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Rain Bumps Pacific-UC Davis Series Opener To Saturday

Apr 13, 2012

The Pacific baseball team will have to wait until Saturday to open a three-game Big West series at UC Davis as rain has washed out Friday's game one. The Tigers and Aggies will now play a doublehead on Saturday, starting at noon at  Dobbins Stadium in Davis.

Pacific has played a better brand of baseball since March 16, winning seven of their last 14 games. The offense has hit .319 in the last 14 games, while Pacific pitchers own a 4.12 ERA in their last 16 games.

Redshirt freshman 1B Erik Lockwood, sophomore C Jason Taasaas and senior SS Josh Simms are three of the Tigers swinging hot bats. Lockwood has hit .423 (30-for-71) in his last 19 games with 15 RBI. Taasaas has a .382 average in Pacific's  last 15 games with seven RBI. Simms is hitting .367 in his last 16 games, while reaching base at a .441 clip.

The Tigers rank first in the Big West in batting average and are near the top in a number of statistical categories.

The Pacific pitchers are catching up, as the Tiger starters have gone deep into games after cutting their walks per game in half from the first 16 games to the last 16.

Freshman RHP Michael Benson will take the hill in game one for Pacific. Benson owns a 3.16 ERA in 42.2 innings pitched. He's pitched six or more innings in five of seven starts, including a six-inning outing in his last start against San Jose State. He allowed one earned run with five hits allowed in a hard-luck loss. On the year, he's struck 27 against 12 walks.

UC Davis will counter with LHP Dayne Quist, who is 4-0 with a 2.39 ERA on the year. In 52.2 innings, he has struck out 55 against six walks. His last outing resulted in a no-decision, going 7.1 innings allowing four earned against Cal State Fullerton.

In game two, Pacific sophomore LHP Kyle Crawford gets the starting assignment. Crawford has a 2-3 record and a 5.36 ERA. In 48.2 innings, he's punched out 25 against 12 walks. He allowed five runs in his last start, a five-inning appearance against San Jose State, taking the loss.
UC Davis lefty Anthony Kupbens will start game two for the Aggies. He is 2-4 on the year with a 3.38 ERA in 50.2 innings. He allowed five earned in eight and a third innings against Fullerton, taking the loss last Friday.

In Sunday's 1 p.m. game three, freshman RHP Mike Hager will look to follow up his brilliant last outing. Against San Jose State Saturday, he allowed just three hits in seven shutout innings, retiring 17 of the first 18. On the season, he has a 2-2 record and a 5.05 ERA. He ranks among 32nd in the NCAA in fewest walks per nine innings, issuing just five base on balls in 41 innings.

Davis sends RHP Tom Briner to the mound. The senior has a 2-3 record with a 4.68 ERA in 42.1 innings. He lasted three innings on Saturday against Fullerton, allowing seven earned.

Both the Tigers (10-22) and the Aggies (11-17) will be going for the their first Big West win of the season, as each enter at 0-3. The Aggies were swept by Cal State Fullerton, while the Tigers dropped their BWC opening series two weeks ago at UC Irvine.

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