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Davis, California

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Highlanders hand Aggies three-game sweep

After taking two of three against a decent Long Beach State team a week prior, the UC Davis baseball team lost all its momentum in Riverside over the weekend, getting swept by UC Riverside from April 17 to April 19.

The Aggies fell to 16-20 (3-9 Big West) on the year, while UCR improved 17-18 (6-3). UC Davis now resides in the Big West cellar, tied for last in the conference with Hawai’i.

In the series opener on April 17, the teams combined for 21 runs and 32 hits, but the Aggies fell just short, losing 12-9. Junior center fielder Kevin Barker was the star of this one for UC Davis, as he collected five hits and scored two runs in the losing effort. Senior Harry Stanwyck (2-5) started on the mound for the Aggies, but the lanky right-hander was shelled early, allowing seven earned runs on five hits and four walks in an inning and two-third.

The Aggie bats came to life in the top of the sixth. In the inning, UC Davis sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs and cutting the deficit to two, 10-8. However, the runs weren’t enough, as UCR plated runs in the seventh and eighth to put the game out of reach.

On April 18, the Aggies once again mounted a late-inning comeback, but, once again, the runs were too little too late. Barker kept his hot streak alive, going two for five on the afternoon, and sophomore Tanner Bily made the most of his fifth start of the season in right field, going two for two and drawing two walks.

Trailing 7-1 after the sixth, UC Davis made it interesting, scoring three in sixth and two in the eighth. However, junior Spencer Koopmans was hit hard, and the deficit proved to be too much to overcome. The righty surrendered five runs in four and two-thirds innings, allowing nine baserunners (eight hits and a walk) in picking up his first loss of the year. His record moved to 3-1.

In the series finale, UC Davis lost narrowly again, falling 4-2 in this one. Bily led the Aggies with two hits. Having just three hits on eight at bats entering the series, Bily more than tripled his hit total over the weekend, going seven for 11 and notching four RBI. He and Barker both knocked in runs in the second inning to put the Aggies up 2-0.

Freshman reliever Orlando Razo (1-4) picked up the loss for the Aggies, blowing senior Evan Wolf’s stellar performance by giving up three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Wolf tossed five four-hit innings, striking out three and allowing just a run.

Up next, the Aggies host a non-conference game against Saint Mary’s (13-25) on April 22 before staying at home to take on second-place UC Irvine (25-14, 8-1 Big West) in a three-game series from April 25 to April 27.

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


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