Photo Credits: QUINN SPOONER / AGGIE FILE
UC Davis baseball loses 6-5 in final game of Picnic Day weekend series
In the final of the three game series on Picnic Day weekend at home, the UC Davis Aggies were defeated by the Cal Poly Mustangs 6-5.
The weekend series began on Friday, when the Aggies suffered a 5-1 opening series loss to the Mustangs. Cal Poly led the entire game, putting two runs on the board in the first, and solidifying its lead with three runs in the fourth. Sophomore pitcher Brett Erwin started on the mound for UC Davis and was charged with all five earned runs to move his ERA to 2.79 on the year.
On Picnic Day, UC Davis took an early two run lead, which shrunk to one by the fourth inning. The Mustangs put on the pressure then, scoring three in the top of the fifth, and another three in the next two innings, giving the Aggies an 8-5 loss. UC Davis looked to use this final series game to prevent the sweep from the Mustangs and keep its record in good standing.
On Sunday, senior left hander Chris Brown started on the mound for UC Davis. Brown started his seventh game this season, coming in with a 3.24 ERA. The Aggies entered this final series game sporting a 10-17 overall and a 3-5 conference record compared to the Mustang’s 15-17 overall and 6-2 conference record. Cal Poly ranked second in the Big West Conference, with UC Davis placed seventh.
It wasn’t until the third inning that either team revved up its offense when the Aggies loaded the bases with zero outs on the board. Sophomore shortstop Tanner Murray stepped up to the plate with bases loaded and a .427 average on the year. Murray took a hard pitch to the shoulder, bringing in the Aggies’ first run. Senior second baseman Caleb Van Blake drove in two more with a soaring double into left field that dropped just shy of the foul line. Continuing the high offensive performance, junior catcher Logan Denholm added one with a double into right field, and a sac fly to center field brought the Aggies’ lead to 5-0 at the end of the third.
Cal Poly cut the deficit in the fifth, brining in two runs over the plate due to an error by Murray, shortening the Aggies lead to three. And in the eighth after Brown was taken off of the mound, the Mustangs began a hit parade on senior reliever Chase Lyford, driving in in three more runs to tie the game at five.
The bullpen continued to suffer for UC Davis in the ninth, when a single to left field drove in a run for the Mustangs, giving them the 6-5 lead.
Overall, Brown had a solid outing for the Aggies on the mound, going seven innings with only one earned run but the Aggie bullpen could not hang on. Brown’s current ERA now sits at 2.90.
The Aggies continue their Big West Conference play today beginning a three game series against UC Santa Barbara.
*Note to readers that players and coaches declined interviews after the game
Written by: Ryan Bugsch — firstname.lastname@example.org