Sacramento State - 1-2 vs CSU Northridge
UPDATE: Saint Mary's 7, Sacramento State 2 (2/20/12) - record now 1-3
The Hornets salvaged a win in the series, behind a CG shutout by soph RHP Tanner Mendonca on Saturday. The 2-0 shutout was the first CG shutout for a Hornet starting pitcher since 2007, which pretty much tells you all you need to know about their pitching the last few years. Even in this shutout, Mendonca "pitched" his way through it, giving up only five hits, while walking two and yet only striking out two. I haven't seen him since a showcase a couple of years ago and I recall that I liked him as a projectable high school RHP. Not sure what his stuff looks like these days but he obviously knows how to pitch.
Looking at their team stats, it is interesting to note that Sacramento State, as a team is hitting .270, vs. only .244 for their opponents. They have the same amount of extra base hits, have a higher OBP and have stolen more bases, while playing slightly better defense. To be 1-3 seems odd. Six of their regulars are hitting .250 or better and freshman OF Kyle Moses is off to a .533 start, with three starts in four games. No Hornet has more than one extra base hit, so it would seem that they have had a hard time getting the big hit or stringing together multiple hit innings. That is what the Hornet offensive stats say to me.
On the mound the Hornets have walked 14 and hit five batters, while striking out 23 and giving up 32 hits in 36 innings. The hits to innings pitched ratio is fine, but the walks have to come dow if they aren't going to be able to strike out more batters. It does look like some of their relievers have strikeout stuff: RHP RJ Davis, RHP Tyler Hoelzen, and RHP Dallas Chadwick all are off to decent starts. I do like the potential of their starters and hopefully pitching coach Thad Johnson can round them into form. The starters I am referring to are RHP Zach Morgan, RHP Ty Nichols, and RHP Hunter Greenwood. All three of them, from my last looks at them, seemed to have good futures based on their arm actions, body types, and projectable stuff. Time will tell.