82.5 F

Davis, California

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

UC Davis Baseball season ends with loss against Long Beach State

The Aggies were unable to bring runners home, resulting in a 0-3 loss to cap off the season

By MICHELLE WONG  — sports@theaggie.org 

The Aggies were unable to break their season’s losing streak against Long Beach State Saturday afternoon as they closed off the season with three consecutive losses against the Dirtbags. Playing shorthanded and with limited depth, the Aggies were unable to cash in with runners in scoring position as they closed off their season.

In their first game against Long Beach, the Aggies were able to take a lead in the first inning off of a Mark Wolbert double to right center field. After the Dirtbags took the lead again in the 8th, the Aggies caught up with them to tie it, leading to an 11-inning game. Yet despite their efforts, Long Beach was ultimately able to overtake the Aggies and won with a score of 5-4 off of a sacrifice fly in the top of the 11th. The freshman Wolbert led the Aggies in the series opener going 3-5 with a double and three RBI’s. 

The Aggies suffered a difficult loss during their second game of the series. With the Dirtbags already leading 6-1 in the seventh inning, they were able to bring in seven more runners in the 8th and win with a final score of 13-1. The Aggies struggled offensively and while they had five hits, third baseman James Williams III produced the lone RBI.

The UC Davis baseball team started off the last game of the series strong defensively in the first two innings with Carson Seeman as pitcher, until a single into right field by Long Beach’s junior designated hitter Chase Luttrell and a single into left field by freshman left fielder Rocco Peppi allowed Luttrell to come home, scoring the first run of the game for the Dirtbags.

Despite an error in the fourth inning that gave Long Beach’s freshman second baseman Eddie Saldivar on first with right fielder Peyton Schulze on third, amazing plays by James Williams III and Raul Sandoval prevented Long Beach from scoring any runs. Williams III, who played catcher on Saturday afternoon, was able to throw out Saldivar as he attempted to steal second, while Sandoval threw out freshman Schulze with an almost perfect throw to home after a sacrifice fly attempt into right field. 

Although the Aggies worked hard on defense, they were still unable to advance any players home in this fourth inning. Pitcher Andrew LaCour replaced Seeman as they entered the fifth inning. Tensions were high in the top of the fifth as Long Beach had the bases loaded, but UC Davis held them off and kept the deficit at one.

The score stayed stagnant in the sixth inning, but things soon took a turn for the worse for the Aggies. The bases were once again loaded by the Dirtbags after a walk and a couple hits. A hit deep into left field by Peppi brought home two of the runners, increasing Long Beach’s lead to 3-0.

While the Aggies’ fielding kept Long Beach from scoring any more runs, they were also unable to advance any runners past second the rest of the game. Despite this loss, graduating senior Kyler Arenado was able to end the game on a high note as he struck out Long Beach’s final batter of the game. Both Wolbert and junior Nathan Peng also served to be solid players, going 2-for-3 this game. The Aggies ended their last game of the season with a final score of 0-3. 

The team finished the season with a 6-35 overall record. Despite struggling, the Aggies finished 10th in the Big West Conference, ahead of UC Riverside.

Although they ended the season with a seven game losing streak a high point of the season was when the Aggies were able to take the series win over UC San Diego. While the Tritons were leading 5-3 in the 8th inning of the second game of the series, the UC Davis baseball team was able to score 4 runs in the ninth inning and took the victory, 6-5. In the third game of the series, the Aggies kept their lead and were able to win with a final score of 8-5, securing their series win. 

Throughout these games, Wolbert has shown great potential as he continues his collegiate career with a batting average of .351. and a fielding percentage of 0.990. Williams III also shined, as he had a .295 average and drew a team-high 22 walks this season. Sophomore pitcher Kaden Riccomini and freshman Bryan Green demonstrated to be key pitchers throughout this season, having their moments this season as well as pitching a lot of innings as well. These young players bring hope for the next season.  

To wrap up the season, the team honored four graduating seniors — J.D. Mico, Kyler Arenado, Nate Lemos and Raul Sandoval. Most of the team will be continuing on to next season, as the majority of the team is still very young. This extensive playing time under first-year head coach Tommy Nicholson can serve as crucial as the UC Davis baseball program looks toward the future.

Written by: Michelle Wong  — sports@theaggie.org