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Friday, April 19, 2024

Aggies take two of three from Big West foe Long Beach State

After a disheartening loss at Stanford on April 8, the UC Davis baseball team could have withered against a middling Long Beach State team at home. Instead, the Aggies rebounded with a resounding series win against Long Beach State from April 11 to 13. UC Davis took two of three over the 49ers in a series marked by both dominant pitching and outstanding hitting.

In the series opener on April 11, the Aggies (16-16, 3-6 Big West) busted out the bats, pounding out a season-high 18 hits en route to a 7-5 victory. Long Beach State (16-18, 3-3), who had beaten the Aggies in four straight meetings, kept the game close, exchanging leads with UC Davis throughout. Eight Aggies recorded hits, and senior Steven Patterson, junior Nick Lynch and senior Spencer Brann had three hits apiece. Junior right-hander Raul Jacobson (3-0) picked up the win, tossing 2.1 innings of hitless relief, and freshman closer Zach Stone picked up his eighth save of the season.

On April 12, the two teams faced off in a Saturday matinee, which happened to coincide with UC Davis’ 100th annual Picnic Day. The extra crowds on campus seemed to make their way to Dobbins Baseball Complex, as the Aggies drew a season-high of 1,511 fans.

The game was a polar opposite from the series opener for the Aggies, as they scratched out only two hits in falling 2-0 to the 49ers. The pitchers duel was initiated by a pair of righty starters — UC Davis junior Spencer Koopmans and his 49ers counterpart, Josh Frye. Koopmans and Frye matched each other with scoreless frames for six innings, before Koopmans was pulled for freshman lefty Orlando Razo. Razo picked up the loss, allowing one run on one hit and two walks in the top of the seventh before he was removed with one out. Frye proved to be too much for the Aggies, scattering just two hits over seven scoreless innings.

In the rubber game on April 13, UC Davis returned to its hitting form, using a monster third inning to beat the 49ers, 8-4. In the third, the Aggies sent 12 hitters to the plate, plating seven runs on seven hits. Senior third baseman Adam Young (hitting .376 on the year) and Lynch led the Aggies with three hits each on the afternoon.

Senior right-hander Evan Wolf (3-3) earned the win, tossing five solid innings and allowing three runs on five hits, striking out two in the process. Jacobson, Razo, Stone and sophomore lefty Spencer Henderson were spectacular in relief, allowing one combined hit over four innings.

Up next for the Aggies is a home game against rival Sacramento State (21-14, 10-2 Big Sky) on April 15, followed by a conference road series against UC Riverside (14-17, 3-3) from April 17 to April 19.

SCOTT DRESSER can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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