Teams: UC Davis vs. Long Beach State
Records: Aggies, 12-12 (0-3); Dirtbags, 13-12 (2-1)
Where: Dobbins Stadium
When: Friday at 2:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: Shortstop Justin Schafer can do it all.
The junior from Los Gatos, Calif. ranks in the top five on his team in batting average (.313.), slugging percentage (.427), assists (65), RBI (14), and stolen bases (two).
He can also hit anywhere in the lineup as, after hitting third for most of the season, he suggested to coach Rex Peters that he might be better leading off.
“He’s settled in there pretty well,” Peters said. “He’s one of our more consistent guys so he can hit out of any spot.”
Did you know? Long Beach State has developed a long line of Major League Baseball talent.
The list of ex-Dirtbags who have had success in the MLB includes Evan Longoria, Troy Tulowitzki, Jered Weaver, 2000 American League Most Valuable Player Jason Giambi, and 2004 American League Rookie of the Year Bobby Crosby.
Preview: The Aggies have a mountain to climb.
UC Davis, which currently stands at 0-3 in Big West Conference Play after being swept by Cal State Fullerton last week, will continue its league schedule this weekend against a tough Long Beach State squad.
“They’re a good club,” Peters said. “They didn’t have a great year last year but they’re a very young team. They return this season a little more experienced.”
Due to their history playing against the Dirtbags, the Aggies know what to expect from their opponent this weekend.
“Traditionally they pitch real well,” Peters said. “They don’t hit with a lot of power so their offense is predicated on speed. They’ll try to put some pressure on us that way.”
Despite rocky performances against the Titans, Peters believes that his Friday and Saturday starters, Dayne Quist and Anthony Kupbens, are well equipped to handle the Dirtbags.
“You pitch long enough at this level and you’re going to have those days where you just can’t locate pitches,” Peters said. “They’ll be fine.”
While he has faith in his starters’ ability to get consistent outs, Peters hopes to get his bullpen into a similar rhythm.
“Those last three outs are always the toughest to get,” he said. “We need to find somebody that can step up and get them on a consistent basis. We haven’t really found that guy yet but we’re still experimenting with it.”
– Mark Ling