80 F

Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Down but not out

Call it magic, call it luck. Whatever you want to call it, the Aggies have it right now.

Last week, UC Davis pulled off a pair of 11th-inning comebacks against then-No. 10 Stanford and Big West Conference foe UC Santa Barbara.

On Tuesday afternoon, cross-town rival Sacramento State (15-18) became the latest victim, as the Aggies (24-11) rallied for three runs in the ninth to snatch an 8-7 Causeway series-sweeping victory at Dobbins Stadium.

“You can only pull so many rabbits out of the hat, [so] it’s not a good habit to get into,” said head coach Rex Peters. “But I will say that we just don’t quit. The great thing about baseball is you’ve got to get 27 outs, and we made them earn every one of those.”

The first eight innings for the Aggies read like a string of binary code, as they could only put ones and zeroes on the scoreboard and went into the ninth inning down 7-5.

“We’re always confident, and we feel like it’s only a matter of time before we put something together,” said senior outfielder Ryan Royster.

The time finally came in the ninth when sophomore third baseman Ty Kelly and junior catcher Jake Jefferies both singled to put the tying run on base.

Senior first baseman Evan Hudson, who had a rest day and didn’t start, delivered a pinch-hit single to plate the tying run before leaving things for freshman second baseman Rikki Foster to finish.

The Lincoln, Calif. native calmly punched a walk-off RBI single through the right side of the infield to send his teammates into a frenzy as the Hornets walked off in disbelief.

“There’s no better feeling than a walk-off – it’s a real rush,” Foster said. “I felt really comfortable up there. I saw the changeup well away and just stayed with it.”

“It’s exciting to be a part of [these comebacks], especially when guys like Rikki come in and get the job done,” Royster said. “It was a team effort and it has been all year.”

The Aggies will return to Big West action at Dobbins Stadium on Friday to begin a three-game series with Cal Poly. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.


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


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