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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Wasted opportunities

The UC Davis baseball team committed eight errors in three weekend games and couldn’t muster enough offense to overcome the mistakes.

Senior catcher Scott Kalush hit the Aggies’ first home run of the season in the lone win Saturday afternoon.

UC Davis moves to 6-5 overall on the season.

Friday — Creighton 7, UC Davis 6

UC Davis jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after senior Brett Morgan led off the bottom of the first inning with a single, then came around to score on senior Ryan Allgrove’s first of two doubles on the day. Senior David Popkins was hit by a pitch and made his way around to score on sophomore Nick Lynch’s sacrifice fly. Senior Paul Politi scored the final run of the inning on an RBI base hit from sophomore Evan Wolf.

Aggie starter senior Dayne Quist struck out nine in six innings of work, holding the Creighton bats quiet until the fourth inning, when the Bluejays scored on a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch to bring the UC Davis lead to 3-2.

Creighton scored once in the sixth and again in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead, but the Aggies surged for three runs in the bottom half of the seventh to retake the lead at 6-4.

Creighton would not be denied, however, and scored three runs of their own in the top of the eighth inning to take the advantage for good.

Morgan finished 3-for-5 with two runs, while Allgrove, Politi and Wolf added two hits apiece.

Saturday — UC Davis 6, Creighton 3

Senior Scott Kalush was 3-for-4 with two runs and a home run as UC Davis snapped a three-game losing streak.

Politi and freshman Alex Lipson both went 2-for-4 while Morgan, freshman John Williams and junior Austin Logan also registered RBIs for the Aggies.

Senior Anthony Kupbens earned his first win of the year, giving up three runs and striking out four over 7 1/3 innings of work. Junior Chris Levy earned the save after entering in the eighth inning and holding the Bluejays hitless.

Creighton took advantage of some wild pitching from Kupbens and an error from Morgan in centerfield to take a 3-1 lead in the third inning. UC Davis turned the first of three double plays on the afternoon to end the inning.

The Aggies responded in the bottom half of the inning. Kalush and Lipson led of the frame with back-to-back singles. Allgrove bunted to advance both runners, and Politi smashed a two-run double. Popkins was later intentionally walked, and Morgan made up for his error by knocking Popkins in to give the Aggies a 4-3 lead.

Kalush knocked his fourth career home run and first Aggie homer of 2012 over the left field wall in the fourth inning, and UC Davis added one more in the sixth to secure a 6-3 victory.

The Aggies’ leadoff batters reached base in all but two innings of the win.

Sunday — Creighton 4, UC Davis 3

Freshman Kevin Barker led UC Davis offensively, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a double, but the Aggies dropped the series finale to Creighton.

Barker brought home Wolf in the bottom of the second inning to give UC Davis a 1-0 lead. Creighton tied it up in the third and Chance Ross hit a two-run homer in the fifth to give the Bluejays a 3-1 lead.

Barker tied the game up for the Aggies with a double to left field, scoring Morgan and Wolf.

UC Davis starter Tom Briner had to leave the game in the fifth inning after a ball bounced away from Kalush at the plate. As he tried to throw the Bluejay runner out at second base, Briner took the throw right off his chin. Ross hit the homer after Briner was taken out.

In the top of the seventh, the Bluejays put two men on base after a walk and an Aggie error. Creighton freshman Jake Peter singled to put the visitors up for good.

The Aggies threatened in the seventh and ninth innings, but never got a runner past second base as Creighton took the series win.

Although UC Davis kept the series competitive against a very good Creighton squad, coach Matt Vaughn wasn’t pleased with how the Aggies lost the series.

“We don’t gain anything positive out of just playing tough,” Vaughn said. “We don’t play defense and we give them runs. These are games that we easily could’ve been in much better position to win, but gave them away because we can’t play catch. These are mistakes that have to be fixed.”

The schedule doesn’t get any easier, as UC Davis will travel to No. 18 Arizona for a two-game midweek clash with a Pacific-12 Conference school. The first game will be Tuesday at 4 p.m.

RUSSELL EISENMAN can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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