Teams: UC Davis at Long Beach State
Records: Aggies, 7-32 (1-11); Dirtbags, 20-20 (7-5)
Where: Blair Field – Long Beach, Calif.
When: Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: The return of junior infielder Justin Schafer has given the UC Davis lineup a shot in the arm.
After batting .301 as a freshman, Schafer was limited to just 23 at-bats as a sophomore due to injury.
Schafer is hitting .294 through 85 at-bats this season. The Los Gatos, Calif. native is second among UC Davis regulars with a .375 on base percentage.
Did you know? Long Beach has history on its side. The Dirtbags have made 19 NCAA Regional appearances and have advanced to the College World Series four times.
The program has produced 33 Major League Baseball players, including Jason Giambi (Oakland), Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay) and Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado).
Preview: Everything was going according to plan for the UC Davis baseball team against Nevada on Tuesday.
It got a quality start from sophomore Tom Briner, who recorded a career-high eight strikeouts in five scoreless innings. It got a two-run double by junior Ty Kelly in the eighth. It had the lead heading into the ninth.
Then things changed.
The Wolf Pack rallied for two runs in the game’s final frame en route to a 3-2 win at Peccole Park. UC Davis has now lost four straight and nine of its past 10.
Things won’t get any easier for the Aggies this weekend. They’ll take on the Dirtbags of Long Beach, who are coming off a three-game Big West Conference sweep of Pacific. They outscored the Tigers by a combined score of 34-10.
Long Beach boasts an impressive .297 average as a club. It’s paced by junior infielder Steve Tinoco, who leads the Dirtbags in hitting (.353) and slugging (.549).
– Adam Loberstein