Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Irvine
Records: Aggies, 16-16 (2-4); Anteaters, 20-13 (5-4)
Where: Dobbins Stadium
When: Friday at 2:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: Shortstop Justin Schafer has the Anteaters figured out.
During last season’s three-game series with UC Irvine, the junior out of Los Gatos, Calif. racked up six hits, two runs, two RBI and two stolen bases.
This time around, Schafer and the rest of the Aggies have the benefit of playing in the confines of Dobbins Stadium.
Did you know? UC Davis will play a single midweek game against No. 15 California on Tuesday. Having beat the Golden Bears 8-0 earlier this season, the Aggies will look to repeat the feat at Dobbins Stadium this time around.
Preview: UC Davis has been busy lately.
Playing five games in a span of six days last week, the Aggies have had to battle through injury and fatigue. The road doesn’t get any easier as they face UC Irvine, a team who was ranked in the top-10 nationally before the season began.
“The Big West is competitive top-to-bottom,” said coach Rex Peters. “We wanted to try and build some momentum heading into another big series with UCI. You have to show up every day.”
Unfortunately for the Aggies, they have stumbled as of late. After mounting a tremendous comeback against Cal State Bakersfield by scoring nine times in the final inning of play to win 12-11, UC Davis dropped the final two games of the series by a total score of 31-12.
The good news is that the Aggies don’t attribute the series loss to anything more than fatigue.
“We’re worn down,” Peters said. “Having only nine healthy pitchers doesn’t work over the long haul. After a while it begins to catch up with you.”
Another reason why the Aggies are so fatigued is their style of play. They know they’re not a team that can win on sheer talent alone so they play all-out every single time they take the field.
“We’re not a super talented team so we have to work hard for our victories,” Peters said. “Everybody has to be working together.”
In order to win this weekend series against a tough UC Irvine opponent, the plan is simple: relax.
When asked how his team would prepare for the Anteaters, Peters simply said, “We’ve got to get some rest.”
– Mark Ling