SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State will take the field Friday on the road at Smith's Ballpark in Salt Lake City as they go up against the Utah Utes. The game is the first for the Hornets since last Sunday after their Tuesday game at Saint Mary's was postponed due to rain.
First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 5:00 pm PT while both Saturday's and Sunday's games have a noon start.
How To Listen
All three weekend games at Utah can be heard live online at HornetSports.com/Radio with baseball play-by-play broadcaster Anthony Rifenburg. The game will also stream online via Pac 12 Sports Live Stream. Live stats will be available through Utes baseball while in-game updates will be provided on Twitter, @SacStBaseball. All links can also be found by visiting the 2018 Baseball Schedule on HornetSports.com.
- Austin Root took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of Sunday's series finale win at UC Santa Barbara. The senior allowed just one hit in 7.1 innings of work while striking out six. Root has allowed just two earned runs in his last 23.1 innings.
- Ian Dawkins homered in two of last weekend's three games at UC Santa Barbara, his first two home runs of the season. He has also hit safely in seven of his last eight games, raising his batting average to .257 after starting the season with just five hits in nine games.
- Sacramento State has stolen 33 bases this season, most in the WAC and 20th most in all of NCAA Div. I. They are 34-for-42 (80%) and are 28 stolen bases back of national leader Southern Louisiana (62). James Outman is a perfect 9-for-9 to lead the team while Matt Smith is second (8-for-10).
- With two wins last weekend at UC Santa Barbara, the Hornets won their first series against a Big West team since taking two-of-three from UC Riverside during the 2001 season. While they have split many series against Big West teams since then, last weekend's series win was their first in 18 years.
- Utah enters this weekend's series with a 2-17 record, including a 1-2 mark in the Pac-12. They are currently last in the Pac-12 Conference. As a team, Utah is hitting .244 with a .320 on-base percentage while their pitching staff owns an eve 5.00 ERA.
By The Numbers
4: Home runs hit by the Hornets in their 12-3 win over the Gauchos, most in a game since April 22, of last season.
3: Shutouts thrown by Sacramento State pitchers this season, most in the WAC and 10th most in NCAA Div. I.
Scouting The Utes
- Utah enters this weekend's series with a 2-17 record. They are 1-2 through their first three conference games.
- As a team, the Utes are hitting .244 with a .320 team on-base percentage. Their pitching staff owns a 5.00 ERA and a .282 batting average against.
- Matt Richardson leads the team with a .356 batting average while Dominic Foscalina tops the club with three home runs and nine RBIs.
- Utah is coming off an extra-inning loss at BYU, 7-6 in 10 innings. Before that, they took one of three on the road at Pac-12 opponent USC.
- Friday night's game will be Utah's first home game of the season. They play their home games at Smith's Ballpark, home of the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels).
- The Utes kicked off the 2018 campaign picked to finish last in the Pac-12. They received just 16 points and no first-place votes.
Sacramento State is 10-6 all-time against Utah, dating back to the 1993 season. The two teams have not faced each other since the 2015 season when Sacramento State took three of four against the Utes to kick off the 2015 campaign. The Hornets have not played at Utah since the 2012 season, a game they won 6-2.
Playing the Pac-12
Sacramento State started the year with a season-opening series split against Washington, their first Pac-12 series of the year. They were supposed to have four games against Washington State, but those games were cancelled due to weather. After three games at Utah, the Hornets will also play one game against Cal (at Cal) and Arizona (at Sacramento State) later this season for nine total games against Pac-12 opponents. Since the start of the 2012 season, Sacramento State has played 26 games against Pac-12 opponents, going 11-15. Among those 11 wins are wins against #4 Oregon State and #18 Arizona State (both 2014) and #11 Washington (2017).
Root Runs Deep
Senior right-hander Austin Root took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against UC Santa Barbara in his last start before the Gauchos finally punched one threw. Root allowed just the one hit in his 7.1 innings, combining with Tanner Dalton to throw the one-hit shutout. Over his last 23.1 innings, Root has allowed just two earned runs on nine hits while striking out 22. He leads the team with a 0.88 WHIP and is second with a 1.89 ERA. In five starts, Root has pitched six or more innings three times, including seven or more innings twice.
Dawkins at the Plate
With two hits Sunday at UC Santa Barbara, Ian Dawkins has now hit safely in seven of his last eight games. Dawkins struggled to start the season as he battled a hand injury, going just five-for-his-first-34, but has raised hit batting average more than 100 points from .147 to .257 over the last eight games. In addition to having hit safely in seven of his last eight games, Ian Dawkins has also had two or more hits in five of his last six games, including a season-high three hits against Santa Clara. Dawkins has six multi-hit games this season, just one behind team-leader James Outman.
It. Is. Outta. Here!
Sacramento State hit four home runs in their 12-3 rout of the Gauchos last Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Ian Dawkins led off the game with a home run, his first of the season, and Steven Moretto gave the Hornets a 5-4 lead with a grand slam. James Outman also homered, his team-leading fourth of the season, and Andrew McWilliam left the park for the first time of the season. The four home run game was Sacramento State's first such showing since April 22 of last season when they hit five home runs on the road at Seattle U. The Hornets hit three or more home runs in a game four times last season.
Success Out West
By taking two of three games last weekend at UC Santa Barbara, the Hornets won their first series against a Big West team since taking two-of-three against UC Riverside during the 2001 season. While Sacramento State has split many series against Big West teams since then, they had not won a season series against the conference in nearly two decades.
Sacramento State scored first in each of their three games last weekend and have scored first in their last eight consecutive games. Despite jumping out to early leads regularly, the Hornets are just 3-5 over that eight-game stretch. For the season, Sacramento State has put the first run on the board in 12 of their 19 games and is an even .500 (6-6) in those contests.
Can't Lose If They Can't Score
Sunday's 2-0 shutout win was Sacramento State third shutout victory of the season. That number is the most in the Western Athletic Conference and 10th most in all of NCAA Div. I baseball. Each of the Hornets' three main starters - Parker Brahms, Austin Root, and Scott Randall - have started a shutout this season. Tanner Dalton is the only pitcher on the staff to have appeared in more than one of the shutouts (two).
McWilliam Coming On
After missing the season's first seven games, designated hitter Andrew McWilliam has started or appeared in nine of the team's last 12 games as either the designated hitter or a pinch hitter. Delayed by injury, McWilliam started the season slow, hitting just .111 over his first six games. The senior slugger found his swing over the weekend, though, hitting .500 (5-for-10) with a home run, a double, and three RBIs in three games.
Over his last seven outings, newcomer Tanner Dalton has allowed just two runs in 10 innings of relief work. He has not allowed a run to score in four straight innings and has given up just two hits over that stretch while striking out seven. Dalton has recorded a save in each of his last two outings, at home vs. Santa Clara and on the road at UC Santa Barbara. His two saves lead the team.
More for Moretto
Freshman third baseman Steven Moretto had a career game last Friday at UC Santa Barbara, going 4-for-5 with a grand slam home run and six total RBIs. The four hits and six RBIs are both new career highs for the freshman while the home run brought him to three total on the season. Since starting his Hornets career, Moretto has a season-best eight-game hit streak, leads the team in RBIs (17) and has the club's second best batting average (.294) and slugging percentage (.471).
A 1-2 Punch
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 4-2 with a save in 12 games (11 starts). They own a combined 1.95 ERA and a 64:12 K:BB ratio. They rank first and third in the conference games started (Brahms 6, Root 5), first and second in ERA (Brahms 1.41, Root 1.89), first and second in WHIP (Root 0.88, Brahms 0.89), and first and second in Walks Allowed Per Nine Innings (Brahms 0.96, Root 1.04).
Earned Runs Against Brahms
Hornets starter Parker Brahms allowed his first earned runs of the season on Saturday at UC Santa Barbara as the Gauchos tagged the right-hander for five runs - all earned - in four innings. The scoring started in the first inning, snapping Brahms' streak of consecutive innings without an earned run at 28 innings. His 1.41 ERA is still the 54th best mark in the nation.
Sacramento State has already played five extra-inning games this season, tied for second most in NCAA Div. I. Fordham has played in six extra-inning games while the Hornets, Houston, UT Arlington, and William & Mary have each played five. Sacramento State is just 1-4 in extra inning games this season and has 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 34-for-42 (80%) in stolen base attempts this season, leading the WAC in the category and ranking 20th in all of NCAA Div. I baseball. They are 28 steals back of national leader Southern Louisiana (64). 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).
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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