Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal Poly
Records: Aggies, 24-11 (5-1); Mustangs, 14-18 (3-6)
Where: Dobbins Stadium
When: Today at 2:30 p.m.; Saturday at 1 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: Junior catcher Jake Jefferies’ quest for .400 continues. The Merced, Calif. native led his team to a 3-1 record last week with a vital line of .526/.789/.591 that included five doubles, 10 RBIs and 15 total bases. For his efforts, Jefferies earned Easton Big West Conference Player of the Week honors.
Did you know? For the first time this season, UC Davis is turning heads in the national collegiate baseball polls. The Aggies received consideration in the Rivals.com Top 25 rankings, joining No. 5 UC Irvine, No. 15 Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State as the only other Big West teams getting national recognition.
Preview: Get your carrots ready. With three comeback wins in their previous five, the Aggies may not be done pulling rabbits out of the hat.
“We know we can always come back and win a game,” head coach Rex Peters said. “We feel like we’re going to keep fighting until the last pitch.”
Today the Aggies will send senior ace right-hander Eddie Gamboa (5-1, 2.64) to the mound against junior Mustangs right-hander Eric Massingham (1-4, 5.88).
UC Davis’ Sunday starter is still to be determined while sophomore right-hander Steven Fischback (3-3, 5.05) will close out the weekend for Cal Poly.
All eyes will be on the Picnic Day matchup, however, as the Aggies’ hottest pitcher, junior right-hander Brad McAtee (5-2, 2.70), will toe the rubber against one of the most heralded arms on the West Coast, junior Mustangs southpaw Derrick Saito (1-2, 5.90).
The Wailuku, Hawaii native stepped onto the San Luis Obispo campus focusing on getting his engineering degree, but soon found his way onto the baseball team after winning over head coach Larry Lee with a single bullpen session.
Saito has developed into a potential top-100 draft pick according to Baseball America, which rates his heavy curveball as the best breaking ball in the Big West.