After a solid victory over Santa Clara on Wednesday, UC Davis baseball faced No. 9 Cal State Fullerton in what would be a rough three-game series.
The Titan offense outscored the Aggies 25-2, which led coach Rex Peters to give credit where he believed credit was due.
“Cal State Fullerton is an outstanding team,” Peters said. “And we knew that [series] wasn’t going to be easy.”
The difference between a Santa Clara win and Fullerton defeats, therefore, was simply confidence.
“We scored first and got a lead early [against the Broncos],” Peters said. “That gave us some confidence. We haven’t done that very often this year. This team doesn’t respond to adversity very well – when we get behind we haven’t been able to overcome that.”
With an additional loss to Nevada on Monday, UC Davis sits at 5-18 overall and 0-3 in Big West Conference play.
Friday – Cal State Fullerton 14, UC Davis 0
Game one of the home series against Fullerton would be defined by a lack of Aggie presence at the plate.
In fact, seniors Justin Andrade and Alex Dreyfuss recorded the only two UC Davis hits all game.
Meanwhile, the Titans racked up a total of 16, taking a lead in the first and not looking back.
According to Peters, Cal State Fullerton’s pitching was nothing short of impressive.
“You have to give credit to their pitcher,” Peters said. “[Jake] Floethe was good on the mound. He threw a good fastball and a slider, which kept us off balance, making it difficult to make solid contact. He pitched an outstanding game and we didn’t make the adjustments at the plate.”
Saturday – Cal State Fullerton 7, UC Davis 0
When a starting pitcher reaches the late innings and his pitch count gets high, a coach has to consider leaving him in or taking him out.
On Saturday, Anthony Kupbens threw for eight innings on 110 pitches, surrendering just one run on six hits.
“[Kupbens] gave us a tremendous effort and gave us a chance to win,” Peters said. “Unfortunately we didn’t score runs. When a pitcher gets into late innings, you have to take into consideration pitch count. You have to look at long-term health. “
The Titans powered through two more Aggie pitchers in the ninth to run away with the 7-0 win.
The UC Davis bats were once again unable to take advantage of runners in scoring position despite nine hits.
Sunday – Cal State Fullerton 4, UC Davis 2
UC Davis came ready to play in the final game of the series.
Despite an early 1-0 Titan advantage, starting pitcher Dayne Quist had a competitive outing for seven innings, keeping it a one-run game.
“We had a great start out of Dayne, and he threw well to give us a chance to win,” Peters said. “We couldn’t get a hit to break the game open and get a lead, but he pitched very well.”
A Brett Morgan ground ball to first allowed Daniel Cepin to score in the third, tying the game at one run apiece.
UC Davis pulled ahead in the fifth on a solo shot by Scott Heylman, and held Cal State Fullerton scoreless until the seventh.
The Aggies relinquished their lead late in the game when Cal State Fullerton added three runs to snag the 4-2 win.
After the sweep, Peters and the Aggies are dissatisfied.
“It’s more frustration than anything,” Peters said. “We feel like we’re better than our record, but it is what it is. We haven’t gotten things done when we need to. We struggle hitting when guys are on base. We don’t come through in key situations.”
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