61.1 F

Davis, California

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Baseball Preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. San Jose State

Records: Aggies, 14-13; Spartans 13-17

Where: Dobbins Stadium

When: Today at 2:30

Who to watch: The Aggies may have finally found their man.

After searching all season for a closer, UC Davis turned to relief pitcher Matthew Lewis to save two consecutive games against Long Beach State over the weekend.

The junior out of Redding, Calif. has 16 strikeouts in 13.1 innings while recording a 3.38 earned run average. In addition, the two saves he recorded last weekend – his first of the season – are good enough to rank No. 1 on the team.

Did you know? Long Beach State’s ace, Jake Thompson, was ranked as the 65th best college prospect for the MLB draft by Baseball America heading into the 2010 season.

In the first part of Saturday’s doubleheader, UC Davis knocked Thompson out of the game in the second inning after it scored six runs on the high-profile hurler.

Preview: The Aggies may have the Spartans figured out.

The two squads split back-to-back contests earlier this season with UC Davis winning the second game by a score of 8-3.

“San Jose’s a solid club,” said coach Rex Peters. “We’ve played them two times and split those games so this is the rubber match.”

In the latter of those two games, the Aggies won with strong offense as sophomores David Popkins and Eric Johnson as well as junior Justin Schafer combined to go 8-for-12 from the plate with four runs scored and four RBI.

In an effort to squeeze more production out of their offense, the Aggies have tried to hit Schafer at the leadoff spot – a place where he feels more comfortable.

“It’s cool to be the first one up there to get it going,” Schafer said. “I’m comfortable there because I think I can do a good job of getting on base, seeing pitches and then communicating what I saw to the rest of the guys.”

After having success with their new lineup, the Aggies see no reason to tinker with it further.

Put simply by Schafer, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

– Mark Ling


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