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Davis

Davis, California

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Aggies hounded by Bulldogs

It’s tough to beat a top-30 team that’s as aggressive as a Bulldog at the plate.

Despite an eye-opening loss in game one of the weekend series against
Fresno State, UC Davis competed in game two. In spite of the two losses,
coach Rex Peters attributed the near turnaround to the nature of the
sport.

“One game can look bad if it gets away from you early,
and the next day is totally different,” Peters said. “That’s the beauty
of baseball.”

Game three was cancelled due to a rainy Sunday.

Without that third match, Peters isn’t quite sold on the weekend results.

“I would have liked to play three games,” Peters said. “We would have a better idea of where we stand.”

A make-up game for the Aggies and Bulldogs has not been scheduled.

With the two losses, UC Davis dropped to a 2-8 overall record, while Fresno State improved to 8-1 on the year.

Friday – No. 21 Fresno State 12, UC Davis 4

The Bulldogs were unstoppable at the plate and on the mound in Friday’s series-opener.

Although UC Davis pitcher Dayne Quist had eight strikeouts in five innings, he also surrendered 11 hits.

“Fresno State came into the game with a really good game plan,” Peters
said. “They executed it well, and they made [Quist] pitch. On Friday,
we just got beat in all phases of the game.”

By the end of the
fifth, the Bulldogs had a 9-3 advantage. Aggie reliever Joe Biagini gave
up two more runs in the top of the eighth before Scott Walker took
over.

Biagini would have another run added to his total as Garrett Weber of Fresno State scored on a past ball.

That would stand out as Walker’s lone mistake as he pitched a hitless ninth inning.

Junior Scott Lyman led the Aggies at the dish with two hits and two RBI.

Saturday – Fresno State 3, UC Davis 1

In game two of the weekend series, things looked up for the Aggies in many ways.

In particular, pitcher Anthony Kupbens had a solid complete-game effort on the hill.

Kupbens faced just six batters over the minimum, giving up just three
earned runs on five hits. Additionally, the lefty surrendered just one
walk.

“Kupbens threw a ton of strikes and kept them off
balance,” Peters said. “[The Bulldogs] are a pretty aggressive team at
the plate, and if you execute pitches you can get them to chase, and he
did that. He pitched well enough to win, but we couldn’t score enough
runs to get him the victory.”

Designated hitter David Popkins led
UC Davis at the plate, going 2-for-4, including a first-inning homer
that sailed over the left field wall.

Unfortunately for the Aggies, the Bulldogs rebounded with two doubles in the second inning for the go-ahead run.

Fresno State solidified the lead in the fifth inning with an RBI base hit from designated hitter Chris Mallory.

UC Davis came as close to a base hit away from tying the game in the
bottom of the ninth. That’s when Scott Kalush was called to pinch-hit
for catcher Alex Dreyfuss.

But with the bases loaded and two outs, Kalush grounded out to second to end the game.

According to Peters, it’s offense that the Aggies will need to pick up if they want to get back into the win column.

“It’s early in the year, so you have to stay positive, as frustrated as
we are. The one glaring weakness is our offense. We have to figure out
ways to get on base, get some timely hits and score runs.”

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

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