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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Rainy days continue for Aggie baseball

A week of games for Aggie baseball was characterized by inconsistency at the plate and a whole lot of rain.

UC Davis took its 2-9 record into the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament, which featured contests against Utah, Milwaukee, San Jose State and Santa Clara.

Following a tough go in tournament play, the Aggies traveled to Palo Alto to take on the No. 12 Stanford Cardinal.

Overall, coach Rex Peters said his team is in a state of discontent as they look to tweak the lineup for future success.

“We had a couple games where we scored some runs,” said Peters. “We couldn’t pitch the ball well enough to win. We did that against Santa Clara and San Jose. We just couldn’t find a win. If its not one thing its another – it’s frustrating right now.”

UC Davis went 1-4 over spring break and is 3-13 on the year.

Thursday, March 10 – Utah 6, UC Davis 4

Though Utah jumped ahead on a two-run home run in the first inning, UC Davis’ Paul Politi crossed the plate in the bottom of the second for the 2-1 score.

After a Utes run in the third and three scoreless innings, the Aggies came alive for an Eric Johnson two-run homer to tie the game at 3-3.

That momentum was short lived as Utah scored twice in the following half-inning.

Each team would score once more for the final 6-4 tally, accounting for the Aggies’ seventh straight loss.

Aggie starting pitcher Dayne Quist threw seven innings, giving up four runs on four hits and striking out three. Quist was replaced by Ryan Lucas, who was given the loss.

Friday, March 11 – UC Davis 3, Milwaukee 1

Peters said that in this win over Milwaukee, the guys on the mound made all the difference in the world.

“We had a very well pitched game out of Anthony Kupbens,” Peters said. “He was dominant on the mound. He only gave up one run and he pitched very well.”

Kupbens allowed just one unearned run on four hits and struck out seven, while the Aggies snapped their losing streak with a 3-1 victory.

Five different Aggies contributed to their nine hits, including Brett Morgan, Scott Heylman, Eric Johnson, Scott Kalush and Seth Batty.

Additionally, UC Davis held Milwaukee to just six, and Kupbens walked only one batter in his seven and two-thirds innings.

Relief pitcher Tom Briner entered the game in the eighth and continued Kupbens’ success on the mound, holding Milwaukee hitless to preserve the 3-1 win.

Monday, March 21 – No. 12 Stanford 3, UC Davis 2

After over a week without games, the Aggies fell into a 3-0 hole to the high-ranking Cardinal by the fourth inning.

UC Davis brought the score within one; however, as Daniel Cepin singled to center field to bring home Heylman and Kalush in the fifth.

Peters said it’s no shock that his team held up against such a high-caliber team.

“We played well enough to win that game,” Peters said. “We usually go over there and play Stanford pretty tough, so I’m not surprised that it was a competitive game.”

With two outs in the ninth, Heylman doubled down the right field line, but pinch hitter Seth Batty struck out as Stanford claimed the narrow victory.

Peters attributes the loss to the Aggies’ inability to capitalize at the plate.

“The frustrating thing is the lack of consistent offense,” Peters said. “That’s our biggest weakness. I think we pitched well enough and played defense well enough. We haven’t put enough runs on the board consistently to win games. We’re getting enough hits, but it always seems like we’re one quality at bat away.”

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

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