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Davis, California

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Aggie Digest


Brett Morgan extended his hit streak to five games and David Popkins’ big weekend at the plate helped the UC Davis baseball team rally to take two of three games from Cal State Bakersfield at Hardt Field in Southern California.

UC Davis saw its four-game winning streak snapped on Sunday, but sits at 5-2 overall on the season.

Friday — UC Davis 10, CSU Bakersfield 6 (16 innings)

David Popkins went 6-8 with two runs, two doubles and an RBI, and Evan Wolf’s sacrifice fly brought in the game-winning run in the top of the 16th to give UC Davis a win in the first game of the series.

Cal State Bakersfield took an early 2-0 advantage, scoring a run in the third and fourth innings, but UC Davis rallied in the sixth, scoring three runs on three hits. The Aggies scored again in the seventh when Brett Morgan scored off a double from Popkins.

UC Davis starter Dayne Quist held the Roadrunners hitless after the fourth inning until the eighth. He had retired 13 straight batters before allowing a single with two outs in the eighth, but responded by forcing a groundout to end the inning.

CSU Bakersfield rallied in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game 4-4 and send it to extras. The Aggies and Roadrunners each scored two runs in the 14th inning in this back-and-forth game.

Ryan Allgrove led off the 16th with a single and was replaced by Kevin Barker, who advanced to third on Popkins’ sixth hit of the day and then scored on Wolf’s sacrifice fly. Pinch hitter Spencer Brann ripped an RBI single into right field to give UC Davis a two-run advantage. Brann and Paul Politi both came around to score on Scott Kalush’s base hit to secure a 10-6 lead.

Chris Levy earned the first win of his UC Davis career after entering the game in the 13th inning. Politi went 4-for-7 with a double, two RBIs and two runs while Morgan, Allgrove and Kalush recorded two hits apiece.

Saturday — UC Davis 6, CSU Bakersfield 5

UC Davis rallied to score five runs in the top of the ninth inning, and then held off the Roadrunners’ own rally in the bottom half of the frame to claim a 6-5 win.

Popkins led the Aggies at the plate again, going 3-for-4 with a double,  an RBI and a run scored. He was the only UC Davis batter to record multiple hits in the game. Aggie starter Anthony Kupbens gave up three runs on eight hits while striking out four in six full innings of work.

Trailing 3-1 entering the ninth inning, Popkins started the UC Davis rally with a double, then came around to score after Politi’s single to right field.

With two outs and runners on first and second, freshman John Williams singled up the middle to score fellow freshman Evan Heptig (who entered as a pinch runner) to tie up the game. Scott Kalush put the Aggies ahead when he reached on Roadrunner shortstop Tyler Shryock’s, scoring Nick Lynch and putting runners on second and third. The Aggies added one more run on another CSU Bakersfield error to take a 6-3 lead.

The Roadrunners would not go down quietly, staging a rally of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Spencer Koopmans entered the game and walked the first two batters he faced. Both runners scored when shortstop Adam Young’s throw got away from Evan Young at first base. Koopmans retired the potential game-winning run as UC Davis held on for the 6-5 victory.

Sunday — CSU Bakersfield 7, UC Davis 4

Brett Morgan went 2-4 and freshman Kevin Barker was 3-4 with a double and an RBI, but CSU Bakersfield snapped the UC Davis baseball team’s four-game winning streak in the series finale.

Roadrunner starter Taylor Aikenhead threw his second consecutive complete game, giving up nine hits and only two earned runs. Aggie starter Tom Briner allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out four in six innings.

UC Davis struck first when Politi knocked in Morgan in the first inning to give the Aggies an early 1-0 lead. Cael Brockmeyer responded with a two-run homer in the bottom half of the inning for CSU Bakersfield.

Barker tied the game after his double to left brought home Politi in the fourth inning. Popkins’ sacrifice fly in the fifth brought home Morgan and gave UC Davis a 3-2 lead.

The Roadrunners took back the lead with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, starting the inning with three straight singles. Stuart Smith hit the Roadrunners’ second home run in the bottom of the eighth to give CSU Bakersfield a lead of 7-3. UC Davis tacked on another run in the ninth when Mike Mazazara, in his UC Davis debut, hit a sacrifice fly into left center to bring home Lynch.

The Aggies close out their road trip with a trip to Stanford on Tuesday, first pitch set for 5:30 p.m.

— Russell Eisenman


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