BASEBALL HEADS SOUTH THIS WEEKEND FOR A THREE-GAME WAC SERIES AT FRESNO STATE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The second-place Sacramento State baseball team will head south this weekend for a three-game Western Athletic Conference series at Fresno State.
Sacramento State has won consecutive WAC series heading into its meeting with Fresno State.
The Hornets (24-21, 7-4 WAC) and the Bulldogs (18-22, 2-7 WAC) will meet at 6 p.m. on Friday, 6 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday at Fresno State's Beiden Field.
Sacramento State will start sophomore RHP Dallas Chadwick (4-1, 3.34 ERA) on Saturday, freshman RHP Brennan Leitao (5-3, 5.14) on Saturday and sophomore RHP Tanner Mendonca (5-6, 4.14) on Sunday. Fresno State will counter with RHP Tyler Linehan (3-5, 3.82) on Friday and RHP Justin Haley (5-3, 3.03) on Saturday. The Bulldogs' Sunday starter is TBA.
The Hornets are currently tied with Nevada for second in the seven-team WAC while Fresno State is sixth in the league standings. Sacramento State has just six more games left on its 2012 conference schedule, including the three-game series at Fresno State. The Hornets close out WAC play next weekend with Hawai'i at home.
*For a full PDF version of the game notes, please click on the link above the photo.
SACRAMENTO STATE BREAKDOWN
Team BA: .290 Team ERA: 5.41 Errors: 30
All-Time Series: The Hornets are 15-49 all-time against Fresno State in their Div. I era (1990+).
Recently: The Hornets have won 10 of their last 15 games and have taken three of their first four WAC series - at La Tech, vs. Nevada and at San Jose State - but are coming off a 10-1 loss to USF.
FRESNO STATE BREAKDOWN
Team BA: .262 Team ERA: 3.68 Errors: 61
Friday SP: LHP Tyler Linehan (3-5, 3.82)
Saturday SP: RHP Justin Haley (5-3, 3.03)
Sunday SP: TBA
Recently: Fresno State, picked to win the league, has just two conference wins through three series. They were swept at home by San Jose State.
ONE TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND
Senior Hunter Adrian went 4-for-4 with a home run, triple and two singles on Sunday at San Jose State. Adrian, both an outfielder and a left-handed pitcher, is hitting .353 this season with six doubles and four home runs.
LAST WEEK IN THE WAC
Fresno State - The Bulldogs defeated Cal Poly in a midweek game before losing 2-of-3 at Nevada.
Hawai’i - Hawai’i dropped 2-of-3 at La Tech.
Louisiana Tech - La Tech crushed Arkansas-Little Rock in a midweek game and took 2-of-3 from Hawai’i.
Nevada - Dominated Pacific, 15-4, on Tuesday prior to taking 2-of-3 from Fresno State in a WAC series.
New Mexico State - Did not play a WAC series. Lost both games at No. 2 ranked Baylor.
San Jose State - Lost to Fresno Pacific before dropping 2-of-3 at home to Sacramento State.
Sacramento State is No. 1 in the nation in fielding percentage (.982) for the third straight week. The Hornets stand alone at No. 1 after being tied for first last week. The Hornets have made just 30 errors in 45 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 in 2000.
HEART OF THE LINEUP
Sacramento State has two of the three best hitters in the WAC as freshman Rhys Hoskins and senior Derrick Chung rank No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the conference in batting average. Hoskins, a Sacramento native, is hitting .361 in his rookie campaign while Chung is hitting .353
DOUBLES FOR DAYS
Sacramento State has 90 doubles this season, good for No. 29 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.
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, the Cypress, Calif., native is now third in the WAC and second on the team with a .353 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 21 points to .292.
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). The second half started off well, with the Hornets taking 2-of-3 at San Jose State.
LET’S JUST PLAY SIX
Sacramento State was 21-0 this season when leading after six innings, but the streak ended on Sunday at San Jose State as the Spartans scored two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to pull out an 8-7 comeback win. While they have been good at holding leads, the Hornets have not been good at rallying - Sacramento State is 1-20 when trailing after six. The win came on Will Soto’s three-run walk-off homer to sweep Seattle U on Feb. 26.
LAST YEAR AGAINST FRESNO STATE
The Hornets went 1-3 in a four-game home series with No. 12 ranked Fresno State last year. The Hornets’ lone win came in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader, when they scored two runs in the bottom of the 7th for a walk-off win. Reliever Brandon Creel earned the victory. Derrick Chung hit .417 in the series while Justin Higley was 4-for-10 in three games.
THREE WAC PITCHERS OF THE WEEK
Last week, Sacramento State starting pitcher Dallas Chadwick joined Tanner Mendonca and Brennan Leitao as winners of the Verizon WAC Pitcher of the Week award.