Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal State Fullerton
Records: Aggies, 10-16; Titans, 25-4
Where: Dobbins Stadium — Davis, Calif.
When: Friday at 2:30 p.m.; Saturday at 1 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: The Aggies have struggled to bring in runs this season. However, one bright spot in UC Davis’ batting order has been senior Paul Politi. Politi leads the Aggies in home runs, runs batted in, runs and walks drawn.
He has been UC Davis’ main offensive sparkplug and has done a little bit of everything. The Aggies’ reliance on small-ball offense to drive in runs is personified by Politi. Politi’s 10 walks shows his patience and willingness to wait for the right pitch.
Once Politi finds that pitch, he knows what to do with it, evidenced by his two home runs, 19 RBI and seven doubles. UC Davis will need him to be patient and drive in clutch runs against a very talented Cal State Fullerton pitching staff. Politi’s hitting will be sorely needed if the Aggies wish to take the series from the Titans.
Did you know? Junior Nick Lynch is sixth in the conference in batting average. He is currently batting a blistering .360 and has an on-base percentage of .446. The Aggies’ offense may not be known for blasting mammoth home runs but their offense is still potent when there are players on base.
As the “Lynch”-pin of the Aggies’ offense, Lynch’s ability to get on base and drive in runs is crucial for UC Davis. The more runners on base, the more chances the Aggies have to drive in much-needed runs. Hopefully Lynch can continue his hot start and help the Aggies against the Titans this weekend.
Preview: The Aggies have been in a bit of a rut in terms of productivity lately. They are 3-7 in the last 10 games, including being swept in a three-game series against 20th-ranked Cal Poly.
The schedule does not get any easier, as this weekend, the Aggies are facing the fourth-ranked Fullerton team. This Titans team comes into the weekend series having won nine of their last 10 games including a 25-0 stomping of the Pacific Tigers.
The Titans’ high-powered batting order is led by junior outfielder Michael Lorenzen, who is currently batting .365 and has five homers and 28 RBI. The Aggies should make sure to watch out for Lorenzen as he is sure to make the Aggie pitchers pay for any mistakes made during his at-bats.
“Fullerton is a good team and they are highly ranked,” said head coach Matt Vaughn. “I think they are ranked in the top five nationally.”
UC Davis is going to have to pitch brilliantly and hit well in order to compete with the balanced Titans. The Titans are hitting .291 as a team and average about 6.89 runs a game; all the while, their pitching staff is maintaining an airtight 2.60 earned-run average.
In comparison, the Aggies are batting .287 and are averaging 5.5 runs a game. Their pitching staff has maintained a 5.32 ERA. UC Davis will definitely need to cut down on the runs allowed this weekend as the Titans score a lot of runs while giving up few.
“We played good baseball coming out of the break,” Vaughn said. “We took a step back after the Cal Poly series and we need to get back to the way we were playing coming out of the break.”
The duo of Politi and Lynch will be a critical part of the Aggies’ lineup as they are going to be the main source of offense. The two of them combined for all three of UC Davis’ home runs this season as well as 26.9 percent of the team’s RBI. Thus, they must do something special for the Aggies to come out victorious in this weekend series.
— Kenneth Ling