SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball team resumes conference competition this weekend as they welcome the Chicago State Cougars to John Smith Field for three games.
Due to weather concerns, the two teams will play a doubleheader Saturday with the series finale slated for Sunday morning.
How To Listen
All three games against Chicago State can be heard live online at HornetSports.com/Radio with baseball play-by-play broadcaster Anthony Rifenburg. Live stats will be available on HornetStats.com while in-game updates will be provided on Twitter, @SacStBaseball. All links can also be found by visiting the 2018 Baseball Schedule on HornetSports.com.
Watch The Hornets Live
This weekend's conference series against Chicago State is the first time this season that Sacramento State baseball will stream live online. Fans can catch all the action online by visiting the Sacramento State baseball schedule online or by visiting the WAC Digital Network, also online.
- Sacramento State enters this weekend's series against conference opponent Chicago State having won four straight and six of their last nine. During that stretch, the Hornets are averaging over five runs and eight hits per game.
- The Hornets and Saint Mary's Gaels combined to leave 31 men on base in last Tuesday's 4-2 Sacramento State win. The Hornets drew 12 walks in the win, the most since drawing 12 in a game during the 1998 season.
- Parker Brahms recorded his first career save in last Tuesday's win, throwing a perfect ninth inning on the road at Saint Mary's to preserve a 4-2 Hornets win. It was just the second relief appearance of his career.
- PJ Floyd drove in a career-high five in Monday's 10-3 win at home over Saint Mary's. Floyd had an RBI-single in the second inning before blasting a grand slam in the third inning. In his last three games, Floyd has eight RBIs.
- Chicago State comes into this weekend's three-game series with a 5-20 overall record, including a 0-6 mark in WAC play. They have lost four straight, including three to conference-foe Seattle U. They are hitting .222 as a team and own a 7.98 staff ERA.
By The Numbers
4: Straight wins for Sacramento State, their longest winning streak of the season. They are 6-4 in their last 10 games.
8: RBIs for PJ Floyd in his last four games. He has five hits, including a double and two home runs, and has scored four runs during that time.
3: National ranking for Sacramento State's 2.39 Walks Per 9 Innings. Hornets pitchers have 200 Ks to just 66 BBs.
Scouting The Cougars
- Chicago State enters the weekend with a 5-20 recording, including a 0-6 mark in WAC competition.
- The Cougars are still looking for their first road win of the season, coming into this series with an 0-14 record on the road.
- As a team, the Cougars are hitting .222 with a 7.98 team ERA.
- Chicago State was a unanimous pick to finish ninth in the Western Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches poll, receiving just eight votes.
- The Cougars have never won at John Smith Field (0-6) and are just 1-5 against the Hornets when playing at Chicago State.
- Matt Paciello leads Chicago State with a .306 batting average while Tyler Lowe leads the team in both home runs (three) and RBIs (15).
- On the mound, Zach Thomas and his 3.58 ERA is the best on the club. He also leads the team with 37.2 innings pitched. He is scheduled to pitch Sunday.
Schedule Shake Up
Due to the inclement weather forecasted for Friday and Saturday morning, Sacramento State and Chicago State have altered this weekend's schedule. Friday's game has been moved to Saturday and the two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 3:00 pm PDT. Sunday's game, originally scheduled for noon, has been moved up to 10:30 am PDT to accommodate Chicago State's travel schedule.
Against Chicago State
The history between Sacramento State and Chicago State is not lengthy, dating back to just the 2014 season. In 12 games, the Hornets are 11-1 overall, including a perfect 6-0 when facing the Cougars at John Smith Field. Sacramento State dropped their first ever game against the Cougars last season at Chicago State. The Cougars have not been to Sacramento since the 2016 season.
All In The WAC
This weekend's series against Chicago State will be just the second conference series for the Hornets. Sacramento State opened the conference season with a bye and are three games back of the other teams in the WAC. They enter the weekend in fourth place with a 2-1 record in conference play, having taken two of three on the road at New Mexico State.
About Last Series
Sacramento State took both ends of a two-day, two-game home-and-home series against Saint Mary's. The Hornets scored 14 runs over the course of the two games, including 10 in Monday's game at John Smith Field. The Hornets racked up 12 hits in the first game while drawing a season-high 12 walks in the second. Monday's 10-run outburst included a grand slam off the bat of PJ Floyd, who drove in five of the Hornets' 10 runs.
Four Is A Streak
Sacramento State has now won four straight games, marking their longest win streak of the season and their longest since winning eight straight. Those eight games included the last four of the 2017 regular season and four postseason games as Sacramento State clinched the 2017 WAC Tournament Championship. The Hornets also won five straight earlier during the 2017 season.
Floyd Turning It On
After starting the season as a reserve player, second baseman PJ Floyd has settled in nicely at the plate. In his last five games, the left-handed hitter is 5-for-18 (.278) with a double, two home runs, and a stolen base. He is slugging .667 and, with a walk and a hit by pitch, has a .350 OBP. Floyd also set a new career-high by driving in five in Sacramento State's 10-3 win over Saint Mary's on Monday. His previous high for RBIs in a single game was three (twice, last at NMSU, 3/31/18).
Brahms Records First Save
Sacramento State starter Parker Brahms pitched a perfect ninth inning on Tuesday, preserving the Hornets' 4-2 win over Saint Mary's and recording his first career save in the process. Typically the team's Friday or Saturday starter, Brahms usually throws a bullpen session on Tuesdays. This outing served that purpose while also helping lock up the win for Sacramento State. Brahms also pitched one inning to start a Tuesday game earlier this season at Pacific. Last Tuesday's outing was just the second career relief appearance for Brahms.
Dawkins 11-Game Streak
Senior Ian Dawkins has now hit safely in 11 straight games, the longest such streak by a Hornets player this season (previous, Steven Moretto, eight). During the streak, Dawkins is hitting .391 with a .472 on-base percentage. He has recorded two hits in seven of those 11 games while drawing six walks. He is three games shy of his career long hit streak, 14, from March 14 - April 5 of last season. In addition to hitting in 11 straight, Dawkins has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games.
All Of The Walks
Sacramento State hitters drew 12 walks in Tuesday's 4-2 win over Saint Mary's the most since the team drew 12 walks in a game during the 1998 season. Since 1997, the Hornets have drawn 12 walks three times (3/23/97 at NMSU, 4/26/98 at Pacific, 4/3/18 at Saint Mary's). Since that 1997 game at New Mexico State, the Hornets have drawn 10 or more walks 12 times.
None Of The Walks
As a staff, Sacramento State pitchers own a 2.39 walks allowed per nine innings, the third best mark in all of NCAA Div. I baseball. The Hornets have walked just 66 batters in 27 games this season, compared to 200 strikeouts. Parker Brahms and Austin Root are second and third in the conference, respectively, with a 1.32 and a 1.58 walks per nine figures.
Esposito's Multi-RBI Game
Vinny Esposito drove in two runs in Monday's 10-3 win over Saint Mary's his first-multi-RBI game of the season. Entering the 2018 campaign, Esposito led the team with 23 career multi-RBI games. While he still leads the team in that category, he is the seventh Hornet to drive in two or more in a game this season.
Depending on Dalton
Head coach Reggie Christiansen and the Hornets have relied heavily on reliever Tanner Dalton. Dalton, who has assumed closer responsibilities for Sacramento State over the last two weeks, has pitched in four of Sacramento State's last five games, throwing a combined five innings over that time. Dalton leads the team with 14 appearances this season, three more than second-place Austin Roberts. Dalton is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA and a team-leading four saves.
Root On A Roll
Senior right-hander Austin Root went eight innings in his last start, allowing just one run on five hits as he recorded his fourth win of the season. It was the second time this year that Root has pitched eight innings (last, 3/4/18 vs. Milwaukee). He had nearly identical lines in those two games. In five of his seven starts this season, Root has gone 5.0+ innings while allowing one run or fewer.
Sacramento State scored has scored first in 13 of their last 15 games. The Hornets are 8-5 in those 13 games. For the season, Sacramento State has scored first 18 times in 27 games and is 11-7 when they do.
Keep Them Under Six
Sacramento State is 13-4 this season when they are able to hold their opponents to five runs or fewer. When giving up six or more runs, the Hornets are winless, going 0-10 in those 10 games.
Sacramento State Stealers
Sacramento State is 41-for-52 (78%) in stolen base attempts this season, leading the WAC in the category and ranking 36th in all of NCAA Div. I baseball. They are 40 steals back of national leader Wolford (78). James Outman leads the team with 10 steals in 11 attempts while Matt Smith is second with eight. Outman and Smith rank first and second in the conference, respectively, in stolen bases. 10 different Hornets players have swiped a bag this season, including seven who have stolen at least two (Steven Moretto, Outman, Smith, Vinny Esposito, Ian Dawkins, PJ Floyd, Alec de Watteville).
WAC Preseason Coach Poll
The Hornets were picked to finish third in the WAC in the 2018 Preseason Coaches Poll. They received 51 points, including one first place vote, finishing behind first-place Grand Canyon (61 points, five votes) and New Mexico State (54 points, two votes). The rest of the conference breaks down as follows: 4. Seattle U (46), 5. CSU Bakersfield (32), 6. Utah Valley (30), 7. UT Rio Grande Valley (23), 8. Northern Colorado (19), 9. Chicago State (8).
All-Conference Preseason Team
Sacramento State had three players named to the 2018 All-WAC Preseason Team, the most since they had five named to the 2015 team. This year's trio is Vinny Esposito (First Base), Ian Dawkins (Outfield), and James Outman (Outfield). The selection is Esposito's second (also 2016).
Six Times Thirty
With 32 wins in 2017, Sacramento State recorded its sixth consecutive 30-win season, the longest such streak since a string of nine straight 30-win seasons from 1985-1993. The team has also recorded double-digit conference wins in each of the last six years.
Best In the West
Sacramento State and baseball powerhouse Cal State Fullerton is the only two NCAA Div. I baseball programs in California to have won 30 or more games in each of the last six seasons. They have just 35 fewer wins during that stretch than Cal State Fullerton.
-- HornetSports --