Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Riverside
Records: Aggies, 29-17 (9-6); Highlanders, 16-26 (10-5)
Where: Riverside Sports Complex – Riverside
When: Today at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: Sophomore reliever Andy Suiter and sophomore outfielder Kyle Mihaylo gave UC Davis its first-ever sweep of the Big West Conference weekly awards by winning Pitcher and Player of the Week honors, respectively.
Suiter allowed just two hits while striking out seven in 4 1/3 scoreless innings while Mihaylo delivered eight hits, three doubles, and three RBI, all of which came in either game-tying or winning scenarios against then- No. 3 Stanford No. 23 Long Beach State.
Did you know? Junior closer Justin Fitzgerald saved three games over the weekend to bring his season total to 10 and become the first-ever Aggie pitcher to record double-digit saves in a single season. The Cloverdale, Calif. native is two saves shy of No. 17 for his career, which would move him past Chris Stromberg (1981-1984) as UC Davis‘ all-time saves leader.
Preview: At long last, the Aggies can exhale after their daunting eight-game stretch against four straight ranked teams.
The two-week period ended with UC Davis‘ 13-4 loss at No. 16 California on Tuesday. The Golden Bears clubbed seven extra-base hits including three home runs to top their non-conference opponent.
“They are one of the better offensive clubs in the country, and they proved that,” Aggie head coach Rex Peters said.
UC Davis will now turn its attention back to the Big West when it plays defending conference champion UC Riverside in a three-game series beginning tonight.
Despite claiming the Big West crown with a 38-21 record just a year ago, the Highlanders are struggling so far this season with a 16-26 overall mark. Even so, UC Riverside is getting it done in league play, currently sitting in second place in the Big West with a 10-5 record.
“They’ve regrouped since conference play [started],” Peters said. “We’ve got the tough task of going on the road against a team that is playing its best baseball right now.
“Traditionally they have pretty good starting pitching and it looks like they’ve got their staff situated now. We’ll certainly have our work cut out for us at the plate because it’s definitely not an easy matchup.