BASEBALL TAKES ON CAL IN NON-CONFERENCE MIDWEEK MATCHUP

BASEBALL TAKES ON CAL IN NON-CONFERENCE MIDWEEK MATCHUP

Complete Game Notes (PDF)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After taking two of three games in their weekend series at CSU Bakersfield, the Sacramento State baseball team will travel to the Bay Area to take on the PAC-12's Cal in a midweek, non-conference matchup.

The Hornets (21-17, 9-3 WAC) and the Cal Bears (23-14, 9-9 PAC-12) have not faced each other since the 2010 season. First pitch for Tuesday night's game is scheduled for 7:05 pm PDT.

Watch The Hornets Live

Tuesday night's game will stream live online via Cal's Live Online Stream. Tune in to Hornets play-by-play broadcaster Anthony Rifenburg via HornetSports.com/Radio. 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.

Leading Off

  1. Sacramento State took two of three games this past weekend on the road at CSU Bakersfield, giving them their fourth straight conference series win to start the season. One of those series wins was a three-game sweep of the Chicago State Cougars at home. 
  2. Tanner Dalton was named the Western Athletic Conference's Pitcher of the Week for his performance last week. In three appearances, Dalton tossed four shutout innings, allowed just one hit, and was a perfect 2-for-2 in save opportunities.
  3. Sacramento State's 8-6 win on Sunday was their first win this season when allowing their opponent to score six or more runs. Entering Sunday's game, the Hornets were just 0-12 when their opponents scored six or more. When holding other teams to five or fewer runs, Sacramento State is 20-5.
  4. The Hornets pitching staff owns a collective 2.43 walks per nine innings, the second best mark in all of NCAA Div. I, just behind the College of Charleston (2.22). Austin Root's 1.39 walks per nine leads the team and is the 36th best individual ratio in the country.   
  5. Cal enters Tuesday night's game with a 23-14 overall record, including a 9-9 mark against Pac-12 teams. The Bears are coming off a series win at home against Washington, a team the Hornets split against to start the season. Cal is 2-3 over their last five games.

By The Numbers

12: Wins for Sacramento State in their last 15 games, including a season-long seven-game win streak.

32: Home runs hit this season by Sacramento State, second most in the WAC. Nine different players have homered for the Hornets.

25: Games this season in which they have scored first (of 38 total). In those 25 games, the Hornets are 18-7.

Scouting The Bears

  • The Cal Bears enter Tuesday's matchup with a 23-14 overall record, including a 9-9 mark in Pac-12 Conference play. The team is 2-3 over their last five, but 6-4 in their last 10.
  • Tuesday's game is the first matchup between these two teams since the 2010 season, a game that #21 Cal won 7-2 at John Smith Field.
  • As a team, Cal is hitting a Pac-12-best .308and own a .465 slugging percentage. Their pitching staff owns a 4.14 ERA.
  • The Bears were picked to finish fifth in the conference in the preseason coaches poll. Entering Tuesday, their 9-9 record is good for fifth in the league.
  • Offensively, Cal is led by sophomore first baseman Andrew Vaughn, who is hitting .437 with 18 home runs and 48 RBIs in 37 games.

Against Cal

Tuesday's game against Cal is the first and only time these two teams will meet this season. It is their first contest since the 2010 season, when Cal, then ranked #21, defeated the Hornets 7-2 at John Smith Field. Cal leads the all-time series by a wide margin, having won 20 of 29 against Sacramento State.

Against Pac-12 Opponents

Sacramento State's game against Cal will be their fifth against a Pac-12 opponent this season after starting the 2018 campaign going 2-2 against Washington. They'll play a sixth and final Pac-12 game at home against Arizona on May 14. Since the start of the 2012 season, Sacramento State has played 30 games against Pac-12 opponents, going 13-17. Among those 13 wins are wins against #4 Oregon State and #18 Arizona State (both 2014) and #11 Washington (2017).

About Last Series

Sacramento State took two of three on the road at CSU Bakersfield in their last series, scoring over five runs per game. The Hornets hit .255 over those three games, but slugged .418, hitting three home runs, five doubles, and one triple. It was their second-best offensive showing against a conference opponent this season.

Series Streak

Dating back to last season, the Hornets have won their last six series against WAC opponents, either by sweep or by taking two of three. Currently, Grand Canyon leads the conference and the nation with a 13-series win streak against conference opponents. Their last conference series loss came at the end of the 2016 season at Sacramento State.

Playing for the Big Inning

Sacramento State scored five runs Friday in the top of the ninth at CSU Bakersfield this past weekend, the 10th time this season that they have scored five or more runs in an inning. In those 10 games, Sacramento State is 7-3.  

Dalton Named Pitcher of the Week

Junior reliever Tanner Dalton was named this week's WAC Pitcher of the Week for his performance over the team's last four games. He made three appearances, throwing four shutout innings while allowing just one hit. He was a perfect 2-for-2 in save opportunities. Dalton leads the team in appearances (19) and has the team's second best ERA at 1.93.

Weekly Recognition

Tanner Dalton's Pitcher of the Week recognition was Sacramento State's third straight WAC Pitcher or Hitter of the Week Award. Parker Brahms took home the Pitcher of the Week nod two weeks ago for his record-setting 14-strikeout performance while PJ Floyd was named Hitter of the Week before that after hitting three home runs and driving in nine in five games. Brahms also won earlier this season, giving the Hornets four Player of the Week awards so far this year.

Ty Fox Takes the Mound

Senior right-hander Ty Fox will make his third start of the season for Sacramento State as they take on Cal Tuesday night. Fox's last appearance came in relief at CSU Bakersfield on Friday. He threw one inning, allowed one unearned run, and struck out four (one reached on a dropped third strike). In his last start, Fox got one out and allowed four runs on two hits and a walk before handing things over to the bullpen. For the season, Fox is 0-2 with a 3.7 ERA and an 8.31 K/9.

Last 15

Over their last 15 games, the Hornets are 12-3 (.800), including 9-2 against conference opponents. After starting the season 5-10 through their first 15 games, Sacramento State has gone 16-7, good for a .696 winning percentage.

Home Run Race

PJ Floyd and James Outman entered last weekend's series with six home runs each, tied for the team lead. After Floyd hit a home run in the fourth inning of Saturday's game, Outman followed almost immediately, hitting one his own in the fifth, to pull even. Outman tied for the team lead with 11 home runs last season and is on pace for 10 this season. Floyd, whose seven home runs are already a career-best, has played in fewer games than Outman and is on pace for 11.

On The Road

Tuesday's game at Cal is Sacramento State's fifth straight road game and number four of a nine-game stretch in which they will not play at home. The Hornets are 3-1 through the first four of this stretch but face a test at Cal before another challenge on the road at UTRGV. So far this season, Sacramento State is 10-8 on the road (plus 0-1 neutral). They hit .245 as a team while averaging almost six runs a game on the road compared to .246 and just over five at home.

Keep Them Under Six

Sacramento State won their first game of the season when allowing their opponent to score six or more runs this past Sunday, defeating CSU Bakersfield, 8-6. For the season, Sacramento State is now 1-13 when they give up six or more runs. When they hold their opponents to five runs or fewer, the Hornets are 20-5.

Sacramento State Stealers

James Outman and Matt Smith lead the WAC in stolen bases with 12 each. As a team, the Hornets lead the conference and are 43rd in all of NCAA Div. I with 56 total stolen bases. 10 different Hornets players have stolen at least one base while six have stolen four or more.

Best Staff In Baseball

Sacramento State's pitching staff is among the best in not just the WAC but in all of NCAA Div. I baseball through the season's first 35 games.

  • 3.92 ERA (1st WAC, 75th NCAA)
  • Seven shutouts (1st WAC, 3rd NCAA)
  • 3.18 strikeout-to-walk ratio (1st WAC, 5th NCAA)
  • 1.26 WHIP (1st WAC, 28th NCAA)
  • 2.43 walks-per-nine innings (1st WAC, 2nd NCAA)

Reliable Ragsdale

Veteran reliever Austin Ragsdale has been nothing short of excellent for Sacramento State this season. The side-arm right-hander has made 12 relief appearances this season, throwing a combined 13.2 innings out of the bullpen. Ragsdale has yet to allow a run in relief this season. His latest outing, taking over in a bases-loaded situation with three runs already scored and no outs, ended with two weak groundouts and a lazy fly ball. Ragsdale made one spot start for Sacramento State this season, giving up four earned runs in 1.1 innings at Santa Clara.

On the Road Again

After completing their season-long seven game homestand, the Hornets are back on the road for nine straight away games, their second such trip of the season. On the road this year, the Hornets are 8-7, including their latest win at UC Davis. Their last road trip, also nine games, ended with a 5-4 record, including a big series win on the road at New Mexico State to start conference play. They are hitting .243 as a team away from John Smith Field while the pitchers own a 5.30 ERA.

Clean Defense

Sacramento State's Vinny Esposito has yet to commit an error in 297 chances, far and away the most in the WAC. The next closest is Seattle U's Jack Reisinger, who has not committed an error in 151 chances. Ian Dawkins is also near the top of the list, having not committed an error in 80 chances. Among players with 80 or more chances. Sacramento State and CSU Bakersfield are the only two teams with two or more players with perfect fielding percentages.

None of the Walks

As a staff, Sacramento State pitchers own a 2.43 walks allowed per nine innings, the best mark in the WAC and the second best mark in all of NCAA Div. I baseball. The Hornets have walked just 90 batters in 334 innings this season, compared to 287 strikeouts.

Scoring First

When scoring first, Sacramento State is 18-7 this season. When their opponents score first, the Hornets are just 3-10.

The Century Mark

With three wins against Chicago State earlier this season, Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen passed the 100-win mark in WAC competition. Currently in his eighth season as head coach for the Hornets, Christiansen is 106-81 (.567) against WAC opponents. He is the only active WAC coach with more than 100 conference wins. Since taking over as the head coach for the Hornets, Christiansen is 240-217 (.525) overall.

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 --