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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

UC Davis gets swept by UC Irvine in the series

UC Davis was unable to figure out a consistent rhythm during Saturday’s game, resulting in a 13-2 loss 

 

By CAROLYN (CARI) FENN — sports@theaggie.org

 

After a tough loss of 5-10 the day prior at Phil Swimley Field at Dobbins Stadium on Saturday, May 20, the Aggies once again could not outscore UC Irvine, losing the game 13-2. Saturday’s loss marks their seventh consecutive loss, with their last win being May 7 against Cal Poly

Right off the bat, the Aggies began to struggle offensively, as many of UC Davis’s pitchers were unable to find a consistent rhythm on the mound. Starting the game was third-year pitcher Kaden Hogan, who could not finish out the first inning after allowing two runs, hitting two batters and throwing a wild pitch that unfortunately caused the second of the two runs scored against him. This was the third time that Hogan started the game for the Aggies, with the first resulting in an 8-0 shutout against Cal Poly and the second resulting in a 3-11 loss against the University of Hawai’i. By the end of the first inning, the Aggies had given up five runs to the Anteaters, making it a rough start to the matchup.

Taking over for Hogan on the mound was first-year pitcher Alejandro Huezo. Pitching the most innings in the game out of all the Aggie pitchers, he pitched from the first through the fourth inning where he allowed three more runs in the first inning and two in the second but then only allowed a single hit in the third and fourth inning combined. 

Following Huezo, the Aggies began to switch out their pitchers every inning, sometimes even twice in one inning, for the rest of the game. The Aggies’ pitching was able to finish off strong, with third-year pitcher Andrew LaCour only allowing one walk in the eighth inning and third-year pitcher Ian Torpey allowing one hit in the ninth inning. Torpey had the strongest pitching performance out of all the Aggies on Saturday, only allowing one hit, zero runs and striking out two batters. 

Their unfortunate inability to find a rhythm is shown when looking at the teams’ overall defensive stats. The UC Davis pitchers combined to throw a total of 198 pitches with 106 of those being strikes and 92 of those being balls. With all these stats, their strike-out percentage came to be a low 53.5%, compared to the Anteaters 75%. Considering these stats with the 16 hits and 13 runs by UC Irvine, it’s clear UC Davis was struggling to figure out how to beat UC Irvine’s offense, which is ranked second in the Big West for batting.

Unfortunately, for the Aggies, they were unable to compensate for their challenges defensively, as they struggled to hit against the Anteaters’ pitching duo, third-year Nick Pinto and second-year Davis Vizcaino. Pinto pitched seven innings against the Aggies, allowing six hits, two runs and throwing six strikeouts. Vizcaino then came in and finished off the game for UC Irvine, not allowing UC Davis to try and shorten the massive lead they had, as he allowed zero runs and hits.

The Aggies’ first run of the game came in the bottom of the fifth inning after third-year infielder/outfielder Nick Iverson was walked and then able to get to third base, following first-year infielder Joey Wright single to right field. Then, despite no hit after Wright for the rest of the inning, Iverson was able to use his speed to get home after a wild pitch was thrown.

The best offensive performance by the Aggies came in the bottom of the sixth inning, where the Aggies scored their second and final run. Starting it off was third-year infielder/catcher Jack Gallagher, who singled to left field. Then, directly following, second-year infielder Nick Leehey singled to third, giving the Aggies two runners on base. After Gallagher was able to advance to third following a flyout by fourth-year infielder James Williams III, first-year outfielder Leighton Helfrick was able to bring Gallagher home with his hit down the middle of the field. 

Out of the entire team, Helfrick was the best offensive player for the Aggies, going two-for-four with an RBI. 

Unfortunately for the Aggies, the reason why UC Irvine is ranked second and UC Davis is ranked last in batting in the Big West became prevalent on Saturday. When comparing the offensive stats alone, the Aggies had an overall hitting average of 0.171, while the Anteaters had an overall hitting average of 0.410. Very few Aggies were able to make connections with the ball, leading to fewer chances on-base when compared to the Anteaters which was a major cause of their 13-2 loss. 

The following day UC Davis fell to the Anteaters 2-9 as UC Irvine completed the sweep. The Aggies were unable to figure out a way to hit or pitch against the Anteaters, resulting in their biggest loss in the conference yet. The Aggies now sit at a 17-34 record for the season and have a 7-20 conference record.

On Sunday, at their last home game of the season at Dobbins Stadium, the Aggies celebrated their three graduating seniors: infielder/catcher James Williams III, pitcher Nate Freeman and pitcher/catcher Nathan Peng.

 

Written by: Carolyn (Cari) Fenn — sports@theaggie.org