Teams: UC Davis at Saint Mary’s
Records: Aggies, 19-24; Gaels 15-25-1
Where: Louis Guisto Field – Moraga, Calif.
When: Today at 3 p.m.
Who to watch: Junior Justin Andrade has big shoes to fill.
With shortstop Justin Schafer out due to injury, Andrade has been charged with the task of playing second base and filling Schafer’s spot in the lineup with the usual second baseman, Scott Heylman, moving temporarily to shortstop.
Andrade, who hails from Hollister, Calif., is hitting .259 with a .394 on base percentage in 17 games played. However, in Schafer’s absence, Andrade has turned on the jets as he has recorded six hits in his last eight at-bats.
Did you know? Saint Mary’s is just 2-6 against Big West Conference teams this year with the two wins coming against UC Riverside and UC Irvine.
Preview: Despite winning only three of its last eight games, UC Davis has not played terribly.
The Aggies’ failing point of late has been their pitching as in one game over the weekend, they logged more hits than their opponent and still lost.
“We swung the bats pretty well,” said coach Rex Peters. “How you lose a game with 16 hits, I have no idea.”
The answer, as Peters pointed out later, was that UC Davis did not capitalize on as many scoring opportunities as its opponent.
“We had a couple timely hits but we didn’t get them with guys in scoring position,” Peters said. “They did a little better job of that than we did.”
Despite the fact that the Aggies could have driven in more runs, the fact remains that their pitchers will need to return to form if they hope to win on a consistent basis.
Coming off a pitching performance that was good enough to earn Big West Pitcher of the Week honors, Scott Lyman went out and threw 5.2 innings of eight-run baseball while issuing 10 hits, seven walks and striking out seven.
“He struggled with command,” Peters said. “It’s kind of disappointing because he’s coming off such a good outing last week that you hoped he could repeat it. It’s kind of two steps forward and one step back with him.”
The good news is that even though Lyman has struggled with consistency, he’s still improving.
“He’s making progress,” Peters said. “It’s maybe not as quick as he or we would like, but it’s progress.”
– Mark Ling