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Davis

Davis, California

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Aggies clinch series with victory over Matadors

JAY GELVEZON / AGGIE

UC Davis baseball team beats CSU Northridge 7-5

The UC Davis baseball team won the weekend’s Big West Conference series over Cal State Northridge with a score of 7-5 in the finale. After a 8-2 win on March 31 and a 4-2 loss on April 1, the Aggies needed a win to secure the series.

“I thought that the first game we played really well,” senior catcher Ignacio Diaz said. “Yesterday we only had four hits, the pitcher kept us a little off balance, but we stayed hopeful and optimistic.”

Redshirt junior pinch hitter Guillermo Salazar echoed his teammate’s sentiments.

“We knew we needed to win today, obviously,” Salazar said. “We lost yesterday in a tight one, but we kept the confidence that we were the better team the entire time, so that’s what really helped today.”

Senior pitcher Justin Mullins started the game on the mound with Diaz behind the plate. Going into the bottom half of the first inning, senior shortstop Jacob Thomas scored on a pass ball. The inning ended with the Aggies leading by one.

Mullins stayed on the mound for seven innings, only allowing three runs on five hits with five strikeouts.

“[I felt] good, prepared, just been working all week to get ready,” Mullins said. “But [my] body felt good and I was just ready to help my team win the series.”

After a scoreless top half, leadoff batter Diaz increased the Aggies’ lead with a home run.

Uneventful third, fourth and fifth innings set the stage for an exciting sixth. The Matadors scored three runs on two hits, and the Aggies responded with two runs, with Diaz batting in sophomore designated hitter Caleb Van Blake and sophomore left fielder Ryan Anderson.

The Matadors tied the score and took the lead during the seventh and eighth, with one run in each. The eighth inning saw two UC Davis pitching changes, with junior Connor Loar and sophomore Chris Brown both stepping up to the mound.

JAY GELVEZON / AGGIE

The Aggies rallied in the bottom of the eighth. Redshirt junior center fielder Alex Aguiar batted in Anderson for the tying run, bringing the score to five to five, and Salazar’s pinch-hit base hit for sophomore second baseman Cameron Briggs scored the winning two runs. Both Diaz and Aguiar scored, lifting the tally to 7-5.

The Aggies kept a defensive edge during the top of the ninth and secured the win.

“That was a fun game,” Diaz said “We started off early, then it kind of settled down a little and they started scoring and we then we kind of just fed off of that.”

Head coach Matt Vaughn weighed in with a similar sentiment about the series finale win.

“This was a really, really good win,” Vaughn said. “I mean, they’re all good, but the way that we lost yesterday at the end of the game, to come out today and kind of have the same scenario playing out in the seventh inning, to come back, it makes this one a little bigger than others.”

The UC Davis baseball team now heads to another three-game series down south against defending conference champions Cal State Fullerton on Friday, April 7.

“We’ve been very good offensively in games,” Vaughn said. “We had a lot more quality at-bats today, so we’re going to practice tomorrow. We’re going to try to stay on it and try to put two straight games together of good offense.”
Written by: Liz Jacobson — sports@theaggie.org

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