Wins are great.
Wins against Sacramento State are divine.
Over the weekend, the Aggies took two out of three games from the Hornets while outscoring Sac State 31-11.
“It’s big for our program,” said sophomore Scott Lyman. “We lost two out of three last year so to some back and beat them around a little bit feels good.”
Friday – UC Davis 11, Sacramento State 3
The first game of the series was played in Sacramento.
Regardless, the Aggies felt right at home.
Pitching standout Dayne Quist threw his second complete game of the season.
In the performance, he allowed six hits, four walks and three earned runs while striking out five on a whopping 126 pitches.
Coach Rex Peters says he likes to keep his hurlers to a modest pitch count early in the season-somewhere around 100. However, Peters acknowledges Quist as a workhorse.
“He felt good at the end of the game,” Peters said. “He was actually pitching better at the end of the game than he was early on. He wanted to go out there and finish and we gave him the chance because he wasn’t tired.”
With the win, Quist is now 3-0 in three starts while sporting a miniscule 1.42 earned run average. Most impressively, he has a nearly 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
These impressive statistics prove why Quist is the Aggies’ No. 1 starter.
“That’s what a Friday starter is supposed to do – give you a chance to win the first game of a series,” Peters said. “That game is always important and he gives us a chance to win every time he’s on the mound.”
While Quist was lights-out on the bump, the Aggies were pounding the Hornets at the dish.
Shortstop Justin Schafer went 2-for-4 with three RBI while designated hitter David Popkins went 3-for-4 and hit his second homerun of the young season.
Saturday – UC Davis 13, Sacramento State 2
If Friday’s game was a blowout, then Saturday’s game was an absolute massacre.
In the only game played at Dobbins Stadium during the series, the Aggies gave the home crowd a show as they defeated the rival Hornets by 11 runs.
This time around, UC Davis rode on the shoulders of both Lyman and Schafer.
The heart of the order hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, effectively ending any hope the Hornets had of a comeback.
Schafer’s blast was particularly impressive, even to Lyman.
“Not everybody has that god-given talent like Justin Schafer has,” Lyman said jokingly.
Peters was also pleased with what he saw from his star shortstop.
“Schafer is finally starting to get comfortable at the plate,” Peters said. “He’s starting to see the ball a little better and putting some better swings on pitches.”
Not to be outdone, Lyman hit another moon shot over the right field wall – his second long ball of the day.
“Lyman’s a guy that’s capable of doing some serious damage,” Peters said. “That’s why he’s hitting fourth. He didn’t get any at-bats last year due to injury but it was just a matter of time until he started producing for us.”
Sunday – Sacramento State 7, UC Davis 6
After the impressive day at the plate, Lyman took the mound on Sunday looking to continue his dominance.
He was good, but not good enough as the Hornets won the game 7-6 in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Lyman, who allowed seven hits, five earned runs and six walks while striking out six in 5.1 innings, knows that his team still has work to do.
“When you put up a lot of runs and hits, you come out the next day and you may take it for granted,” Lyman said. “We need to have that same approach and fire to show that we can do it again. We just have to keep it rolling.”
MARK LING can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.