Teams: UC Davis vs. Pacific
Records: Aggies, 19-20 (4-8); Tigers, 26-16 (8-7)
Where: Dobbins Stadium
When: Friday at 2:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: When he’s on his game, starter Scott Lyman is tough to beat.
The outfielder/pitcher who hails from Alamo, Calif. was named the Big West Conference pitcher of the week for the eight, three-hit, shutout innings he threw against Cal State Northridge on Sunday.
“That was his best outing of the year,” said coach Rex Peters. “To only allow three hits is tremendous. It just shows how good he can be when he commands his pitches.”
Did you know? Lyman is one of the biggest power threats on the UC Davis squad as his .519 slugging percentage ranks first and his three homeruns rank second among hitters while his 42 strikeouts rank second among pitchers.
Preview: While UC Davis has its hands full this weekend, it can take solace in the fact that it has momentum on its side.
After losing five-straight contests, the Aggies broke out of their slump as they defeated then-ranked No. 15 California before taking two of three from conference foe Cal State Northridge.
“Those were great accomplishments,” Peters said. “Winning a Big West series on the road is huge. Wins like that give you momentum which is good for us heading into a rivalry series.”
An added advantage for the Aggies stems from the fact that the home team traditionally comes out on top when these two face each other. The Tigers were swept in 2008 when the series was played in Davis and the Aggies were swept a season ago when the games were held at Pacific’s home ballpark.
Another fact that holds true of this rivalry is that it is normally very high scoring. In the three games from 2009, the teams combined to score a total of 54 runs. Despite Pacific’s offensive prowess, UC Davis believes that it has the ability to halt the Tigers’ approach at the plate.
“Pacific is a good offensive team,” Peters said. “We’re fortunate that we play in a pitchers park so that should negate what they do offensively.”
In addition to a distinct home-field advantage, the Aggies are confident that they have the advantage on the mound.
“Their pitchers are nothing overpowering,” Peters said. “In fact, our lefties like [Sean] Watson and [Dayne] Quist match up well against their left handed-heavy line up. It will be a good rivalry series.”
– Mark Ling