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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

UC Davis drops two in inter-conference play

The Aggies wanted to prove they can compete.

“It’s always fun to play against the good teams,” said Friday starter Scott Lyman. “A big thing for us is we wanted to show that we can play with the best of them.”

Though UC Davis was competitive in both games against Cal State Bakersfield this weekend, the Roadrunners took advantage of momentum.

Sunday’s game was postponed due to a tragic accident late Saturday involving former Aggie baseball player Scott Heinig. No make up date has been set.

Friday – Cal State Bakersfield 6, UC Davis 3

Had it not been for a Roadrunner four-run sixth, the Aggies may have taken a victory in game one.

“In [baseball], one good or bad inning can make a difference,” said coach Rex Peters. “That kind of put us behind the eight ball. [Cal State Bakersfield] is a good club; they compete, and just one bad inning cost us.”

UC Davis jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth with two runs on four singles.

Lyman recorded six strikeouts through six innings on the mound, surrendering just one run before Cal State Bakersfield came alive at the plate in the sixth.

The rally was enough to take the wind out of the Aggies’ sails, as the Roadrunners took a 5-3 lead.

“[Lyman] had pretty good command of two pitches – the fastball and the changeup,” Peters said. “He just made one bad pitch to a pretty good hitter on a changeup with two strikes.”

Lyman said fatigue struck him on the mound.

“I pitched well for the first five innings, and my pitch count got up around 90,” Lyman said. “I started to get a little bit tired, and I was leaving pitches over the middle of the plate. [Cal State Bakersfield] just started to hit the ball.”

Meanwhile, a strong Cal State Bakersfield pitching staff led by starter Mike McCarthy did what it had to do.

According to Peters, the Aggies anticipated this sort of a showing.

“Traditionally [the Roadrunners’] starters work very late into games,” Peters said. “It’s not uncommon for their pitchers to throw 120-140 pitches, so we expected him to be around late in the game. To his credit, once his team gave him the lead, he buckled down and was pretty tough from there on out.”

McCarthy threw eight innings, striking out five and allowing just three earned runs.

Saturday – Cal State Bakersfield 6, UC Davis 2

The Aggies knew they would have to match the Roadrunner intensity that they saw on Friday.

“We knew they’re a pretty good club and they’re gritty,” Peters said.

Unfortunately for UC Davis, another big Cal State Bakersfield inning would be more than enough to take the game.

This time it was the Aggies striking first, plating two in the bottom of the first. After the Roadrunners tied it up in the fourth, UC Davis held Cal State Bakersfield scoreless until the eighth – a four-run rally accounted for the 6-2 win.

This afternoon, the Aggies will take the field in Berkeley, Calif. to face the rival Golden Bears. First pitch will be at 2:30 p.m.

With a rivalry burning since the beginning of UC Davis baseball, a game at California is huge.

“Obviously California is a big game for us – they’re our rivals,” Peters said.

With the recent recovery of the Cal baseball program due to convincing community fundraising, Peters hopes to see this rivalry continue.

“For Cal to not have baseball would be a shame for college baseball,” Peters said. “I’m glad to hear that Cal is going to be playing baseball in the future, and I hope that continues.”

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


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