College News

Eighth Inning Suicide Squeeze Leads to Aggies 4-3 Win Over Pacific  

by Editor, Rick Cabral

UC Davis’ Izaak Silva scored on an eighth inning suicide squeeze giving the Aggies a 4-3 lead, which proved to be the winning run against University of the Pacific this afternoon at Dobbins Stadium. 



Aggies' Izaak Silva, shown earlier this month against the Hornets, scored the winning run on a suicide squeeze play in the eighth inning today as UC Davis defeated Pacific 4-3.
File photo Rick Cabral.

With storm clouds brewing in the West, and 20-mile-per-hour winds blowing in the hitter’s face, Silva led off the eighth inning and smashed a triple over the right fielder’s head that bounced against the wall under the flagpoles. One out later, when John Williams squared around, Silva crashed hard from third base and scored easily when the squeeze bunt was fielded by Pacific pitcher Taylor Johnson (0-1), who had no choice but to throw out Williams at first base.

That gave the Aggies a 4-3 lead and held up when closer Zach Stone relieved starter Spencer Koopmans in the ninth inning.

But not before Pacific made things interesting by drawing a one-out walk by pinch hitter J.P. Yakel. Tigers head coach Ed Sprague sent in pinch runner Jimmy Boras (Jesuit High) and sent him to second on the first pitch. Silva, the catcher, gunned down Boras for the second out. Stone then fanned the final batter to preserve the victory for UC Davis (23-16-1) and earn his eighth save.

Koopmans (5-3) pitched eight innings, allowing five hits and three walks. Only one of the three Pacific runs was earned, as Aggies’ second baseman Tino Lipson made two consecutive errors in the third inning, leading to two Tigers scores that inning. 

Lipson made up for his infield gaffes by going 2-for-4, and starting two of the defense’s 4-6-3 double plays on the day.

Pacific (9-30) opened the scoring with a run in the second, but the Aggies came back to tally two runs in the bottom of the second off starter Jake Jenkins. Cameron Olson (who had two hits today) tripled to right center field, scoring Austin March, and Williams hit a single to shortstop which plated Olson for a 2-1 UC Davis lead. 

After the game, assistant head coach Tony Schifano said the suicide squeeze was an easy call as “Johnny (Williams) can really handle the bat. I gave him one pitch to hit, and we said ‘whether it’s a ball or a strike, we’re going to squeeze on the next pitch.’” Schifano credited Silva who scored on the play. “Izaak’s timing on the pitch was tremendous.” 

Silva, who is the team’s leading hitter with a .368 batting average, commented on the Aggie’s recent downturn due to injuries. “It took us a little while to regain our identity, but we’ve had a couple of good wins. Things are getting loose, and we’re getting back to (winning ways).”  

On Tuesday, UC Davis won in walk-off fashion 6-5 in the ninth inning over Santa Clara at home. Today’s victory meant another close, one-run margin. 

Silva said the eighth inning triple “was awesome,” but conceded he was more pumped at his previous at bat. In the sixth inning, Nick Lynch hita leadoff double, his 21st of the season, making him the NCCAA Division I co-leader.  Silva moved Lynch to third with a fielder’s choice to the right side.

“Coach let me swing away rather than bunt, and I got him over. Having a good approach there helped in my last at bat, because you build confidence with at bats like that one.”

When Silva came to the plate in the eighth inning, the Pacific outfielders once again were playing shallow, due to the strong winds blowing from the southwest. Silva’s blow was one of four that sailed over the Tigers outfielder’s heads this afternoon.

Silva, the scrappy senior from Soquel, admitted that batting with the wind in the face makes it hard on the hitter, but “it’s one of those things that’s going to happen and you don’t try to change your swing. You’re just trying  to shoot holes and get on base.” 

His blast found a big hole in right center field, and Silva ended up scoring the winning run in a victory that will boost confidence in the Aggies’ locker room. 

Overlooked in the loss was the fine pitching by Tigers’ starter Jenkins (2-6), who scattered nine hits over seven innings, allowing three earned runs. Entering today’s game with a 8.48 earned run average, he dropped his ERA more than one point today.

The scene now shifts to Stockton where the Tigers will host two non-conference games tomorrow and Sunday at Klein Family Field. 

~ ~ ~


(Sac State Media Relations)

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Senior Brennan Leitao allowed just one run and two hits over six innings and senior Scotty Burcham had three hits to lead the Hornets offense in a 5-1 win over North Dakota on Friday afternoon.

With the win Sacramento State (22-19, 9-7 WAC) moved one game ahead of North Dakota (14-20, 8-8 WAC) and opened a stretch of nine road games in 10 days with a victory.

Leitao picked up his fourth win of the year after allowing just three base runners in six innings of work. With four strikeouts Leitao moved past former Hornet pitcher Roland DeLaMazza into third place in program history with 209 career strikeouts.



A committee of Fresno State (20-21) pitchers shut out Sacramento State 8-0 tonight at Raley Field.

The Hornets (21-19) managed just five hits against five Bulldogs hurlers, with starter R. Thomas (2-1) notching the win after giving up four hits.

Reliever Grant Kukuk (2-3), who allowed just one run in two innings of work, took the loss for Sacramento State. With the Bulldogs up by only 1-0 in the eighth inning, Hornets' pitcher Chad Perry (Marysville High) allowed five earned runs in his one inning of work.

The loss also marks the first time that Sac State's leading hitter Nathan Lukes (Center High) failed to reach base this season. Lukes, WHO went 0-for-4, is now hitting .361 overall.

Sac State hits the road this weekend for a three-game series against North Dakota, followed by two games at Iowa and one at Notre Dame before visiting Chicago State on Friday, May 1.


(UCDavis Media Relations)

DAVIS, Calif. -- For the third time this season, senior outfielder Austin March came up with runners in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth and did not disappoint, smashing a single through the right side to plate teammate Nick Lynch all the way from second base, sending UC Davis home with a 6-5 walk-off win over San Jose State on Tuesday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.

The win improved the Aggies to 22-16-1 overall, putting them one win shy of last year's win total.

~ ~ ~

Cosumnes River Hands Delta Second Loss of Season, 8-1  

by Editor Rick Cabral

With their ace pitcher Cameron Leeper resting a tired arm, Delta College dropped just its second game of the season 8-1 to Cosumnes River College at Cecchetti Field in Stockton. 

And the best hitting team in the Big-8 conference trumped the best pitching staff in the state. 

The Hawks were more than happy to see Leeper, who is 11-0 with 91 strikeouts on the bench, as CSR is fighting for a second place finish in the Big-8, which Delta wrapped up last week. Cosumnes River  

Cosumnes River scored three times in the first inning off starter Tucker McPhaul, who was erratic from the starter. Hawks leadoff hitter Devin Pettingill drew a walk. With one out Alex Fitchett was hit by a pitch. Cleanup hitter Logan Marston singled to load the bases.  

Lefthander Tyler Blake, was plunked—the second batter in the inning—to plate the Hawks first run. Fitchett scored on a passed ball for a second run, and Chris Nicholson’s fielder’s choice made it 3-0.

Hawks pitcher Matt Stafford allowed one run in four innings today.

Hawks starter Matt Stafford struggled early as well. Coming into today’s game, Stafford had only thrown 10+ innings this year. When he went 3-0 on leadoff hitter Ryan Smith, Cosumnes River immediately got the bullpen going. Smith hit a laser off the third baseman’s leg and eventually scored on Collin Theroux’ RBI single to make it 3-1.

But Stafford settled down and shutout the Mustangs for three more innings.

In the second inning, the Hawks picked up where they left off when McPhaul hit the leadoff batter. Gabe Abelia. When he walked number-nine hitter Trevor Ray, the Mustangs brought in reliever Jacob Rosales. Rosales mishandled a sacrifice bunt by Pettingill, and the Hawks again had the bases loaded. 

Andre Gregory singled up the middle to score one run. Rosales then hit Fitchett in the foot to plate the fifth CSR run, making it four hit batters in less than two innings. Marston shot an RBI single through the infield and a fielder choice by Blake added two more runs. Fitchett scored on a wild pitch to make it eight runs in just two innings. The number-one ranked (PerfectGame) community college team in the nation trailed 8-1.

And that was it. 

Cosumnes River (23-11/13-6 Big-8) did all that damage on just as many hits (four) as hit batters. 

Brett Elgin (7-2) relieved Stafford in the fifth inning and pitched four innings of shutout ball for the victory, allowing the Mustangs just two hits. Austin Ales pitched a shutout ninth inning.

The two teams meet again Thursday at the Hawks' home park.

College News


Sac State Comeback Foils San Francisco Dons

(Sac State Media Relations)

The Hornets mounted a four-run ninth inning rally to come from behind and beat University of San Francisco in the City today 7-4.

Freshman Dan Deely, who had the go ahead RBI hit in the ninth inning, went 3-for-5 in the game with three RBI for his first career 3-hit game.

Junior Chris Lewis and sophomore Brandon Hunley (Christian Brothers) each had two hits. Hunley had two of four Sacramento State doubles and Nathan Lukes (Center High) and Vinny Esposito (Granite Bay High) each scored twice.

Senior Jake Stassi (Yuba City High) gave the Hornets a strong start, allowing three runs on eight hits with no walks and three strikeouts over five innings. Junior Tyler Beardsley also pitched well in relief, allowing just one run on four hits in three innings to pick up his first Hornet win.

Sutter McLoughlin (Rio Americano) earned his sixth save of the season.

Sacramento State plays again tomorrow night hosting Fresno State at 6:35 p.m. at Raley Field.

Hawks Travel to Stockton to Tangle with Near-Perfect Mustangs


by Editor, Rick Cabral

There’s a big community college matchup in Stockton today, as Delta hosts Cosumnes River College in the final regular series of the season.

Delta leads the state with a 31-1 overall record and has clinched the Big-8 Conference championship with a 17-1 mark. Cosumnes River, which nipped Sac City 8-7 on Friday to improve to 12-6, is tied with Santa Rosa for second place. 

On Friday Delta beat Diablo Valley 1-0 as Colin Theroux knocked in Jacob Thomas on a first inning fielder’s choice and pitcher Rick Delgado through a three-hit shutout to claim the Mustangs’ 31st victory. Delgado, who struck out nine while walking one, is now 7-0.

But that nail-biter wasn't as harrowing as it once might have been. Two weekends ago Sacramento City College pasted the Mustangs 7-1 at Cecchetti Field with their first loss of the season.

Delta had won its first 28 games, and are ranked No. 1 in the nation by Perfect Game (perfectgame.org).

Starting for Delta today is lefthander Cameron Leeper (Grant High), who is second in the state with a perfect 11-0 record and tied for first with 91 strikeouts. His 1.59 earned run average is third best among California CC pitchers, as is his 10.32 strikeout-per-game ratio. Teammate Dean Kremer is 9-0 with a 1.82 ERA.

The Mustangs' only Top 10 conference hitter is Kris Bartlett (.333). As a team they’re hitting .272, tied for second in the Big-8.

By contrast, the Hawks .311 team batting average leads the Big-8 as they claim six of the Top 10 hitters with Alex Fitchett (.361), Trevor Ray (.348), Andre Gregory (.344), Nico Toni (.336), Tyler Blake and Devin Pettengill (both .333). 

This is big game and should be a good 'un.


Duvall Tabbed PCL Hitter of the Week (Ending Apr. 19)

Adam Duvall, Sacramento 
(.457/.480/.870, 11 G, 21-for-46, 5 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 11 R, 3 BB, 12 K)

Giants farmhand Adam Duvall—who last night became the first River Cats player to hit for the cycle—was named Pacific Coast League Hitter of the Week today.


River Cats' Adam Duvall

Yesterday, Duvall went 5-for-6 with two doubles, a triple and a homer, while batting in four runs.  The Giants' No. 19 prospect sits atop the PCL in hits (21), homers (four), slugging percentage (.870) and OPS (1.350) and ranks in the top three in average (.457, second), RBI (14, second) and runs (11, tied for third).

Last season at Fresno, Duvall was two ticks shy of batting .300 while hitting 27 home runs and 90 RBI in 91 games and 359 at bats. His slugging percentage was .599.

By comparison the Cubs All-World rookie Kris Bryant, who played 70 games and 297 innings at Triple-A Iowa last season, batted .295 with 21 home runs, 52 RBI and a slugging percentage of .691. On Friday, the Cubs brought up Bryant to the majors where he is now their everyday third baseman.


Pro News

Duvall Hits For First Cycle In River Cats History

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah –Sacramento River Cats third basemen and clean-up hitter Adam Duvall hit for the first cycle in River Cats franchise history in a 15-7 rout of the Salt Lake Bees Sunday afternoon at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake.

Duvall was 5-6 with two doubles, two runs scored and four RBIs on the afternoon.

College News


(Sac State Media Relations)

 SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Freshman first baseman Vinny Esposito hit a pair of home runs and junior Nathan Lukes went 4-for-4 and reached base five times to ignite the Hornet offense in a 7-4 win over CSU Bakersfield in the series finale.

Sacramento State (20-18, 8-7 WAC) totaled seven extra base hits among its 13 knocks in the game after being held scoreless in the first two games of the series. Sophomore Justin Dillon also threw five strong innings in the win, which snapped a nine-game winning streak for CSU Bakersfield (22-15-1, 10-4-1 WAC). 

"I was proud of how we bounced back," Sacramento Sate head coach Reggie Christiansen said. "I thought yesterday was kind of a low point in the season for us and it was important for our guys to come back out here on Sunday and salvage the series. I was proud of the effort we gave and we talked after the game that its one thing to do it once but we need to find a way to be more consistent."

Esposito had his first career multi-homer game, hitting a two-run home run to left in the fifth inning and blasting a solo shot off the scoreboard in the seventh. He has hit three home runs in his last five games with a team-high five homers overall this year.

Sophomore Brandon Hunley and junior Chris Lewis also had two-hit games on Sunday as the Hornets got contributions throughout the lineup. Hunley's two hits were a double and an RBI triple and sophomore Gunner Pollman also had a double. Lukes recorded his fourth career four-hit game and his second of the season, doubling twice and also drawing a walk to reach base in all five of his at-bats.

Sacramento State matched its season high of seven extra-base hits a week after scoring 13 runs on seven extra-base hits last Sunday at Utah Valley. CSU Bakersfield's starting pitchers in the first two games of the series held the Hornets scoreless on just six singles before the bats came alive on Sunday.

Dillon allowed just four hits and one run over five innings to match sophomore Sam Long with a team-high five wins. Senior Ty Nichols allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in three innings before junior closer Sutter McLoughlin finished the game in a non-save situation.

Sacramento State will play two midweek games in the coming week, playing at San Francisco at 2 p.m. Tuesday before hosting Fresno State at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday night at Raley Field. 

~ ~ ~

Aggies Drop Game 6-3 and Series to UC Irvine

(UC Davis Media Relations)

IRVINE, Calif. --  A three-run fourth inning erased a two-run deficit for host UC Irvine, and the No. 19 Anteaters stranded 11 UC Davis baserunners on the day, rallying to win the series with a 6-3 victory over the Aggies in the finale on Sunday afternoon at Anteater Ballpark.

Despite collecting 10 hits -- four of those going for extra bases -- UC Davis fell to 21-16-1 overall and 5-7 in Big West Conference action. UC Irvine improved to 23-13 and 10-2 with the win.

Senior Nick Lynch finished with a game-high three hits, while Tino Lipson was 2-for-5 with a double, notching his fourth consecutive multi-hit game. Senior catchr Izaak Silva, who also finished with a pair of hits, extended his hitting streak to a team-high eight games.

Starter Max Cordy (McClatchy) gave up three earned runs in less than four innings of work, taking his second loss of the season. He is now 7-2 on the year.

The Aggies won the first game of the series on Friday 8-3, then dropped a 12-inning game 4-3 yesterday.

UC Davis takes a break from Big West play next week, hosting San Jose State in a non-conference mid-week contest on Tuesday (April 21) at 2:30 p.m., before taking on former league rival Pacific in a three-game series beginning on Friday (April 24) at 2:30 p.m. at Dobbins Stadium.







High School



For decades, Sacramento has been a hotbed of tremendous baseball talent. A few of the homegrown locals performing in the Major Leagues at present from the greater Sacramento area* include J.P. Howell, Dustin Pedroia, Manny Parra, Andrew Susac, and many more.

Among the hundreds of former professional players who have hailed from around here (and this is not an exhaustive list) include: Dusty Baker, Larry Bowa, Ken and Bob Forsch, Stan Hack, Woody Held, David Hernandez, Derrek Lee, Joe Marty, Butch Metzger, Steve Sax, Greg Vaughn, Fernando Vina and many others.

Numerous MLB managers have come out of Sacramento, including:
Dusty Baker (SF Giants, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds)
Larry Bowa (San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies)
Jerry Manuel (Chicago White Sox and New York Mets)
Buck Martinez (Toronto Blue Jays)
John McNamara (6 teams)

Many top-name big league players barnstormed through Sacramento from the teens through the early '60s. Among the barnstormers, none were bigger than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, who performed as the Bustin' Babes and Larrupin Lous here in Sacramento in 1927 (you can read more about that tour at ThePitchBook.com).

After runnin' the bases here, if you would like to submit material that you believe should be included at BaseballSacramento.com, please send an email to
RAC (at) baseballsacramento (dot) com.

Also be sure to check out the All-Time Top 50 Players from Sacramento in the History section.


Rick Cabral

* The "greater Sacramento baseball area" extends west to Woodland, north to Yuba City, east to Grass Valley and south to the San Joaquin County line.

Updated 4/24/15
All contents © Rick Cabral, 2010-2015


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