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Davis, California

Friday, May 17, 2024

Aggies cruise to a Mother’s Day and Senior Day Victory

UC Davis baseball concludes its final home series of season with win over CSUN

UC Davis baseball wrapped up its last home series of the year with a dominant 11-4 victory over the CSU Northridge Matadors on Sunday afternoon. This Mother’s Day contest ended in a special win for the Aggies, not only because of Senior Day, but additionally because every starter got on base at least once. The Aggies, who honored their six graduating seniors — infielders Cameron Briggs and Caleb Van Blake, pitchers Blake Hannah, Chase Lyford and Chris Brown and outfielder Garret Kelly— shined in front of one of their biggest crowds this season, soaking in all the recognition and spring quarter sun.

In his 11th start of the season, Brown got himself into a bit of a rut to start the game, allowing a double and two walks to the first three batters he faced. But Brown was able to settle in and limit the damage on the inning and retired the following three batters. So even with bases loaded and no outs, CSUN was only able to score one run in the first frame on a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Aggie offense was able to pull ahead in the bottom of the second inning, with RBIs from Kelly and sophomore shortstop Tanner Murray. Kelly earned his on a single, while Murray hung in the box to take a fastball to the hip with bases loaded.

Murray put the Aggies ahead 2-1, and he delivered again in the fourth inning. Following a two-out walk, Murray reached easily on a single, putting runners on first and second. Junior left fielder Cooper Morrison then drew another walk, loading the bases for redshirt-sophomore first baseman Spencer Gedestad. Gedestad not only batted in a run with a hit, but in his lengthy at bat leading up to it, the CSUN pitcher threw a curveball in the dirt that allowed the runner on third to score. Morrison was sent home on Gedestad’s single, but was thrown out at the plate, ending the inning with UC Davis on top 4-2.

The fifth inning was Brown’s final inning on the mound, and he ended his afternoon in one of the most memorable ways possible: picking off the runner on first. Brown culminated his final start with two earned runs and five strikeouts, putting himself in a position to earn his third win of the season.

Rounding out the bottom half of the fifth inning, the Aggies had their most explosive half inning of the afternoon. Redshirt-sophomore right fielder Alejandro Lara and Van Blake drilled consecutive hits into left field, which was then followed by a line drive into the right-center gap by Briggs, scoring both runners. After redshirt-junior catcher Logan Denholm picked up one of his three hits, Murray drove in the two runners with a two-out triple to right field. Not only did this triple give the Aggies a six-run lead, but it also gave the number of students in attendance three free tacos from Tres Hermanas restaurant in downtown Davis. As the inning ended 8-2, the home crowd was upbeat and electrified.

The rest of the afternoon was highlighted by Van Blake, who lambasted two doubles on his way to a three for four afternoon, to go along with a drawn walk. Lara reached base on all five of his at bats, going two for two with three walks. Junior pitcher Steve Ouellette closed out the game in the ninth, retiring three straight batters and allowing no hits. Three different players — Murray, Briggs and Kelly — finished the game with three RBIs, while the team as a whole amassed 13 total hits on the day.

After the Aggies defeated San Francisco in walk-off fashion on Tuesday, UC Davis now only has six games left in its season, which include a pair of three-game series on the road at UC Irvine and Utah. As of now, the team sits in sixth place in the Big West Conference, with a record of 9-12 in conference play and 19-26 overall. The team has already matched its win total in both categories from last season, when the Aggies finished with a record of 9-15 in conference and 18-35 overall.

The team was unavailable for interviews after the game.

Written by: AJ Seymour — sports@theaggie.org


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