UC Davis baseball struggles against visiting Rainbow Warriors
The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors came to UC Davis from April 8 to 10 to play a three game weekend series against the Ags.
The baseball series began on Friday in a close contest that headed into extra innings.
The Aggies jumped into a quick lead, scoring five runs in the first two innings. Redshirt freshman pitcher Robert Garcia got the start on the mound and allowed only three runs over six innings of work.
By the time Garcia came out of the game, the Aggies still had a 5-3 lead, but Hawai’i found a way to keep chipping into it. While the Ags looked good offensively in the first two innings, the team was mostly dormant at the plate thereafter.
The Rainbow Warriors were able to string four hits together and put two runs on the board in the top of the eighth against Aggies’ redshirt sophomore pitcher Blake Peters. Tied at five, the Ags held their ground during the eighth and ninth innings.
The game headed into extra innings and Hawai’i made sure that it would not go on too much longer. Peters stayed in relief and only allowed one hit in the inning, but an error on a pick off attempt and a passed ball allowed a Hawai’i base runner to advance to third with just one out. Hawai’i hit a sacrifice fly with their runner on third to take the lead and put the go ahead run across the plate.
The Ags looked to make a comeback but went down one, two, three to lose the first game of the series, 6-5.
On Saturday, the Aggies looked for some revenge, but due to rainy weather the game was delayed and a doubleheader was set for Sunday.
In Sunday’s first game, junior pitcher Justin Mullins got the start and pitched terrific in seven innings. Mullins gave up two runs, both in the third inning. Mullins played it conservative and only allowed singles in the inning, but Hawai’i was able to push two runs across the plate.
Unfortunately, Mullins would take the loss in the game as his Hawai’i counterpart, senior pitcher Kyle Von Ruden, pitched even better. Von Ruden got the Aggies to put the ball on the ground all game long and threw a complete game shutout. Von Ruden took the punch out of the Aggies offense, allowing just three hits.
Hawai’i put across two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth to win the game 5-0 and defeat UC Davis once again.
In the second game of the day, the Aggies hoped to put a little more life into their offense, but fell short. Senior Nat Hamby took the mound and pitched well in the first two innings.
However, the third inning is where things collapsed as Hamby gave up four runs on four hits to the Rainbow Warriors.
Hawai’i got another great start out of their pitcher, this time from senior Alex Hatch. Hatch shut down the Aggies through five innings with ease, but the Ags were able to get a little bit of offense going in the bottom of the sixth.
The Aggies had runners on second and third with one out and junior left fielder Mark Cardinalli stepped to the plate. Cardinalli hit a shallow fly ball to right field that looked like it was going to drop and get at least one run across the board, but the Hawai’i second baseman made an excellent over the shoulder, arm all the way extended catch to prevent a hit and any runs.
The Ags would score one run on a tough fielding error by the shortstop, but they could not score anymore. The inning seemed to be promising, but the Ags could not capitalize, down 4-1 through six innings.
The inability to score any more runs hurt the Ags’ chances of winning as the Rainbow Warriors scored three more in the top of the seventh inning, advancing to 7-1. UC Davis did not have much of a chance to win after that, but they managed to string together a couple of hits for a run in the bottom of the ninth.
The final score of the series finale was 7-2, as the Aggies lost all three games of the series.
Senior outfielder Tanner Bily had a good game on Friday as he went two for four with an RBI and scored two runs. Bily reached base in 15 consecutive games with Friday’s performance, but his streak was snapped after going 0 for 4 in Sunday’s first game.
Junior infielder Jacob Thomas had the most RBIs for the Aggies in the series with two in Friday’s game. Other than Friday, the UC Davis offense was fairly quiet.
The Aggies’ pitching staff had a good weekend, but their relievers had a bit of a tough time keeping runs off the board.
The Aggies are now 8-18 overall and 1-5 in conference play. The team will go on the road to Cal State Fullerton to take on the Titans this Friday at 7 p.m.
Written by Michael Martinez – firstname.lastname@example.org