The UC Davis baseball team surrendered two Cal State Fullerton comebacks that resulted in one-run losses in the opening of Big West Conference play.
After the sweep, the Aggies fell to 11-16 overall and 0-3 in conference.
On Thursday UC Davis took an early 1-0 lead after stringing together three straight base hits, but CSU Fullerton responded with a run of its own and added another run in the bottom of the third.
Senior starter Dayne Quist struck out seven batters with no walks in 7.1 innings of work to keep CSU Fullerton in check.
Senior David Popkins hit a solo home run in the sixth inning to tie the game at two apiece, and UC Davis rallied in the eighth to take a 4-2 lead.
The Titans showed why they are the No. 14 team in the country, responding with three runs to win 5-4.
Freshman Kevin Barker went 2-for-3 and recorded his first triple of the season on Friday, while Popkins was 2-for-2 with his second home run of the series.
Senior starter Anthony Kupbens struck out five in 8.1 innings of work, but for the second straight game, Cal State Fullerton was able to rally late for the victory.
UC Davis jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, and then in the fifth Barker tripled to center field and Popkins then hit one over the left field wall to give the Aggies a commanding 4-0 lead.
After Kupbens blew a save in the previous game, head coach Matt Vaughn elected to let Kupbens pitch the entire game, to no avail, as once again the Titans rallied, scoring one in the eighth and three in the bottom of the ninth for the 5-4 comeback victory.
There would be no comebacks in the series finale, as CSU Fullerton scored early and often, five times in the first and nine total in the first four innings.
UC Davis recorded nine hits in the game, but they were all singles. The Aggies had runners in scoring position in four different innings but couldn’t cash in on their way to an 11-0 loss.
The game brought an end to a six-game road trip for UC Davis. The Aggies will return to Dobbins Stadium for a matchup with Fresno State on Tuesday, first pitch 2:30 p.m.
— Russell Eisenman