The Aggies are off to a strong 4-3 start to begin the season.
But they’ve had to battle against an unexpected foe – the weather.
Over the last week, UC Davis has played two doubleheaders and one game over a span of two days.
“We knew the weather was going to be bad,” said coach Rex Peters. “This time of year you have to be ready to play every day.”
Despite the circumstances, the Aggies played well on their way to a 2-2 week.
Wednesday – UC Davis 8, California 0
This game was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was played on Wednesday because of rain in Berkeley.
The Aggies have no complaints.
UC Davis could do no wrong as they defeated the Cal.
“Everything went right against Cal,” Peters said. “They’re a rival of ours and we seem to play well against them. To beat a formidable Pac-10 opponent like that is big. They seem to bring out the best in us.”
The story of the game was centerfielder Daniel Cepin, who went 5-for-5 with three RBI.
“At the beginning of the season I was really anxious,” Cepin said. “I changed my approach because our coaches have been talking to us a lot about discipline. You just need to wait for a good pitch and put a good swing on it.”
Thursday – Game 1: UC Davis 3, BYU 0
Carrying the momentum of the Cal victory with them, UC Davis looked to set the tone for the series.
Starter Dayne Quist responded by pitching his team to yet another victory.
Quist, who pitched a complete game a week ago, threw seven shutout innings with four strikeouts while issuing just one walk.
“I just wanted to start game one off right,” Quist said. “[I wanted to] pump the strike zone and keep the ball in play. As long as you keep doing that, good things are going to happen.”
Peters couldn’t be happier with the way his young pitcher helps his team win.
“Dayne didn’t have as good of stuff today as he did in the first game of the season,” Peters said. “But good pitchers find a way to win when they’re not on top of their game. He struggled a little bit with his command but he’s such a good pitcher that he can compete when he’s not throwing his best stuff.”
Thursday – Game 2: BYU 10, UC Davis 2
Thirty minutes after beating winless BYU 3-0 and 24 hours after defeating Cal 8-0, UC Davis looked to keep rolling.
Unfortunately for the Aggies, the Cougars had something else in mind.
It was a feast or famine day for starting pitcher Scott Lyman as he struck out six in 3.1 innings pitched while allowing nine hits and seven earned runs.
“It’s just the little things,” said shortstop Justin Schafer. “In the games we’ve won we pitched, we played defense and had timely hits. Last week our defense got us and today it was pitching. There isn’t a lot of room for error with us but when we play well, we win.”
Despite his performance on the mound, Lyman was the only player to record more than one hit as he went 3-for-5 at the dish.
Friday/Saturday – BYU 8, UC Davis 4
The Aggies were victims of Mother Nature yet again.
They were trailing just 2-1 entering the fifth inning with starting pitcher Anthony Kupbens rolling.
Then the clouds opened up.
The downpour coincidentally began when the Cougars put up a five-run fifth inning and the game was postponed with the Aggies at the plate in the bottom of the frame.
Despite the weather, Peters believes that his team has nobody to blame but themselves.
“What really broke the camel’s back that inning was our inability to defend the bunt,” Peters said. “We couldn’t defend our positions and we had a couple missed assignments.”
With the consecutive losses, the Aggies fall to 4-3 – a record they are not satisfied with.
“We’re in a good spot,” Schafer said. “It’s just frustrating because we feel like we could have won the games we lost.”
The Aggies return to action today as they take on Nevada at Dobbins Field.
MARK LING can be reached at email@example.com.