After a beat-down of San Jose State on Tuesday, the Aggies dropped two straight games to Utah on Friday and Saturday.
UC Davis only needed eight innings to put up a season-high 22 runs on 23 hits Tuesday against the Spartans.
However, its pitching struggled in the late innings to secure wins against Utah.
The Aggies hold a record of 4-3 after Saturday’s game without having played any of their games against other teams in their conference.
Tuesday — UC Davis 22, San Jose State 4
UC Davis won the single game in a blowout victory against the Spartans, with a clicking offense that did not let up throughout the game. Sophomore Nick Lynch was impressive, hitting 3-3 from the plate with one run batted in and two runs.
Sophomore John Williams led the team with four hits and four RBI. He recorded three of the four extra-base hits the team had. He hit a two-RBI triple in the fifth.
The game was capped off by a nine-run seventh inning, in which constant pressure was applied on the Spartans. The Aggies tallied up nine hits, all singles, in the inning and two batters were hit by pitches that led to the high-scoring frame. The team’s small-ball mentality was in full effect, as 19 of the 23 hits the Aggies had were singles.
Freshman Zach Williams started the game and pitched 3 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs, two earned, and allowed six hits. Then, sophomore Robert Parucha came in from the bullpen and tossed 2 1/3 innings, allowing one run, to record the win for the Aggies.
Friday — UC Davis 8, Utah 11
After taking the lead late in the seventh, UC Davis surrendered five runs in the last two innings as Utah came back to win it.
The bottom of the seventh inning was capped off by a two-run triple by sophomore Kevin Barker.
However, Utah answered with one run in the next inning and four in the ninth to take control of the game. This game was the first of two in which the Aggies’ bullpen allowed late runs to either give up a lead or tie.
Junior Harry Stanwick started the game for UC Davis and pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up six runs, four earned. He also walked two and struck out six batters.
Barker had a good game, going 3-5 from the plate, driving in three runs and scoring a run.
Saturday — UC Davis 3, Utah 7
This game was a battle of starting pitchers. Sophomore Spencer Koopmans and Utah’s Tanner Banks both threw seven innings and allowed two runs. The bullpens turned out to be the deciding factor.
With the game tied up at two heading into the eighth inning, Utah went on a power surge. With one out and a man on second, TJ Bennett crushed an opposite-field home run that easily cleared the left-field wall that gave the Utes the lead.
In the bottom half of the eighth, the Aggies answered by scoring a run, but could have scored more. With the bases loaded and two away, Utes catcher AJ Young allowed a passed ball that plated a run and moved the runners to second and third. With the Aggies threatening to take the lead with a hit, pitcher Case Rezac got junior Spencer Brann to ground out to second to kill the rally.
In the ninth inning, the identical situation replayed for the Utes as AJ Young pulled a ball that cleared the left-field wall with a runner on second and one out. Then, the very next batter, Cory Hunt, hit the ball down the left-field line that barely stayed fair for the third homer by the Utes.
After the tough loss, Coach Matt Vaughn would have liked to see more from his team.
“We just have to play better baseball going forward. We’re right in that game,” he said. “If we do some execution things earlier in that game, we’re in a much better position, but bottom line is we didn’t pitch well enough out of the bullpen to win that game.”
LUKE BAE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.