The UC Davis baseball team managed 22 runs on 40 hits against one of the nation’s best teams over the weekend.
Aside from that, the club had its share of struggles.
Pitching woes and defensive miscues plagued the Aggies as No. 15 Cal Poly pieced together a three-game sweep of UC Davis at Baggett Stadium.
Friday – No. 15 Cal Poly 11, UC Davis 10 (10)
The Aggies responded to a five-run Mustang seventh by engineering a four-run, eighth-inning comeback to force the game into extra frames.
The UC Davis comeback attempt came up short, though, as a costly error by right fielder Ryan Scoma allowed Cal Poly to score the game-winning run in the home half of the 10th.
“We just had a little break down defensively and allowed a run to score,” said coach Rex Peters. “Unfortunately, that was the difference in the game.“
Redshirt freshman Tony Bongiovanni had a career day going 4-for-5 at the plate with two doubles and two RBI. Designated hitter Jared Thompson and third baseman Ty Kelly also did work on the Mustang pitching staff, contributing two RBI apiece.
Saturday – No. 15 Cal Poly 8, UC Davis 4
The Aggies headed back to Baggett Stadium with ambitions of tying the series after their comeback effort came up short on Friday.
The Cal Poly pitching staff had other ideas, limiting UC Davis to four runs as it cruised to an 8-4 win to clinch the series.
The Mustangs started things off with a run in the first, but UC Davis responded in the top of the second with a Scott Heylman double that scored Scoma and left fielder Kyle Mihaylo, giving the Aggies a 2-1 lead.
The advantage would be short lived – and also UC Davis‘ last of the game. Cal Poly retook the lead in the bottom of the third and expanded the margin to five with a four-run fourth.
Junior right-hander Tim Busbin pitched the last 3.1 innings for the Aggies, allowing just one run on one hit with two strikeouts.
Sunday – No. 15 Cal Poly 16, UC Davis 8
Last weekend, the Aggies dropped their first two games of a three-game set with UC Santa Barbara before salvaging a win in the series finale.
UC Davis would have no such luck this time out, as the Mustangs raced out to a 7-2 lead en route to a 16-8 win to clinch the series sweep.
Shortstop Michael Aldrete paced the UC Davis offense with two hits and four RBI on the afternoon. Scoma added two hits of his own to go along with three RBI.
“We definitely scored some runs,” Peters said. “It was probably our best offensive weekend on the year, but it wasn’t good enough to get the win.“
The teams combined for 33 hits in a game. The Aggies committed three errors, helping Cal Poly to turn 16 of its 19 hits into runs.
The three-game sweep by the Mustangs drops the Aggies to 6-27 on the season and 1-7 in Big West Conference play. Cal Poly moves to 27-9 and 8-4.
UC Davis begins a four-game homestand today against St. Mary’s. The Aggies then host a three-game set against sixth-ranked Cal State Fullerton starting Friday.
JOHN S. HELLER can be reached at email@example.com.