UC Davis’s baseball team lost game two of three-game series against CSU Fullerton
By PATRICK FIGUEROA — firstname.lastname@example.org
On Saturday, March 25, the Aggies faced off against the CSU Fullerton Titans in game two of a three-game series. This marked the second series of conference play — conference play began the week before when the Aggies played against the CSUN Matadors. Coming off of an 11-2 loss the day before, the Aggies looked to rebound and even the series.
The Aggies’ starting pitcher was second-year left-hander Bryan Green. Entering the game, Green had a respectable 3.54 earned run average (ERA). He faced off against Fullerton redshirt third-year right-handed pitcher Trevor Hinkel. Hinkel had a less stellar 9.25 ERA, but he did not let prior poor performance affect his performance on this day.
In Green’s first time through the batting order, he only allowed one baserunner — a walk to Titans first-year infielder Eli Lopez in the top of the third inning. Through three innings, Green struck out two batters and forced weak contact that allowed his defense to make routine plays. Hinkel struck out two batters as well with some help from second-year center fielder Moises Guzman. Guzman made two incredible catches on deep fly balls that would have likely been extra base hits in the first and third innings.
Green continued his strong outing in the fourth and fifth innings as his defense made spectacular plays along the way. To get the first out of the fourth inning, Aggies’ third-year second baseman Alex Gouveia made an impressive throw on the run to first base. In the fifth inning, the Aggies’ third-year catcher Jack Gallagher threw out Titans’ third-year Brendan Bobo as he tried to steal second base. Through five innings, Green did not give up a single hit.
After four scoreless innings, the Aggies’ offense woke up in the bottom of the fifth inning. To start the inning, first-year Braydon Wooldridge got on first base with help from a Titans’ fielding error. Then, second-year Nick Leehey hit a double that allowed Wooldridge to advance to third base. With runners on both second and third bases, second-year Mark Wolbert smacked a single to center field that scored both runners. The Aggies took a 2-0 lead.
Fullerton responded in the top of the sixth inning. After two runners got on first and second bases, Titans’ third-year Nate Nankil hit a double that allowed one runner to score and the other to advance to third. Titans’ fourth-year Carter Wright drove in another run on a fielder’s choice, tying the game.
Shortly after, the Titans had two outs but runners on first and second bases in the sixth inning. The Aggies substituted Green for redshirt third-year pitcher Kaden Hogan. The Titans’ Moises Guzman hit a single to center field that scored one run. However, as the Aggies tried to throw a runner out at third base, the ball went past the third baseman, third-year Nick Iverson, and, thus, allowed Fullerton to score another run. Hogan struck out the final batter, but the damage was done. The Aggies trailed 4-2.
Replacing Hinkel, Titans’ fourth-year pitcher Fynn Chester entered the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. He did not allow a hit in the inning and the Aggies’ pitcher Kaden Hogan did the same through the top of the seventh inning.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Aggies had another rally. Wooldridge, Wolbert and third-year Nick Iverson all got on base to load the bases with only one out. Third-year Damian Stone came up to the plate. He took ball one and fouled off the second pitch. With a 1-1 count, Stone hit a single to center field, driving in two runners. The Aggies and Titans were now tied at four runs each. With runners on first and second bases, the Aggies were unable to take the lead in the inning.
In the top of the eighth inning, Fullerton regained a lead. With one out and runners on first and second bases, Titans’ third-year Caden Connor hit a double to right field that drove in a runner. Hogan was substituted for utility player Danny Carrion. Carrion proceeded to walk Guzman, loading the bases. On the following pitch, he hit the batter, Bobo, which allowed Fullerton to take a 6-4 lead. However, despite having bases loaded and only one out, Carrion forced a pop-up and struck out the following batter to get out of the inning.
The Aggies threatened in the bottom of the eighth inning. Gouveia hit a lead-off double. Shortly after, Wooldridge hit a single that allowed Gouveia to advance to third. With runners on the corners (first and third base) and one out, Leehey came up to the plate. He hit the ball hard, but it resulted in a lineout to second base. With Wolbert stepping up to the plate, the Titans substituted Chester with left-handed third-year Jojo Ingrassia. Wolbert had a hit in each one of his three prior at bats, but Ingrassia struck him out to end the inning.
Carrion held the Titans to a hitless top of the ninth. Down 6-4 in the bottom of the final inning, the Aggies needed another rally. Ingrassia remained in the game and forced a ground out against Iverson. Stone managed to reach first base after he got hit by a pitch, but the Aggies could not manage to get anyone else on base. The Titans secured a 6-4 victory, winning the three-game series and improving their win-loss record to 10-8. The Aggies’ loss dropped their record to 6-12.
Unfortunately for the Aggies, they did not win a single game against Fullerton. They lost the following day, 4-1. However, they went on to beat Loyola Marymount on Monday, March 27, 10-3. With this win, the Aggies have now won more games this season than they did all of last season. For a program in its second year under Head Coach Tommy Nicholson, this is a sign of progress.
Written by: Patrick Figueroa — email@example.com