UC Davis Preview

After completing Friday's rain-shortened contest, followed by their regularly scheduled game against Air Force, the San Jose State baseball team concludes the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament today against UC Davis.

The Aggies are a respectable 9-6 with wins over Sacramento State, BYU, Utah, and, most notably, Cal. They've won all three games in this tournament including an 8-7 win over Santa Clara, which recently swept the Spartans. They come to the tournament out of the tough Big West in which they held the conference on their shoulders last year at 5-19 (13-42 overall).

Last year the team hit a paltry .268 with only 15 homeruns. A team can succeed with few homeruns if it can all day long. No hitting and lack of power is a killer for any offense (ask the Giants about that one). Their pitching last year was also pretty poor at 6.72 for a team ERA. Huh, no wonder they had a poor season.

Last year the leading hitter was Los Gatos native Justin Schafer who hit .338 with 2 homeruns.

This year could prove different as they have done fairly well early on as I said above. The conference season could prove daunting as the Big West might be tough to maintain even mediocrity. He was just about the only hitter to worry about as only two others hit .300 or above and one of them has graduated. The pitchers were led by Dayne Quist (2-6 and 5.48) and Tom Briner (2-5 and 5.53) as the starters. Tyler Bremer was the best of the relief who also started a few. He went 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA. All of these players return for 2010.

This year everything has improved. The team BA is .303 being led by David Popkins (.455) and Scott Lyman (.429) Justin Schafer is hitting an ok .289 but at least he has lots of help this time.

Dayne Quist is leading the pitchers again but is looking pretty darn good doing it at 3-0 and 1.42. Impressive. Overall, the starters are doing quite well with their big three getting most of the innings.

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Don Starks is the Baseball Editor of Inside Sparta. You may contact Don with any questions, comments, or tips at don@insidesparta.com

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