Aggies suffer tough home loss to Long Beach State 49ers

BRIANA NGO / AGGIE

UC Davis baseball team defeated 2-10 last Sunday afternoon in conference play

It was a beautiful day at Phil Swimley Field at Dobbins Stadium last Sunday as the UC Davis baseball team took a loss to the Long Beach State 49ers 2-10, going 0-3 on the weekend conference series. Going into the weekend, the 49ers were 10-2 in conference play and ranked No. 9 in the nation according to the latest Baseball America statistics. UC Davis began the series with a 5-7 conference record.

The weekend series against Long Beach began on Friday, April 28, as the Aggies took a tough 9-14 loss. UC Davis and the 49ers hit a combined seven home runs in the game. Junior right fielder Ryan Hooper, sophomore left fielder Ryan Anderson and senior first baseman Cameron Olson each knocked one over the fence for the Aggies. Even though the home runs cut an early 5-0 deficit for UC Davis, Long Beach earned six runs in the last two innings to claim the victory. Hooper’s home run was the 15th of his career, giving him the most career home runs in the UC Davis’ Division I history. This was also the first three-home-run game for the Aggies since 2015.

On Saturday, freshman designated hitter Alejandro Lara finished 3-for-4 and junior center fielder Alex Aguiar hit his second home run of the season, tying the game in the fifth inning. The 49ers didn’t give up, however, scoring six runs over the last four innings for an eventual 9-4 win, giving the Aggies their second loss of the weekend. Going into the final game of the series on Sunday, UC Davis knew that it had something to prove.

The game started off strong for the Aggies, as an initial walk by Hooper and a sacrifice bunt by senior shortstop Jacob Thomas in the first inning led the way for Anderson to drive in the first run for UC Davis with a single to center field, giving the team a 1-0 lead.

In the second inning, a two-run single for the 49ers shifted the lead in Long Beach’s favor, 2-1. Shortly after, a grand slam for the 49ers extended their lead to 6-1 on the day. After two singles in the third, Anderson made an RBI single for the Aggies to shrink the deficit to four. The 49ers drove in four more — one in the fourth and three in the fifth inning to extend the score to 10-2. From that point, the game remained stagnant and neither team scored a run in the final four innings, finishing with Long Beach taking the victory, 10-2.

BRIANA NGO / AGGIE

“We just need to put all the pieces together,” Hooper said. “We have the tools and it’s been frustrating to see but we just need to be patient, stick to the process and take it game by game.”

Anderson proved an impressive outing, going an overall 2-for-4 and driving in two runs on the day, his fifth multi-RBI game of the season. With an impressive overall weekend, Hooper went 1-for-3 on Sunday and his double in the fifth extended his current hitting streak to nine games, tying the longest hitting streak by an Aggie this year.

“It feels good,” Hooper said. “The biggest thing for me is just trying to help the team win by staying hot and getting hits so we can score more runs, because that’s what it really comes down to in games.”

In order to come back and produce wins in the Big West Conference, the UC Davis baseball team will have to cut down on its mistakes, due to the fact that out of the 10 runs scored by Long Beach, six were unearned.

“The six unearned runs in the second took us out of the game and we never found a way to get back in it after that,” said head coach Matt Vaughn. “In big games we give [the other team] an opening and they took it away from us. We did it in every game this weekend, and we can play better than we are.”

UC Davis is now 5-10 in Big West Conference play, and will travel to Santa Barbara for a three-game away conference series, starting on May 5.

“It’s fixing the mistakes,” Vaughn said. “We have had a lot of games where we have done very well but we have done one thing here or there: we don’t finish offensively or we don’t pitch well at the end of the game. We have to turn that around.”
Written by: Ryan Bugsch — sports@theaggie.org