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Friday, December 3, 2021

Aggies swept by Creighton in heartbreaking fashion

KAILA MATTERA / AGGIE

Early season tumble for UC Davis baseball continues with fifth straight defeat

The UC Davis baseball team fell to Creighton in eleven innings by a final score of 10-7 on Sunday afternoon at Phil Swimley Field, completing a three-game sweep for the visitors. The Aggies have now lost five consecutive games after opening the season with a pair of victories last week.

The Aggies fell behind in all three contests over the weekend, and their late-inning comeback rallies came up short on each occasion.

On Sunday afternoon, UC Davis found itself in a 7-5 hole with six outs left to play. The Aggies made it a one-run game in the bottom of the eighth when redshirt sophomore catcher Logan Denholm came off the bench and beat out an infield single to drive in sophomore first baseman Alejandro Lara.

After back-to-back walks with one out in the bottom of the ninth, junior second baseman Caleb Van Blake lined an RBI single to right field to tie the game at 7-7. However, UC Davis was unable to further capitalize on the opportunity, stranding the potential winning run on third base with a strikeout and a ground out.

Creighton exploded for three runs in the top of the eleventh inning to grab a 10-7 lead, highlighted by a two-run double down the left field line. The Aggies were retired in order in the bottom half of the inning to end the game.

After conceding a pair of unearned runs to open the ballgame, due to an error on the infield, the Aggies erupted for a five-run rally in the bottom of the first. Redshirt junior designated hitter Ryan Anderson smacked an RBI single up the middle and senior shortstop Brad Pluschkell scored on a balk during the next at-bat. Then, Van Blake crushed a long three-run home run over the right field wall to give UC Davis its first and only lead of the day.

Overall, UC Davis had a hard time creating any momentum early in the game, giving up runs in each of the first four innings. The team also struggled to take advantage of some prime offensive opportunities throughout the afternoon, stranding a pair of runners in scoring position on two separate occasions.

One of the bright spots for the Aggies in the series was the play by Pluschkell, last week’s Big West Conference Player of the Week. Pluschkell continued his offensive hot streak, going 8-16 at the plate and scoring a run in each game. Primarily in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, he currently leads the team with a .563 batting average and 18 hits.

Friday afternoon’s series opener saw UC Davis lose by a final score of 6-3. Trailing 4-1 for most of the game, the Aggies battled back to make it a one-run affair with two runs in the seventh inning. Anderson ripped a home run over the left field wall, his first of the season, to get the scoring started.

The Aggies were not able to push across the tying run in a scoreless eighth, leaving two runners on base, before Creighton regained all the momentum with a two-run ninth inning to make it 6-3.

On Saturday, UC Davis played from behind for the entirety of the afternoon and faced a tough 6-1 deficit after just four innings.

The Aggies managed to come within two runs entering the ninth inning, taking advantage of a Creighton error and scoring three times to make it 6-4. Once again, the visitors added a run in the top of the ninth inning to halt the momentum and UC Davis went down quietly in its final at-bat to end the ballgame.

The Aggies’ eight-game homestand continues this weekend with a three-game set against St. John’s and culminates with a game versus St. Mary’s on Monday afternoon.

 

 

Written by: Brendan Ogburn — sports@theaggie.org

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