SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After a short stop at home, the Sacramento State baseball team heads up the mountains to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack in a Tuesday night contest.
The Hornets (24-18, 11-4 WAC) are coming off a series win at UTRGV as they go up against the Mountain West-leading Wolf Pack (22-21, 14-6 MWC).
Tuesday night's game is set for a 6:00 pm PDT first pitch.
After Tuesday's game, the Hornets will be back in Sacramento for their annual Alumni weekend. Alumni Night is scheduled for Saturday, May 5. More details on Alumni Night are available here.
Watch The Hornets Live
Tuesday night's game at Nevada will stream live online on NevadaWolfPack.tv. Catch the Hornets play-by-play with radio broadcaster Anthony Rifenburg on HornetSports.com/Radio. Live stats will be available on HornetStats.com while in-game updates will be provided on Twitter, @SacStBaseball.
All links can be found by visiting the 2018 Baseball Schedule on HornetSports.com.
- Tanner Dalton was named the Western Athletic Conference's Pitcher of the Week for the second straight week. He made three appearances last week and was a perfect 3-for-3 in save opportunities. He walked one, struck out five, and did not allow a hit in five shutout innings.
- Sacramento State put together their best month of the season in April, going 13-4 while hitting .278 as a club. They averaged almost seven runs and 10 hits per game as an offense while the pitching staff posted an excellent 2.86 ERA with an 8.3 K/9.
- With a series win on the road at UT Rio Grande Valley over the weekend, Sacramento State has now won five straight conference series this season and seven straight dating back to last season. Four of those seven series wins have come on the road.
- Hornets pitchers have combined to post a 2.39 Walks Allowed Per Nine Innings, the second best mark in the country. Through 369 innings of work, Sacramento State pitchers have walked just 98 batters. Austin Root leads the team with a 1.27 walks per nine mark.
- Nevada enters Tuesday night's game with a 21-19 overall record but an impressive 14-6 mark against the Mountain West Conference. They lead the MWC by one game over San Diego State but are scuffling ahead of Tuesday's game, having lost their last six straight.
By The Numbers
4: Straight weeks that the Hornets have earned a WAC Pitcher or Hitter of the Week award. They have five total this season.
9: Saves for Tanner Dalton so far this season, the most by a Hornets pitcher since Tyler Beardsley recorded 11 in 2016.
8: Home runs for James Outman, tied for the most in the WAC. Outman is on pace for 11 this season (11 in 2017).
Scouting The Wolf Pack
- The Nevada Wolf Pack come into Tuesday night's game with a 21-19 overall record and an impressive 14-6 record in the Mountain West Conference. They lead the conference by one game over San Diego State.
- Nevada has dropped their last six straight contests, including an 11-5 loss at Saint Mary's, a team the Hornets have beaten twice this season.
- As a team, the Wolf Pack is hitting .290 in 40 games with a .428 slugging percentage. Grant Fennell leads the club with a .371 average and 37 RBIs and is tied for second with four home runs.
- As a staff, Nevada pitchers own a 4.80 ERA. Ryan Anderson's 18 appearances are most on the team, though Keone Cabinan (17 appearances) has been lights out, posting a 2.00 ERA with seven saves in 18 innings of work.
- Nevada was picked to finish fourth in the Mountain West Conference but is leading the league headed into May.
Sacramento State is 29-54 all-time against Nevada, dating back to the 1986 season. Last season, the two teams split two games, each winning in the other's ballpark. The Hornets won, 7-5, at Nevada in March while the Wolf Pack took the second game, 6-5, at Sacramento in May. The Hornets and Wolf Pack were scheduled to play a game earlier this season at John Smith Field, but that game was cancelled due to weather in Sacramento and snow on the road from Reno.
About Last Series
Sacramento State won their fifth straight series this season, taking two of three on the road at UT Rio Grande Valley. The Hornets beat the Vaqueros on Friday and Sunday, both times by a score of 5-2, while dropping the middle game, 7-6. As a team, the Hornets hit .300 in the series while the staff struck out 34 in just 26 innings. With the two wins, Sacramento State improved to 11-4 all-time against the Vaqueros.
Conference Series Streak
With another series win this past weekend at UT Rio Grande Valley, the Hornets have now won seven consecutive conference series, dating back to last season. Since the start of their seven series streak, the Hornets are 20-5 against WAC opponents (including last year's postseason), good for an .800 winning percentage. Currently, Grand Canyon leads the conference and the nation with a 14-series win streak against conference opponents. Coincidentally, the last time the Antelopes lost a conference series, it was against Sacramento State at the end of the 2016 season.
Dalton Repeats As WAC Pitcher of the Week
Tanner Dalton was named the WAC Pitcher of the Week for the second straight week on Monday. Dalton was excellent last week, appearing in three games and going a perfect three-for-three in save opportunities. The junior right-hander issued one walk and struck out five over five hitless innings. He leads the team with nine saves, 22 appearances, a 1.59 ERA, and a .184 batting average against.
With Tanner Dalton's second straight Pitcher of the Week award announced Monday, the Hornets have now won a Pitcher or Hitter of the Week award in four consecutive weeks (PJ Floyd, 4/9; Parker Brahms, 4/16; Dalton, 4/23 and 4/30). Brahms also won Pitcher of the Week in March, giving the Hornets five total awards so far this season.
The Month That Was: April
Sacramento State had their best month of the season by far in April, posting a 13-4 record in 17 games. The Hornets hit .278 as a team, nearly 50 points better than their .234 average in March. They scored 111 runs while racking up 55 extra base hits, including 18 home runs. The month included three mercy wins in a sweep of Chicago State and featured seven games in which the Hornets scored seven or more runs.
On the mound, the Hornets pitching staff posted a 2.86 ERA while striking out 134 batters and walking just 36 in 145.0 innings. They held their opponents to a season-low .224 batting average in April while throwing four of their seven shutouts. Sacramento State pitchers racked up double-digit strikeouts in five of 17 games, including 15 strikeouts twice.
Torres Finds A Way
Although he is hitting .242 over 41 games, freshman infielder Keith Torres own a .391 on base percentage, the second best mark on the team (Matt Smith, .410). Torres is tied for the team lead with 25 walks and has been hit by a pitch seven times, most on the club. Over his last four games, Torres has six hits in 11 at bats (.545) but has also drawn five walks, giving him a .647 on base percentage over that stretch.
Urps On A Streak
Redshirt freshman Josh Urps is currently riding a career-long six-game hit streak, dating back to April 7. During that streak, Urps is 8-for-22 (.364) with three doubles, six runs scored, and six RBIs. He has raised his batting average 50 points from .148 to .198 during that stretch. His six-game hit streak is the second longest active streak, just one game behind Ian Dawkins (seven).
WAC's Home Run Leader
James Outman slugged his team-leading eighth home run of the season in last Sunday's 5-2 win over UT Rio Grande Valley. In addition to leading the team, Outman's eighth home run moved him into a three-way tie for most home runs in the conference. The junior slugger finished tied for the team lead and third in the WAC with 11 home runs last season. He is on pace to finish the 2018 campaign with 11 home runs, as well. Although Outman is hitting just .239 this season, his .500 slugging percentage is second best on the club.
Fox on the Mound
Right-hander Ty Fox will make his fourth start of the year on Tuesday for the Hornets. Fox, who has started two of Sacramento State's last three midweek games, is 1-2 with a 7.10 ERA (5 er, 6.1 ip) as a starter this season. His last start came on the road against Cal and was his best of the year, as he allowed just one run on two hits while walking none over three innings. Overall, Fox is 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 16 games this season.
The Sacramento State baseball program will recognize and honor some of it's greatest coaches, teams, and players on Saturday, May 5 for their annual Alumni night. The 1988 World Series Runners-Up team will be recognized and former head coach Cal Boyes will have his #37 jersey retired. The team will present the first-ever Daryl Horn award and will be giving away Rhys Hoskins posters to the first 250 fans. There is also a baseball alumni barbecue for former Hornets players and their families.
WAC Beating the Pac
Sacramento State picked up their fourth win against a Pac-12 team last week, beating Cal 4-1 on the road in Berkeley. The rest of the WAC had similar success against the Pac-12 last week as the conference combined to go 4-0 against Pac-12 opponents. In addition to Sacramento State's win, UT Rio Grande Valley won at Washington, NM State won at Arizona State, and Seattle U won at home against Washington State. The Pac-12 still holds a 9-16 season advantage but the WAC has held its own against Power 5 opponents this season, going 21-37 against schools from the biggest conferences, including 1-1 against the ACC and 7-5 against the Big Ten.
Relying on the New Guys
According to a survey of baseball programs across the country, Sacramento State ranks third in the nation for most starts by freshmen players. Steven Moretto (41 starts), Keith Torres (40), Josh Urps (25), Dylan McPhillips (23), Scott Randall (12), Travis Martizia (1), and Brady Rodriguez (1) have combined for 143 total starts this season. Only Utah (174) and Vanderbilt (147) have more.
Playing for the Big Inning
Sacramento State continued to play for the big inning, scoring four runs in a single inning on Friday ay UTRGV. For the season, the Hornets have scored four or more runs in an inning 18 times this season in 16 different games. In those games, the Hornets are 12-4. They scored a season-high seven runs in a single inning on April 17 at UC Davis.
On The Road
Tuesday's game at Nevada is Sacramento State's ninth straight game played away from John Smith Field. During this stretch, the Hornets are 6-2. Overall this season, Sacramento State is 13-9 on the road (plus 0-1 at a neutral site). They are hitting .251 as a team while the pitching staff owns a 4.55 ERA on the road.
Magic Number Is Five
When the Hornets hold their opponents to five runs or fewer, they are 23-5 this season. Sacramento State has won just won game this season when their opponent scores six or more runs, going 1-13.
The Hornets have scored first in 29 of their 42 games this season (69%) and are 21-8 (.724) in those 29 games. When their opponents score first, the Hornets are just 3-10.
Sacramento State Stealers
James Outman and Matt Smith lead the WAC in stolen bases with 12 each while PJ Floyd is right behind them with 11. As a team, the Hornets lead the conference and are 54th in all of NCAA Div. I with 58 total stolen bases. 10 different Hornets players have stolen at least one base while six have stolen four or more.
None of the Walks
As a staff, Sacramento State pitchers own a 2.39 walks allowed per nine innings, the best mark in the WAC and the second best mark in all of NCAA Div. I baseball. The Hornets have walked just 98 batters in 369 innings this season, compared to 326 strikeouts. Against WAC opponents, those numbers are even better: 2.14 walks-per-nine, 30 walks and 135 strikeouts in 126 innings (9.6 K/9).
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 108-82 (.568) against WAC opponents. He is the only active WAC coach with more than 100 conference wins. Since taking over as the head coach for the Hornets, Christiansen is 243-218 (.527) overall.
-- HornetSports --