Grab your brooms, UC Davis baseball sweep Pacific
This past weekend, the UC Davis baseball team took on the University of Pacific Tigers in an unusual weekend series in which Friday’s and Sunday’s games were played at home and Saturday’s game was on the road.
Friday’s game started at 2:30 p.m. at home and redshirt freshman pitcher Robert Garcia took the mound. Garcia had a good performance, pitching six innings and giving up four earned runs on eight hits.
The Ags’ offense came alive in the first game of the series and set the tone for the weekend. The team struck first with a run in the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the third, the Aggies added four more runs on five hits to lead 5-0 after three innings.
Pacific tried to make a comeback in the middle of the ball game, tagging Garcia for three runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.
The Aggies were able to have a big inning in the bottom of the seventh with another four run inning. After seven innings, the home team led 9-4, which would be the final score.
Designated hitter Cameron Olson knocked in three RBIs on two hits, including a double which brought home two runs. Senior outfielder Tanner Bily had a nice game at the plate as well, going 3-for-4 and driving in two runs of his own. And Garcia picked up his third win of the season.
“Garcia’s done a great job on Fridays [game],” said head coach Matt Vaughn.
UC Davis and Pacific faced off again on Saturday, but the game took place in Stockton.
The Aggies had senior left hander Spencer Henderson who pitched well, although the Tigers were able to get to him early, scoring two runs in the first two innings, one in each inning.
The team scored their first run in the top of the fourth, and Pacific answered right back. With a score of 4-1, the Aggies’ offense showed back up to score two runs in the top of the fifth.
Down by one, Henderson did a nice job of quieting the Tigers as he was able to go seven and two-thirds innings and struck out seven batters. Henderson gave up eight hits, two of which were home runs.
The top of the seventh pushed the Aggies ahead of Pacific with two runs on three hits. Pacific committed four errors in the game and a couple of those defense mishaps gave the Aggies an advantage.
Henderson could not get through the eighth inning, but junior pitcher Justin Mullins came in to close the door. Mullins finished the game and was perfect in the 1.1 innings he pitched. Mullins struck out three batters and gave up no hits for his first season on the year. Henderson grabbed his first win on the season.
“We have gotten Henderson back in the two spot and that’s created some confidence in the team,” Vaughn said. “[We can say], ‘Hey, we’re going to have three strong efforts every weekend on the mound.’”
Olson was once again an offensive highlight with three hits in four at bats. Olson was a double shy of the cycle, hitting a triple and a home run while driving in five runs.
“I would say I’m swinging at better pitches. I’m getting some good pitches to hit, I’m putting some good swings on it,” Olson said. “I’m just feeling pretty good right now.”
Bily also played a good game with two hits in five at bats and scoring two of the team’s runs.
The Aggies won 7-4 and clinched their first series win on the season.
On Sunday, the teams headed back to Dobbins Stadium where the Aggies could have gotten complacent with their series victory.
The Ags continued their offensive excellence after senior Nat Hamby allowed a run in the first inning. The home team struck back with three runs of their own to go up 3-1 after just one inning of play.
Freshman catcher Logan Denholm was huge in the inning with a triple that knocked in two runs.
Denholm had a big game at the plate and did a tremendous job behind it. The Aggies added a run in both the third and fourth innings.
Hamby gave up three runs in five and two thirds innings as Pacific tried to make its way back in the ball game. The Tigers put up two runs in the top of the sixth to cut the lead down, 5-3.
The Ags answered right back as freshman outfielder Alex Roeser hit a two out bases loaded double that cleared the bases. Roeser made up for a baserunning mistake he committed in the prior inning to go up 8-3.
“I think one of the big things today is, Roeser makes a huge base running mistake not keeping his head up. And to be honest with you, I’ve never seen that before. 24 years of playing the game [and I’ve never seen that],” Vaughn said. “He took a big slide into third with another guy standing there. But then he comes up later in the game and he gets the hit that for us separates the game.”
After that, the Aggies seemed to have the game all but wrapped up. UC Davis added another run in the seventh to lead 9-3. Pacific added two runs in the top of the ninth after a two run homer.
Freshman pitcher Chris Brown got the save after throwing three and a third innings and striking out three. Brown pitched well, and the only hit he gave up in his outing was the homer.
UC Davis won 9-5, Hamby picked up win number two on the year and the Aggies continued to swing the bats very well. The team finished with 17 hits, just two short of their season high from their meeting with UC Riverside on April 3. The team hit in double digits for the fifteenth time this season.
“Our thing has been to come out and play hard every day and expect to win every day,” Vaughn said. “Hopefully this gives them a little confidence going into the rest of the year.”
Denholm was a home run short of the cycle, three hits for three RBIs. Roeser finished with two hits for three RBIs in the team’s hit parade.
“My swing wasn’t feeling great going into the game and we made a little tweak during bp [batting practice],” Denholm said. “It’s great to have the opportunity [to play as a freshman].”
Olson continued to swing the bat well after a monster weekend and is now hitting .326 on the season with a team high 22 RBIs. The team played Sunday’s game without junior outfielder Mark Cardinalli with a bruised foot sustained in Saturday’s game.
“We’re just grinding it out. It’s been kind of a tough season but the one thing about this team is we never quit,” Olson said. “We show up every day expecting to win. It’s finally starting to pay off for us. Balls are starting to drop, we’re putting good swings on [the ball], pitching is doing great. I think it’s going to be like this the rest of the season.”
The Aggies faced off against rival Sacramento State on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at Dobbins Stadium, where they defeated the Hornets 8-2. The team hopes for some more great pitching as they enter the next series on May 6 against UC Santa Barbara.
Written by Michael Martinez — firstname.lastname@example.org