The Aggies’ postseason hopes took a deathblow this weekend.
UC Davis lost its final home series to Cal Poly, dashing any Aggie playoff aspirations.
With the losses, the Aggies fell to 7-11 in Big West Conference play and 22-25 overall. UC Davis now sits sixth in the league, and with just one series remaining, the Aggies are mathematically eliminated from finishing higher than fourth in the conference.
Saturday – Cal Poly 5, UC Davis 2
UC Davis wanted to kick off the series on a high note.
The first game started well, as the Aggies jumped out to a one-run lead in the second inning, but the Mustangs responded over the next two frames by taking the 2-1 advantage.
Cal Poly added two more in the top of the seventh, and the Aggies could only manage a single run in their final opportunity, and fell 5-2.
Senior Bianca Castillo went 1-for-2 with an RBI, while junior Rachel Miller went 2-for-2 with a walk.
Senior Alex Holmes pitched the first 6.1 innings for UC Davis, striking out eight and allowing nine hits. She allowed five runs – only three of which were earned.
The Aggies stranded 10 runners, which head coach Karen Yoder believed was not necessarily a negative statistic.
“We left 10 runners on, but ultimately if you look at it as the glass half full, we had a lot of opportunities,” she said. “We had chances offensively, we just couldn’t capitalize.”
Saturday – UC Davis 9, Cal Poly 1 (6 innings)
The Aggies found Harman-y in game two on Saturday.
Junior Kelly Harman provided the offensive spark for UC Davis, lining a grand slam just inside the leftfield foul pole in the fifth inning. The hit even surprised Harman.
“I definitely thought it was going foul when it came off my bat,” Harman said. “I was just glad it stayed fair.”
Harman’s hit broke open a tight game as UC Davis had just a two-run advantage.
UC Davis scored three runs in the first two innings to take an early 3-1 lead.
“I’m proud of the way the team responded in those first two innings,” Yoder said. “That was key to set the tone for the game.”
The Aggies added two more in the sixth to finish the game with the eight-run rule.
Holmes pitched 4.2 hitless innings, allowing just two walks while recording the win.
Sunday – Cal Poly 6, UC Davis 2
Sunday was a chance for the Aggies to salvage the series and send their seniors off on a high note.
In the end, the victory did not materialize.
The contest was close for the majority of the game as the Aggies trailed by just one run entering the seventh inning.
Things went downhill from there.
Cal Poly’s Rachel Cahn launched a three-run home run to left-centerfield to extend the lead to four. The shot was Cahn’s second long-ball of the weekend.
The Aggies were not able to get on the board in the bottom of the frame, and the series ended with a UC Davis defeat.
Holmes threw the complete game for the Aggies, bringing her weekend total to 18 innings. She allowed just four earned runs in her final outing at La Rue Field.
Fellow senior Jessica Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
As the Aggies dropped the series, Yoder said the rubber match came down to the Aggies leaving seven runners on base.
“Cal Poly is a far better team than their record shows,” Yoder said. “They’re very talented, and this weekend was a battle. We’ve just got to do a better job converting with runners on base.”
TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.