51.1 F

Davis, California

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Baseball Preview

Event: Frank Gifford Memorial Tournament

Teams: UC Davis vs. Air Force; vs. Southern Illinois; at Santa Clara; at San Jose State

Records: Aggies, 6-6; Falcons, 3-9; Broncos, 5-4; Spartans, 5-5

Where: Municipal Stadium – San Jose, Calif.; Stephen Schott Stadium – Santa Clara, Calif.

When: Today, Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.

Who to watch: Freshman Seth Batty is making a good first impression.

The Fresno, Calif. local has started just seven of the team’s 12 games to this point. Despite this, he’s tied for third on the squad with eight runs scored, is three-for-three in stolen base opportunities and leads the team with four sacrifice hits.

“Batty’s one of those energetic players that sparks a team,” said coach Rex Peters. “He can do a lot of things with the bat so he’s a natural top of the order hitter. He could be a leadoff guy for us for years to come.”

Did you know? The Aggies know when to step up their game.

So far this season, UC Davis has hit a total of six home runs.

Four of them came last weekend against rival Sacramento State – three of which left the park in the only Aggie home game of the series.

Preview: This weekend’s tournament poses a couple unique challenges for the Aggies.

They will be playing four different teams, starting with two they’ve never seen before, in four consecutive days.

“We’re going to go in a little bit blind,” Peters said. “We don’t really know the style of play [of Air Force and Southern Illinois]. We have to just go in and focus on our game the best we can. If we do that I think we’ll be okay.”

The Aggie style of play has proven to be of the small-ball variety. With the lack of big-time power threats, UC Davis has learned how to manufacture their runs.

“We’ll bunt, sacrifice and hit and run to create scoring opportunities,” Peters said. “Hopefully somebody then gets a good at-bat while we have runners in scoring position.”

The only concern thus far for the Aggies has been a heavy workload. This weekend marks the second consecutive week in which the team has to play four days in a row.

“It’s not easy,” Peters said. “You can only do this so much before you start to wear down.”

– Mark Ling


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