Long Beach State, Cal Poly Square Off On ESPNU
Big West Baseball Release - Week 10
BIG WEST TID BITS
• Hawai’i sits atop the standings with a 6-3 mark and is followed by Cal State Fullerton at 4-2. UC Irvine and CSUN are knotted in third with a 5-4 record while UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State both sit in fifth with a 3-3 mark. Rounding out the field are UC Riverside (4-5), Cal Poly (3-6) and UC Davis (3-6).
• Cal Poly hosts Long Beach State in a weekend series with Friday’s contest airing on ESPNU at 7 p.m. The Mustangs are coming off their first conference series win of the season, downing UC Davis 2-1, while LBSU has won three of the past four contests, which included a midweek win over No. 14 UCLA and a series victory (2-1) over CSUN.
League-leading Hawai’i heads to Goodwin Field to tackle dpreseason favorite Cal State Fullerton this weekend. The Rainbow Warriors have won all three conference series this season as they have defeated UC Irvine, UC Davis and UC Riverside. The Titans are returning to league action after battling San Diego State last weekend. Other conference matchups include UC Irvine at CSUN and UC Santa Barbara at UC Davis. The Highlanders take on San Jose State in a nonconference showdown in Riverside, Calif.
• Elijah Skipps belted Cal Poly’s second grand slam inside Baggett Stadium in eight years Saturday night, sparking the Mustangs to a 7-4 victory over UC Davis in the middle game of a three-game Big West Conference baseball series. Playing in just his third game of the season due to a preseason elbow injury, Skipps (pictured above) smashed a 1-1 pitch from Jared Sasaki over the right-field wall in the fifth inning to give Cal Poly a 6-1 advantage. John Schuknecht hit a grand slam against UC Irvine in 2016 and one has to go back to 2010 for the previous four-run home run by a Mustang in Baggett Stadium.
• Versus the Nation: CSUN has turned 35 double plays to rank 18th...CSUN is sitting sixth in home runs with 50 and 11th in slugging percentage (.481)...Hawai’i paces the country in sacrifice bunts with 39, while LBSU and CSF also rank in the top 10 with 37 and 33 sacrifice bunts...UC Irvine’s 21 sacrifice flies places the ‘Eaters in 17th...UCI’s Andre Pallante continues to own the 10th spot in earned run average with an impressive 1.17 mark...Cal Poly’s Darren Nelson has started 10 games this year, third most in the nation...CSUN’s Joey Cooper has been hit by a pitch 15 times this year to rank fourth...CSUN’s Albee Weiss is third with 14 home runs. His 43 RBI ranks 14th...UH’s Jonathan Weeks paces the nation with 16 sacrifice bunts...UH’s Dylan Thomas owns nine saves to sit sixth, while LBSU’s Clayton Andrews is ninth with 10 sacrifice bunts...Dirtbag Chris Rivera has tallied 11 saves to sit fourth, while UH’s Dylan Thomas is ninth with 10 saves...LBSU’s Clayton Andrews continues to be the toughest in the nation to strike out.
• UC Irvine head baseball coach Mike Gillespie announced he will retire at the end of the 2018 season and will be replaced by associate head coach Ben Orloff, UCI athletic director Mike Izzi announced. Gillespie has amassed 361 wins since joining UCI in 2008. Under Gillespie’s guidance, UC Irvine made five trips to the NCAA postseason, including a College World Series (2014), the year he was named NCBWA Coach of the Year.
• The top three teams in the Big West Baseball Preseason Coaches poll will be featured on ESPNU this season. The Dirtbags will also host rival Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, May 24. It’s a rematch of the 2017 best-of-three NCAA Super Regional at Blair Field, which the Titans won to advance to their 18th College World Series. Twelve conference baseball contests are also scheduled to appear on ESPN3.