48.3 F

Davis, California

Monday, December 6, 2021

UC Davis swept by No. 1 UC Irvine

After a breakout series against UC Riverside last weekend, the UC Davis baseball team hit the road looking for consecutive series wins for the first time all year.

Unfortunately for the Aggies, they ran into the No. 1 team in the country.

UC Irvine won all three games between the two clubs, earning its sixth Big West Conference sweep of the season in the process.

The Anteaters jumped out to an early lead and then coasted to a 9-3 victory on Friday. That’s as close as UC Davis would get to UC Irvine, as the Anteaters’ took Saturday’s game by 13 before posting a seven-run win Sunday.

UC Davis looks to turn things back around when it heads to Stanford to take on the Cardinal today at 5:30 p.m. from Sunken Diamond.


Friday – UC Irvine 9, UC Davis 3

UC Irvine got things under way with five runs in their first inning of the series.

The Aggies were able to play the Anteaters close the rest of the way, but couldn’t find enough scoring to climb back from the early deficit in the series-opening 9-3 loss.

“Our Achilles’ heel all season has been giving up the big inning,” said coach Rex Peters.

Justin Schafer paced UC Davis in the loss. The sophomore second baseman had two hits and two RBI, including a solo jack to lead off the Aggies’ half of the sixth.

Left fielder Kyle Mihaylo also had two hits and provided the Aggies’ only other run with an RBI single that plated Ryan Scoma.

UC Irvine had the long ball working as well, as four Anteaters hit home runs against UC Davis starter Scott Chew. The sophomore lefty gave up nine earned runs on eight hits, walking three and striking out only one.

Nathan Slater and Scott Heinig each pitched an inning in relief, blanking the Anteaters in the bottom half of the seventh and the eighth, respectively.


Saturday – UC Irvine 19, UC Davis 6

UC Irvine scored in six of its frames at the plate, cruising to a 19-6 win on Saturday to take the series. The Anteaters plated multiple runs in the third, fourth, seventh and eighth innings.

“[The Anteaters] aren’t that big, they don’t have tremendous power, they don’t overpower you on the mound, they don’t have 95 mph fastballs,” Peters said, “but they throw strikes, work both sides of the plate, change speeds and they put the ball in play offensively. They manage a baseball game better than anybody in the country.”

First baseman Grant Hirneise led the way for UC Davis offensively, going 2-for-4 with three RBI. Ty Kelly went 3-for-3 with a run and a RBI.

Schafer added two more hits to improve his hitting streak to 10 games.

“He’s just finally healthy,” Peters said. “It took him a while to get some games under his belt, to get some confidence. Now he’s a confident hitter. He’s seeing the ball really well and being aggressive.”

UC Davis starter Scott Lyman pitched four innings, allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits. Tim Busbin came in for 2.2 innings of relief, but gave up three earned on five hits and four walks.

Matthew Lewis pitched the last 1.1 innings for UC Davis, giving up two earned on four hits.

The Aggies struggled defensively as well. UC Irvine capitalized off of three UC Davis errors for seven runs.

Sunday – UC Irvine 8, UC Davis 1

UC Irvine closed out the series with a win to send UC Davis back north on the wrong end of a sweep.

The Aggies plated the game’s first run, but the lead would be short lived as the Anteaters countered with eight unanswered runs.

Aggies starter Dayne Quist pitched six innings, allowing six runs – only three of them earned – on seven hits.

UC Davis was led offensively by the top of its lineup. Schafer, hitting in the leadoff spot, pushed his hitting streak to 11 games by recording two base knocks in four at-bats. He’s had multiple hits in each of his past six games.

Scoma provided a hit and scored the Aggies’ only run batting in the No. 4 spot. No. 5 hitter Joseph Medeiros went 2-for-3 with a double.

With the sweep, UC Irvine improves to 40-12 and clinches the Big West regular season crown with a 20-1 conference record. The Aggies drop to 10-40 on the year and 3-18 in league play.

“We didn’t play real well Saturday, but we didn’t play too badly in the other two ballgames,” Peters said. “They just do a really good job of managing a baseball game.”


JOHN S. HELLER can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here