83.2 F

Davis, California

Monday, June 24, 2024

Aggies lose count on the mound

With a first-game win this weekend, the Aggies expected to pick up the whole series.

So dropping the last two and losing the series was a let down.

“It’s kind of disappointing when you win a game on Saturday and you lose the next two,” said coach Rex Peters. “Especially when you have the lead late in the last game for a chance to take the series, it’s disappointing. You just can’t do that.”

Peters continued by crediting the Dons for their competitiveness on their home field.

“[Benedetti Diamond] is a tough place to play,” Peters continued. “Traditionally we haven’t had a lot of success there.”

After dropping two of three, the Aggies fall to 2-5 on the young season, while the Dons improved to the same record.

Saturday – UC Davis 4, San Francisco 2

Sometimes a big inning is all that’s needed for a win.

After the Dons put runs on the board in the third and fourth, the Aggies came alive for three in the fifth to take the 3-2 lead.

Peters said it was nice to see his team string together a few quality at-bats with runners on base.

“We call that putting a crooked number on the board,” Peters said. “When you [score] more than two, your chances of winning go up dramatically, and that was the difference in that game.”

In the fifth with two outs, Daniel Cepin singled to center field, bringing in Eric Johnson and Scott Heylman to tie the game. Outfielder Brett Morgan followed up with a double down the left field line to drive in Cepin for the go-ahead run.

The Dons posed a threat in the sixth when Aggie pitcher Dayne Quist loaded the bases with just one out.

Fortunately, relief pitcher David Popkins ended the inning, forcing the first batter to hit into a double play.

UC Davis tacked on another run in the seventh when a Cepin base hit drove Heylman home, accounting for the final 4-2 win.

Closer Tom Briner struck out three of the four batters he faced, earning his second save of the year.

Sunday, Game 1 – San Francisco 6, UC Davis 2

San Francisco took an early lead with two runs in the second, before UC Davis cut the lead in half with a Morgan run in the third.

The Dons rallied for the 4-1 lead heading into the top of the seventh, but the Aggies picked up another run when Johnson scored on a Justin Andrade sacrifice fly.

The home team would seal the 6-2 victory, however, with two runs in the eighth inning.

Aggie Anthony Kupbens threw five full innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and striking out five.

Peters said the lefty was lacking authority on the hill.

“Kupbens didn’t throw horribly,” Peters said. “He just didn’t have great command like he normally does.”

Popkins went 3-for-4 at the plate, while Johnson had a 2-for-4 offensive performance.

Sunday, Game 2 – San Francisco 8, UC Davis 4

According to Peters, when a pitcher gets behind in a count, the batter knows what’s coming – a fastball.

Peters said UC Davis paid for not getting ahead and San Francisco capitalized.

“It was the first time this year that as a whole we didn’t pitch well,” Peters said. “Things fell apart on us there. We lost our command and we got behind in some counts with guys on base.”

In the first inning, the Aggies jumped to a quick 3-0 lead, scoring twice in the first inning and again in the third.

San Francisco remained competitive throughout, however, rallying for six runs in the last two frames alone en route to the 8-4 win.

A solid Dons offense rattled four different Aggie pitchers, who gave up 17 collective hits on the game.

UC Davis returns to action Tuesday at 2 p.m. for a game at Sacramento State before hosting Fresno State in a three-game series beginning Friday.

GRACE SPRAGUE can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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