Teams: UC Davis at Cal State Northridge
Records: Aggies, 16-19 (2-7); Matadors, 21-17 (3-6)
Where: Matador Field – Northridge, Calif.
When: Friday at 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: Kyle Mihaylo may be the most talented player on the UC Davis baseball team.
The senior, who hails from Aliso Viejo, Calif., has both power and speed as he leads the team in home runs and ranks third in stolen bases, with four apiece.
His Achilles heel, however, is discipline. His 32 strikeouts lead the team and are nearly twice as many as any other player. His .331 on-base percentage, meanwhile, is less than all but one UC Davis starter.
If Mihaylo can improve his patience at the plate, he could be an even more dangerous offensive weapon than he already is.
Did you know? One of UC Davis’ two weekend series wins last season came against Cal State Northridge in the final three-game set of the year.
Preview: Though they have lost 10 of their last 14 games, the Aggies believe there is reason for optimism heading into this weekend’s series against the Matadors.
After getting silenced in back-to-back games against UC Irvine, UC Davis hitters came to life in the final game of the series to the tune of 11 hits. Despite the offensive outburst, the Aggies were ultimately swept by the Anteaters.
“Better approach, better at-bats and better swings,” said coach Rex Peters of his team’s performance in the final game of the series against UC Irvine. “When you fall behind, it’s tough to come back from an early deficit like that. I thought our bats were better than they were all weekend.”
The Aggies knew they’d need to be on top of their game to beat a nationally ranked program like UC Irvine.
“We’ve got a long way to go before we can compete with those caliber of teams,” Peters said. “Teams like Irvine and [Cal State] Fullerton are just better.”
Fortunately for the Aggies, Cal State Northridge isn’t nationally ranked.
Regardless of the caliber of its opponent, UC Davis knows that in order to win on a regular basis, it needs to get more consistent play from starting pitchers like Scott Lyman.
“We know that the issue with him is command,” Peters said. “Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. In his last two outings, he hasn’t had great command. You walk people against a good team and they’re going to make you pay. When he has his command, he’s tough to beat”
– Mark Ling