BASEBALL HOSTS FIRST PLACE HAWAI'I FOR THREE-GAME WAC SERIES
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State baseball team will play host to first-place Hawai'i this weeked at John Smith Field for its final Western Athletic Conference series of the season.
Baseball hosts Hawai'i this weekend in its conference finale.
The Hornets (26-23, 8-7 WAC) and Rainbows (28-18, 8-4 WAC) will meet at 3 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Head coach Reggie Christiansen will throw RHP Dallas Chadwick (4-1, 3.53) on Friday, RHP Tanner Mendonca (5-7, 4.60) on Saturday and RHP Brennan Leitao (5-4, 5.35) on Sunday. Hawai'i will counter with RHP Matt Sisto (8-3, 2.82), LHP Jarrett Arakawa (6-4, 2.36) and LHP Scott Squier (3-3, 3.04).
Sacramento State has won three WAC series (at Louisiana Tech, vs. Nevada and at San Jose State) while losing three (vs. New Mexico State and at Fresno State). The Hornets have the final weekend of the season as its bye and will play Mountain West foe UNLV next weekend before the WAC Tournament begins on May 24 in Mesa, Ariz.
SACRAMENTO STATE BREAKDOWN
Team BA: .292 Team ERA: 5.41 Errors: 35
All-Time Series: The Hornets are 24-54 all-time against Hawai’i in their Div. I era (1990+).
Recently: The Hornets are coming off a 2-1 win over Saint Mary’s in 10 innings on Tuesday. Sacramento State is 15-9 at home, with a win over Nevada in its last home WAC series.
Team BA: .256 Team ERA: 2.86 Errors: 50
Friday SP: RHP Matt Sisto (8-3, 2.82)
Saturday SP: LHP Jarrett Arakawa (6-4, 2.36)
Sunday SP: LHP Scott Squier (3-3, 3.04)
Recently: Hawai’i moved to first in the WAC after sweeping previously conference-leading New Mexico State at home last weekend.
ONE TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND
Sophomore starting pitcher Dallas Chadwick has allowed just five earned runs in 22 innings over his last three starts. He has a 2-0 record in those three outings, with 16 strikeouts and five walks.
LAST WEEK IN THE WAC
Fresno State - The Bulldogs took 2-of-3 from visiting Sacramento State.
Hawai’i - The Rainbows swept previously first-place New Mexico State to jump into first themselves.
Louisiana Tech - La Tech swept San Jose State in a three-game WAC series at home.
Nevada - Defeated Saint Mary’s in a midweek game before dropping a series, 2-1, at Seattle U.
New Mexico State - Lost a midweek home game to Texas Tech before being swept at Hawai’i.
San Jose State - Swept at Louisiana Tech after defeating No. 7 Stanford in a midweek game.
Sacramento State is No. 1 in the nation in fielding percentage (.981) for the fourth straight week. The Hornets are tied with Radford and Stony Brook for the honor. The Hornets have made just 35 errors in 49 games. Head coach Reggie Christiansen led Sacramento State to the second-best fielding percentage in school history last season at .969. The school record is .971, set in 2000.
HEART OF THE LINEUP
Sacramento State has two of the four best hitters in the WAC as freshman Rhys Hoskins and senior Derrick Chung rank No. 2 and No. 4, respectively, in the conference in batting average. Hoskins, a Sacramento native, is hitting .362 in his rookie campaign while Chung is hitting .341.
DOUBLES FOR DAYS
Sacramento State has 99 doubles this season, good for No. 30 in the NCAA. The Hornets have tallied at least one double in all but seven games and have hit 3-or-more on 11 occassions. Sacramento State had a season-high seven doubles (out of 10 total hits) at UC Riverside on March 9. They have hit at least one double in 13 of the last 14 games. The school record for doubles in a season is 137, set in 1988.
CHUNG’S CAREER YEAR
Senior catcher Derrick Chung is having the best season of his career. After hitting .275 through the first 10 games this season, Chung is now fourth in the WAC with a .341 batting average. His previous career-best was a .291 in his sophomore season. He was a .271 hitter entering this season but his career average has jumped 19 points to .290.
A DIFFERENT CHALLENGE
The Hornets went 5-4 through the first half of WAC play but are getting a much different look in the second half. Sacramento State’s first half opponents (La Tech, NMSU, Nevada) were the best hitting but the worst pitching teams in the league. In the second half, the Hornets are playing the WAC’s top three pitching teams but the bottom three hitting teams (SJSU, FSU, Hawai’i).
LAST YEAR AGAINST HAWAI’I
It was not a good trip for the Hornets last season, as Sacramento State dropped all four games in Honolulu. The Hornets hit just .217 in the four-game series while posting a 7.39 ERA. David Del Grande, however, did well as the then-redshirt freshman went 7-for-16 (.438) with two doubles and a run scored while starting each game. Not faring so well were Will Soto (.273), Derrick Chung (.167), Andrew Ayers (.154) and Justin Higley (.091). Tanner Mendonca recorded a no-decision despite a strong start, allowing just two runs on three hits in seven innings.
THREE WAC PITCHERS OF THE WEEK
Starting pitchers Dallas Chadwick, Tanner Mendonca and Brennan Leitao have all won the Verizon WAC Pitcher of the Week award. Chadwick won after tossing seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and no walks against Nevada (April 20). Mendonca earned the award after throwing a shutout against CSU Bakersfield (3/30) and Leitao won following his complete game victory with a career-high nine strikeouts at Louisiana Tech (4/7).