The Aggies knew that spring break provided them with one last test before Big West Conference play, beginning Thursday.
“I’m interested to see how our team reacts at Fresno,” said coach Rex Peters. “That series will give us a very good indication of what we can expect in conference.”
UC Davis had one midweek game against San Jose State, followed by a weekend series with 2008 national champion Fresno State.
In the end, the Aggies came away with two wins and two losses, while outscoring their opponents 23-21.
Mar. 23 – UC Davis 8, San Jose State 3
The Aggies had two goals for this game – get a lot of pitchers in the mix and get a win.
Check and check.
In the 8-3 romp, the Aggies used six hurlers, none of whom pitched more than two innings and pounded the Spartans at the plate.
“With the long break before this game we wanted to use lots of pitchers,” Peters said. “We got a lead early and had a good combined pitching effort to get the win.”
The Aggies’ four and five hitters, David Popkins and Eric Johnson, each went 3-for-4 to power the UC Davis offense.
Friday – Fresno State 9, UC Davis 2
To begin the much anticipated series against the Bulldogs, the Aggies looked to set the tone early with their ace Dayne Quist on the mound.
Unfortunately for UC Davis, the normally superhuman Quist showed his mortality as he allowed 11 hits and eight runs in six innings for his first lost of the season.
However, in pure Quist fashion, he looked good on the mound despite the uncharacteristic stat line as he struck out seven and walked only one.
“Dayne didn’t pitch terribly,” Peters said. “They just got up on us early and we couldn’t get back in it.”
Strong pitching from the Bulldogs stifled the Aggie offense as UC Davis’ one-through-six hitters combined to go only 2-for-20 at the dish.
Saturday – Fresno State 7, UC Davis 6
This could’ve easily been a win for the Aggies.
Tied at one heading into the top of the sixth inning, UC Davis dropped five runs on Fresno State, taking the 6-1 lead.
The Bulldog bats would come alive in the final three frames as they scored six runs including a walk-off sac fly to right field.
“This one got away from us,” Peters said. “We just didn’t finish.”
Pitcher Anthony Kupbens received the no-decision as he went 6.2 innings, allowing three hits and three earned runs while issuing five walks and three strikeouts.
Shortstop Justin Schafer led the Aggies at the plate with his 3-for-5 performance while Kyle Mihaylo and Scott Kalush each logged two hits.
Sunday – UC Davis 7, Fresno State 2
After dropping the first two contests of the series, UC Davis needed pitcher Scott Lyman [cq] to have a breakout game on the mound.
He responded by throwing a complete game with just 85 pitches on his way to recording his first win of the 2010 season.
“We got an exceptional pitching effort from Lyman,” Peters said. “It was good to see him throw a lot of strikes.”
Third baseman Paul Politi [cq] launched his first home run of the season as he went 3-for-5, scored two runs and delivered two RBI to lead the UC Davis scoring attack.
The Aggies take the field one last time before conference play begins when they face Saint Mary’s today at Dobbins Stadium. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.
MARK LING can be reached at email@example.com.