases this season, most in the WAC and 11th most in all of NCAA Div. I. They are 33-for-41 and are 20 stolen bases back of national leader UCF (53). James Outman is a perfect 9-for-9 to lead the team while Matt Smith is second (8-for-10).
- Through the season's first 16 games, the Hornets have already played five extra inning games, the most in the country. They are 1-4 in those games. Last year, Sacramento State played just six extra-inning games over the course of the season and went 5-1.
- Santa Barbara enters this weekend's series with a 5-9-1 record. They are currently sixth in the Big West. As a team, the Gauchos are hitting .253 and own a staff ERA of 4.46. They won the last game between these two teams, 8-6 in 11 innings at John Smith Field.
By The Numbers
9: Stolen bases in as many attempts for team leader James Outman. He had 11 total steals last season.
28: Innings thrown this season by sophomore Parker Brahms without allowing an earned run, most in NCAA Div. I.
4: Different pitching categories in which the Hornets lead the WAC, including ERA, WHIP, and walks per nine innings.
Scouting The Gauchos
- Santa Barbara enters this weekend's series with a 5-9-1 record. They have not yet played a conference game (Big West Conference).
- As a team, the Gauchos are hitting .253 with a .350 team on-base percentage. Their pitching staff owns a 4.46 ERA.
- Santa Barbara comes into this weekend's series riding a 15-5 blowout win at home against Dartmouth. They Gauchos hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the win.
- Over their last five, the Gauchos are just 1-3-1, all at home.
- Santa Barbara entered the 2018 campaign picked to finish fourth in the Big West Conference, behind perennial favorites Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State, as well as Cal Poly.
- The Gauchos are led by redshirt junior Clay Fischer, whose .318 batting average, 21 hits, and four doubles are all tops on the club.
Against Santa Barbara
Sacramento State is 24-30 all-time against Santa Barbara, dating back to the 1990 season. Last season, the Hornets dropped two of three games against the #18 ranked Gauchos at Sacramento. The team's last match up was a close 8-6 Sacramento State loss in 11 innings.
Outman Outta Here
James Outman homered in back-to-back games this last weekend against Santa Clara, giving him a team-leading three home runs on the season. He also had a double and three base hits, going 6-for-14 through four games. He slugged .929 over the four-game stretch and also stole two more bases.
Through the season's first 16 games, Parker Brahms still owns a 0.00 ERA and is just one of 12 pitchers in all NCAA Div. I with a perfect ERA. Brahms did not allow a run of any kind through his first 25 innings of work this season, and only allowed two unearned runs in his 26th inning of work. He is the only qualified pitcher in the WAC with a 0.00 ERA.
Parker Brahms' 28.0 innings pitched are the most by a pitcher with a 0.00 ERA in all of NCAA Div. I. He has thrown nearly four innings more than the next pitcher on the list, Shane McClanahan (24.2 innings pitched).
Sacramento State has already played five extra-inning games this season, more than any other team in NCAA Div. I. Seven different teams have each participated in four extra-inning contests. The Hornets are just 1-4 in extra inning games this season and have been outscored 8-2 after the ninth inning. Last season, the Hornets played just five extra-inning contests all year, going 4-1 in those games while scoring four runs compared to their opponents four.
Sacramento State Stealers
Sacramento State is 33-for-41 (80%) in stolen base attempts this season, leading the WAC in the category and ranking 11th in all of NCAA Div. I baseball. They are 20 steals back of national leader UCF (53). James Outman leads the team with nine steals in nine attempts while Matt Smith is second with eight. Outman and Smith rank first and second in the conference, respectively, in stolen bases. Eight different Hornets players have swiped a bag this season, including seven who have stolen at least two (Steven Moretto, Outman, Smith, Vinny Esposito, Ian Dawkins, PJ Floyd, Alec de Watteville).
Outman on the Run
James Outman is a perfect 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts. He leads the Hornets in stolen bases, is first in the conference, and 17th in the nation. 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).
Root on a Roll
One start after throwing eight innings of one-run ball against Milwaukee, Austin Root followed the outing up with another strong start, throwing five innings of one-run ball against Santa Clara this past Sunday. Over his last three games (two starts, one relief appearance), Root has tossed 16 innings while allowing just two earned runs (1.13 ERA). He has allowed eight hits and walked one to go with 16 strikeouts over that stretch.
Pitching Staff Prowess
The Sacramento State pitching staff has been very good to start the season. As a staff, Hornets pitchers own a 3.86 ERA, the best mark in the WAC and the 96th best in all NCAA Div. I baseball. They also lead the WAC in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.02, 35th NCAA), WHIP (1.27, 56th NCAA), and Walks Allowed Per Nine Innings (2.82, 21st NCAA). On the flipside, Sacramento State pitchers also lead the conference in hit batters, with 21 (43rd NCAA).
Atop the Rotation
The combination of Parker Brahms and Austin Root is shaping up to be one of the best one-two starting pitcher combinations in the WAC. The duo has combined to go 3-1 with a save in 10 games (nine starts). They own a combined 1.16 ERA and a 57:6 K:BB ratio. They rank first and sixth in the conference games started (Brahms 5, Root 4), first and fifth in WHIP (Brahms 0.64, Root 0.92), and first and second in Walks Allowed Per Nine Innings (Brahms 0.96, Root 1.04).
No Free Passes
Sacramento State pitchers have been the best in the Western Athletic Conference through the first quarter of the season at limiting walks to opposing batters. As a staff, the Hornets are issuing just 2.82 walks per nine innings, the lowest mark in the conference and the 21st lowest in all NCAA Div. I baseball. Starters Parker Brahms and Austin Root have been particularly good in this category, issuing 0.96 and 1.04 walks per nine innings.
Despite limiting walks to opposing batters, Sacramento State pitchers have hit 21 batters through 16 games this season, most in the WAC and 43rd most in the nation. They have also thrown 18 wild pitches.
Mistakes in the Field
Traditionally known for their strong pitching and solid defense, the Hornets have made a number of physical errors this season, something that has been uncommon during Reggie Christiansen's time as head coach. For the season, Sacramento State has committed 19 errors in 16 games, turning into 16 unearned runs. In their four-game series against Santa Clara this past weekend, the Hornets committed six errors, leading to five unearned runs.
Worth the Sacrifice
As a team, Sacramento State has 10 sacrifice flies and nine sacrifice bunts through 16 games. Those numbers are second and third in the WAC, respectively, and 13th and 69th in the country. Josh Urps leads the WAC and is second in all of NCAA Div. I with six sacrifice bunts. Dylan McPhillips, Steven Moretto, and James Outman each have two sacrifice flies, tied for third most in the conference.
10 Runs Not What They Used To Be
The Sacramento State offense put together a 10-run outing last Thursday night at Santa Clara, but the team lost in 10 innings, 11-10. It was the first time the team had scored 10 or more runs in a game since scoring 10 on May 26 against Northern Colorado in the semifinals of the WAC Conference Tournament last season. Overall, Sacramento State scored 10 or more runs 11 times in 2017 and won all 11 of those games.
On The Board First
The Hornets have scored first in nine of 16 games this season, but despite taking early leads, have been unable to preserve most of them. Overall, Sacramento State is just 4-5 this season when scoring first.
Looking for Runs Late
Sacramento State is 1-6 this season when trailing after eight innings, but just 0-3 when tied late in games. 46 of Sacramento State's 66 runs have been scored in the game's first five innings.
Hornets hitters have combined for seven home runs this season, fifth most in the conference. Three of those home runs are from last year's leader James Outman while two are by true freshman Steven Moretto. All seven of Sacramento State's home runs, however, have been solo shots.
Outman Coming On
Expectations were high for junior right fielder James Outman coming into the 2018 season and, despite a relatively slow start to the year, the slugger has seen his game improve consistently over his last eight games. During that stretch, Outman is hitting .345 and slugging .621 with two home runs, two doubles, eight RBIs, and seven stolen bases. Those numbers improve even more when looking at just his last four games, a stretch during which he is hitting .429 with a .444 on-base percentage and a .929 slugging percentage.
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.
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