SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State took two of three from WAC opponent Northern Colorado this past weekend and will look to pick up their fourth midweek win of the season as they travel to UC Davis for a Tuesday night game.
First pitch on Tuesday is set for 2:30 pm PDT at the Aggies' Dobbins Baseball Complex.
Catch The Action
Tuesday night's game against UC Davis can be seen heard online with Hornets play-by-play broadcaster Anthony Rifenburg via HornetSports.com/Radio. Live stats will be available on HornetStats.com 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.
- Parker Brahms was named the WAC Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season. He struck out 14 batters in last Friday night's shutout win over Northern Colorado, setting a new program record. He struck out 12 earlier this season against Santa Clara.
- With 14 strikeouts in last Friday's 5-0 win, Parker Brahms set a new Sacramento State baseball program record. The previous mark was 13 strikeouts in a single game, held by a trio of pitchers. It was last achieved during the 2017 season.
- Sacramento State is 10-5 over their last 15 games. That stretch includes their season-best seven-game win streak. Over the last 15 games, the Hornets are averaging over six runs per game while holding their opponents to four.
- Austin Roberts had his longest outing of the season this past Sunday, throwing five scoreless innings in relief of start Scott Randall. The duo combined for a shutout, and Roberts allowed just one runner to reach base while striking out seven.
- UC Davis enters Tuesday afternoon's matchup with a 10-20 record, including a 3-6 conference in Big West competition. The Aggies are coming off a win on the road at Cal Poly, but have lost three of their last four. As a team, the Aggies are hitting .296 while their staff owns a 5.94 ERA.
By The Numbers
14: Strikeouts recorded by Parker Brahms on April 13 vs. Northern Colorado, a new Hornets baseball program record.
10: Wins in the last 15 games for Sacramento State (.667). Those 10 wins include seven against WAC opponents.
7: Shutouts recorded by Sacramento State pitchers this season, the most in the WAC and tied for third most in the nation.
Scouting The Aggies
- The Northern Colorado Bears enter Tuesday's game with a 10-20 record, including a 3-6 mark in conference competition.
- Tuesday's matchup is the first of two in a home-and-home series between UC Davis and Sacramento State.
- As a team, the Aggies are hitting .296 with a .416 team on-base percentage. On the mound, their staff owns a 5.94 ERA.
- UC Davis is led by Ryan Anderson, whose .395 bating average is tops on the club and in the Big West Conference. He has just 17 strikeouts in 124 at bats.
- Tanner Murray (.362) and Brad Pluschkell (.339) are also among the Big West's leaders in batting average. Pluschkell leads the team in doubles with 13.
- Despite being tied for last in the Big West, the Aggies have scored 178 runs this season, fourth most in the nine-team league. Their 67 runs in conference play are the most among Big West ball clubs.
Against UC Davis
Per UC Davis, Sacramento State leads the all-time series record against the Aggies 110-86-3 gating back to the 1960 season. Sacramento State took the last game between the two teams, a 1-0 win at John Smith Field, though UC Davis took the first of the two-game, home-and-home series, 7-6. Sacramento State has not won at UC Davis since the 2015 season, a 4-2 win in April. Over their last 10 matchups, the Hornets hold a slight edge, taking six of the 10 contests.
The Causeway Classic
Sacramento State enters Tuesday's nights baseball game against UC Davis with the Hornets trailing the Aggies 32.5 to 22.5. Baseball has an opportunity to add five points for Sacramento State if they take both games scheduled against UC Davis this year. The Hornets have not swept the Aggies in a season series since 2015.
About Last Game
Sacramento State took two of three this past weekend against the visiting Northern Colorado Bears. The Hornets took game one, 5-0, behind a brilliant, 14-strikeout performance from starting pitcher Parker Brahms and timely hitting by Matt Smith and Vinny Esposito. Game two went to Northern Colorado, 5-2, as the Sacramento State offense scored fewer than four runs for the first time in nine games. In game three, the Hornets took advantage of a disastrous first inning for the Bears, scoring five times with just one hit. Scott Randall and Austin Root combined to throw the team's second no-hitter in three days.
Sophomore pitcher Parker Brahms struck out 14 batters in his last outing, setting a new Hornets baseball program record in the process. He struck out 14 over seven scoreless innings and allowed two hits and three walks. He struck out 12 in seven innings earlier this season. With the 14 punchouts, Brahms passed a trio of Hornets pitchers who previously held the record of 13.
WAC Players of the Week
For his program record-setting outing last Friday, Parker Brahms was named the WAC's Pitcher of the Week. The award is his second of the season and the third for Sacramento State this year. PJ Floyd was named the conference's Hitter of the Week last week. The Hornets had just two such awards last season, as former Hornets Justin Dillon and Trent Goodrich were recognized as Pitcher and Hitter of the week, respectively.
Torres Tearing It Up
Freshman infielder Keith Torres has been on a tear for Sacramento State over the last two weeks. Although he is hitting just .229 for the season, Torres is hitting .367 (11-for-30) over the team's last 10 games. During those 10 games, he has three doubles, a home run, an RBI, and nine runs scored. He has also drawn five walks and been hit by a pitch twice, boosting his OBP during those 10 games to .486. Perhaps most impressive is that the freshman has just three strikeouts in 30 at bats during that stretch.
Roberts Stretching Out
Junior pitcher Austin Roberts threw a season-high five innings without allowing a run in Sacramento State's last game, a 5-0 win over Northern Colorado. Roberts, who started 14 games this year, has been used primarily in relief this season. On Sunday, he faced just one over the minimum, allowing a one-out double in the ninth, but walked none and struck out seven over his five scoreless frames.
Best Staff In Baseball
Sacramento State's pitching staff is among the best in not just the WAC but in all of NCAA Div. I baseball through the season's first 34 games.
- 3.97 ERA (1st WAC, 81st NCAA)
- Seven shutouts (1st WAC, 3rd NCAA)
- 3.13 strikeout-to-walk ratio (1st WAC, sixth NCAA)
- 1.27 WHIP (1st WAC, 34th NCAA)
- 2.47 walks-per-nine innings (1st WAC, 2nd NCAA)
Veteran reliever Austin Ragsdale has been nothing short of excellent for Sacramento State this season. The side-arm right-hander has made 12 relief appearances this season, throwing a combined 13.2 innings out of the bullpen. Ragsdale has yet to allow a run in relief this season. His latest outing, taking over in a bases-loaded situation with three runs already scored and no outs, ended with two weak groundouts and a lazy fly ball. Ragsdale made one spot start for Sacramento State this season, giving up four earned runs in 1.1 innings at Santa Clara.
On the Road Again
After completing their season-long seven game homestand, the Hornets are back on the road for nine straight away games, their second such trip of the season. On the road this year, the Hornets are playing .500 ball (7-7). Their last road trip, also nine games, ended with a 5-4 record, including a big series win on the road at New Mexico State to start conference play. They are hitting .243 as a team away from John Smith Field while the pitchers own a 5.55 ERA.
Wrapping a Homestand
Sacramento State took advantage of their season-long seven game homestand, going 5-2, including 5-1 against WAC opponents Chicago State and Northern Colorado. Overall this season, the Hornets are 11-8 at home.
Vinny Big Fly
After finishing the 2017 season with 10 home runs, Vinny Esposito waited 28 games to hit his first home run of the 2018 campaign. Since then, Esposito has hit three home runs in Sacramento State's last seven games. A senior, Esposito leads current Hornets with 22 career home runs, though junior James Outman isn't far behind with 18.
The Century Mark
With three wins against Chicago State earlier this season Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen passed the 100-win mark in WAC competition. Currently in his eighth season as head coach for the Hornets, Christiansen is 104-80 (.565) against WAC opponents. He is the only active WAC coach with more than 100 conference wins (Andy Stankiewicz at Grand Canyon is next with 81). Since taking over as the head coach for the Hornets, Christiansen is 237-216 overall.
Showtime for Smith
Matt Smith has been on an absolute tear over his last five games. During that stretch, the sophomore outfielder is hitting .667 (12-for-18) with six extra base hits, including a triple and a home run. He has scored five runs and has driven in 10. During the last five games, he also has two stolen bases. With four walks, Smith has an on base percentage of .727 and is slugging 1.167. For the season, Smith leads the team with a .367 batting average.
Keeping It Clean
Sacramento State has played clean defense all year, but especially over their last 10 games. Overall, the Hornets own a .976 fielding percentage, the third best mark in the WAC and the 45th best in all of NCAA Div. I. Over their last 10 games, the Hornets own a .979 fielding percentage, having committed seven errors in 84 innings. Sacramento State has traditionally fielded a strong defensive team, finishing one or two in the WAC in each of the last five seasons.
Keep Them Under Six
Sacramento State is 18-5 this season when they are able to hold their opponents to five runs or fewer. When giving up six or more runs, the Hornets are winless, going 0-13 in those 13 games.
When scoring first, Sacramento State is 15-7 this season. When their opponents score first, the Hornets are just 3-9.
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 is 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 --