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Monday, June 10, 2024

Gauchos stifle Aggies on the mound

UC Davis men’s baseball goes 0-3 against UC Santa Barbara over Picnic Day weekend


By DIEGO CERNA — sports@theaggie.org


Over the weekend of April 19 to 21, the UC Davis men’s baseball team hosted the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in a three-game weekend series on the Phil Swimley Field at Dobbins Stadium. Coming off back-to-back wins against Abilene Christian University and University of the Pacific, the team looked to extend their winning streak against the Gauchos. 

However, this would be a tough matchup, as UC Santa Barbara has been successful this season with an impressive conference record of 8-4 going into the series. The Aggies entered Picnic Day weekend with an overall record of 17-17 hoping to climb up in Big West Standings.

The series kicked off with a defensive pitching masterclass from both starting pitchers on April 19. The first game featured UC Davis’ pitcher third-year Bryan Green who threw a spectacular game. Green pitched a no hitter in seven innings before giving up only one run. Nonetheless, he finished with an impressive nine person strikeout, arguably the best performance of his collegiate career. UC Santa Barbara’s talented pitcher third-year Ryan Gallagher also pitched a great game, providing a complete shut out. Gallagher currently has the third-lowest earned run average (ERA) out of Big West pitchers at 2.49, showcasing his talent.

The Aggies kept it a competitive game throughout, as they headed into the top of the eight down only 0-1. With great pitching from both sides, there were only two hits recorded from Davis and three hits recorded from Santa Barbara in total — that was, until Gaucho’s first-year Jonathan Mendez hit a home run in the eighth inning to extend the lead. After third-year Ivan Brethowr sealed the game with a home run in the ninth, the final score was 3-0, with the Gauchos victorious.

The second game took place on April 20, our 110th annual Picnic Day. The game offered free admission for anyone to enjoy during all of the Picnic Day festivities. Unfortunately for the Aggies, the game was rough with Santa Barbara’s offensive firepower proving too much to handle. 

Home runs by Santa Barbara’s third-year Aaron Parker, fourth-year Brendan Durphy, third-year Jessada Brown and Brethowr left fans speechless. All four players are in the top 10 for most home runs in the Big West Conference, which showed with the 6-1 victory by the Gauchos. Despite the loss, third-year Aggie Braylon Woodridge connected on two out of his four at bats. Second-year Nick Heeley also achieved the Aggies’ only run in the sixth inning. 

With one match to go, the series finale on April 21 saw the same result. Second-year Ryan Lee gave the Aggies an early lead providing a runs batted in (RBI) double up in the middle for a 1-0 lead. Lee also hit a single later on, going 2-4 for the day and for the benefit of the Aggies as the only time the Aggies would put points up.

 UC Davis third-year Noel Valdez started for the Aggies, pitching five innings and allowing three runs, along with five strikeouts. Nick Leehay came away from the game with two walks. Santa Barbara’s second-year Tyler Bremme and first-year Cole Tybra threw 11 strikeouts to give the Aggies their third loss of the weekend. The final score was 4-1 in favor of the Gauchos.

The Gauchos’ series win helped move them up to second place in Big West Conference standings, behind UC Irvine. The Aggies currently sit at eighth place and will look to climb the rankings before the Big West playoffs commence. They will face Conference opponents Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside and Cal State Bakersfield in order to determine the rankings. 

Written by: Diego Cerna — sports@theaggie.org


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