Sports

Sacramento State-UC Davis baseball rivalry started in 1960; Hornets have stadium motto

Former Sacramento State head coaches John Smith, left, and Cal Boyes, middle, push a button on a podium near home plate to turn on the lights with current head coach Reggie Christiansen, right, at Sacramento State’s first night game at John Smith Field on May 17, 2016. The Hornets play host to UC Davis under the lights on March 12, 2019.
Former Sacramento State head coaches John Smith, left, and Cal Boyes, middle, push a button on a podium near home plate to turn on the lights with current head coach Reggie Christiansen, right, at Sacramento State’s first night game at John Smith Field on May 17, 2016. The Hornets play host to UC Davis under the lights on March 12, 2019. jvillegas@sacbee.com

Bouncing around the regions in a forward lean:

Lighting up a rivalry

The motto is to “Fill the John” for Sacramento State baseball.

As in, fill up the John Smith seats, under the lights which illuminate the Hornets. The venue is named after the program’s winningest coach, and one of the school’s all-time personalities. Smith is a regular at games.

Sac State (8-7) hosts UC Davis (6-8) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Night games are a happening for the Hornets, who recruit the local region hard with a statewide reach. The program has set aim on its third NCAA Regional berth under coach Reggie Christiansen.

Sac State is 7-2 at home this season, and it owns a 2-1 win at No. 2 UCLA. The Hornets are 112-86-3 against UCD since 1960, including a current three-game winning streak.

Freshman catcher Martin Vincelli-Simard has three home runs, a .283 average and 11 RBIs for Sac State. Freshman outfielder Trevor Doyle has nine RBIs. UCD is paced by Garret Kelly (.300, three homers, 11 RBIs) and Tanner Murray (.400, 11 RBIs).

The Aggies’ field is named after Phil Swimley, the school’s winningest baseball coach and a man known as much for his class as his baseball success.

Corr perfecto

Savanna Corr tossed the second perfect game in Sac State’s Division I softball era, dating to 1990, with a 7-0 masterpiece over Fairleigh Dickinson in the Louisville Slugger Tournament in Stockton.

The right-handed senior from Chino Hills tossed just 89 pitches, striking out eight for the 33rd no-hitter by a Hornets pitcher since 1990.

Suzy slam

Suzy Brookshire in the same tournament became Sac State’s all-time home run slugger.

The junior utility from Hollister has 37 over 120 games, passing Jamie Schloredt’s total ot 35 from 2006-09. Sac State (11-9) plays at UCD (17-4) on Tuesday, and the schools will co-host the Capital Classic from Friday through Sunday.

UCD honors

Morgan Bertsch was named Big West Conference Player of the Year, the first Aggies women’s basketball player to do so.

The senior biomedical major led UCD to its third consecutive Big West Conference regular-season championship. She’s the all-time leading scorer in UCD basketball history — men or women — with 2,348 points.

UCD coach Jennifer Gross earned the conference Coach of the Year honor for the third successive season. UCD (23-6) is riding a 14-game winning streak as it enters the Big West Tournament, which starts Tuesday in Irvine.

Ford tough

Jordan Ford of Folsom, a two-time Bee Player of the Year, earned All-West Coast honors for Saint Mary’s, which is in the conference tournament this week in Nevada.

A junior point guard, Ford shared the WCC scoring title with BYU’s Yoeli Childs, both averaging 21.5 points a game. Ford led the WCC in 3-point shooting (43.2 percent).

‘The Fro’ in Ivy League flow

Mason Forbes of Folsom, known as “The Fro” for his considerable hair up there, scored nine points in Harvard’s 83-81 overtime victory over Columbia, giving Harvard the Ivy League championship and entry into the NCAA Tournament. Forbes is a freshman forward.

JC fever

Delta College of Stockton and Fresno City — both with local players in the rotation — are in the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships this week in Ventura.

The Delta women are coached by Gina Johnson, wife of longtime (and since retired) Franklin of Elk Grove football coach Mike Johnson. Delta guard Paiton Demps of Pleasant Grove had 13 points — her average — in a 70-66 win over Sierra in a Northern California regional final.

In the playoffs for the 24th consecutive season, Delta (25-5) opens state play against LA Trade Tech (28-4) on Friday. Monet Brown of Christian Brothers averages 5.4 points, Tymiko Patterson of Kennedy averages 4.7 and Quiara Watkins of Monterey Trail 5.2.

The Fresno City men (27-3) are led in part by guard Eljay Gallegos of Folsom and forward Ronald Agebsar of Sheldon. They combine to average 10.8 points. The Rams open against Chaffey (23-7) on Thursday. Rams assistant coach Nicholas Podesta has Sacramento ties, including several seasons as an assistant with the Cosumnes River College basketball program.

Fresno City is coming off its 18th consecutive conference championship and seeks its fourth state title since 2001.

Joe Davidson has covered sports for The Sacramento Bee since 1988 and is award-winning authority on high school sports, specializing in going behind the scenes. Davidson was a high school athlete in Oregon, where he participated in football and track.

  Comments