Teams: UC Davis at Sacramento State; vs. Pacific
Records: Aggies 11-13 (0-3); Hornets (16-16); Tigers 10-21 (0-3)
Where: Josh Smith Field, Sacramento; Dobbins Field
When: Wednesday at 2 p.m.; Friday at 2:30 p.m.; Saturday at 1 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: Junior third baseman Paul Politi reached base in 14 straight games and compiled a seven-game hit streak before it was snapped against Cal State Fullerton. Look for the “hot-corner” man to start a new streak this weekend.
Did you know? UC Davis has 34 sacrifice bunts on the season, ranking them 43rd nationally. Senior Ryan Allgrove leads the team with eight.
Preview: The UC Davis baseball team will be happy to return to Dobbins Field this weekend, having won only once on a seven-game road trip that included the start of Big West Conference play.
The Aggies had three one-run losses during the stretch, two of which were a product of Cal State Fullerton’s late-inning comebacks.
“In the first one they put hits together and just came back and beat us,” said head coach Matt Vaughn. “In the second one, we misplayed a popup that would’ve given us the second out, still being up 4-2. Fullerton is a very good team and any kind of opening they’ll take advantage of it, and we gave them that opening.”
UC Davis needs to forget and move on quickly, with five games in the next week, two against rival Sacramento State and a weekend matchup with conference opponent Pacific.
The Tigers have the best overall hitting in the conference with a .296 team batting average; however, the Aggies counter with one of the better Big West pitching staffs.
“Our starting pitching is set up for our conference opponents to see our top three guys,” Vaughn said. “But we’re in a position where we just have to play one game at a time.”
Vaughn’s mantra all season has been one game at a time, and UC Davis would be wise not to look past its capital-city rivals. Freshman Rhys Hoskins of the Hornets is currently riding a 15-game hitting streak and has a ridiculous .416 average, 8 home runs, and 32 RBIs with a .450 on base percentage, all team-leading. Hoskins’ average and home runs are the best of any freshman in the nation.
The Tuesday home game versus Fresno State was canceled due to inclement weather. The Aggies will play at Sacramento on Wednesday and then return to Dobbins Field for the first time in eight games to play conference foe Pacific. Senior starter Dayne Quist remains undefeated so far this season (4-0), and will look to slow down the tough-hitting Tigers with the first pitch on Friday at 2:30 p.m.
— Russell Eisenman