Dempsey’s RBI single in 12th downs No. 10 Stanford

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Headline: Dempsey’s RBI single in 12th downs No. 10 Stanford

Layercake: Aggies open road conference play today in Santa Barbara

By RAY LIN

Aggie Staff Writer

In last season’s “farm vs. farm” battle between the UC Davis and Stanford baseball teams, a little bunt single by outfielder Sean Ratliff helped the Cardinal walk off in 13 innings over the Aggies.

This time around, UC Davis returned the favor in 12.

After tying the game with a pair of ninth inning runs, the Aggies finally put it away with an RBI single from senior second baseman Matt Dempsey in the top of the 12th to win the 9-8 thriller.

“Stanford is a quality team with a lot of tradition, and we recognize that and respect what they’ve accomplished,” head coach Rex Peters said. “It seems like we really get up for these games and always play them tough.”

With UC Davis (21-10) trailing 8-6 in the ninth, freshman Aggie shortstop Scott Heylman walked, and senior outfielder Ryan Royster was beaned to put the potential tying run at first.

Sophomore third baseman Ty Kelly then advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt, and senior Cardinal right-hander Rex Petrill walked Evan Hudson to plate the first run.

With the bases loaded and one out, senior outfielder Kevin James was hit by a pitch to even the contest, 8-8.

Over the next three innings, Aggie right-handers Justin Fitzgerald and Jeff Reekers combined to blank the Cardinal and set up the storybook finish in the 12th.

Freshman UC Davis outfielder Rikki Foster, who had gone 0-for-9 to begin his rookie campaign with the Aggies, delivered a leadoff double for his first career hit.

Two at-bats later, Dempsey came through with the clutch, game-winning hit, and Reekers (3-2) retired three straight batters to seal the deal.

“To come into Sunken Diamond and get a win is a good accomplishment for us,” Peters said. “Now we’ll just focus on this upcoming weekend.”

Today UC Davis will kick off its first Big West Conference road series of the year at 2 p.m. with UC Santa Barbara at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The series will extend into the weekend with 1 p.m. contests on Saturday and Sunday.

RAY LIN can be reached at sports@californiaaggie.com. XXX