Feb. 10, 2004
DAVIS, Calif. - Ryan Coultas had a three-run home run and Paul Gonzales pitched five innings of scoreless relief as UC Davis earned its first win of the season with an 11-6 victory over Sacramento State in a non-conference baseball game Tuesday afternoon at the James M. and Ann Dobbins Baseball Stadium.
With the win the Aggies move to 1-3 on the season while Sacramento State falls to 5-3.
The Hornets got things going early as Andy Hnilo's one-out double in the top of the first drove in Craig Johnson with the game's first run. The next batter, Bret LeVier, hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored John Acha for the 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning the Aggies struck back as two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases against Hornet starter Mel Cuckovich. Andrew Reisinger's fielder's choice scored the first Aggie run before Matt Blankenheim's two-run double gave UC Davis a 3-2 lead.
The Aggies added more in the second on a three-run home run from Coultas that pushed the lead to 6-2 and chased Cuckovich after 1.1 innings. Each team scored single runs in the third and then in fifth the Hornets cut the lead to 7-6 as Hnilo drilled a three-run home run over the left field wall.
That would be all for the Hornets as Gonzales came on to relieve Aggie starter Vince DeCoito and allowed just two hits and no runs over the final five innings. UC Davis broke the game open in the sixth with a pair of runs as David Butterworth's RBI single scored Coultas and a Blankenheim sacrifice fly plated Matt Kamigawachi, who reached base on a double to deep left field.
UC Davis closed out the scoring in the bottom of the seventh as freshman Michael Jacobellis led off with a double down the left field line and scored on a Kyle Irving groundout while the final run came when Brandon Oliver crossed the plate on a Coultas fielder's choice.
Gonzales earned his first win over the season, striking out five and walking just one while DeCoito went 4.0 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and striking out four.
The Hornets used five pitchers on the afternoon. Cuckovich lasted 1.1 innings in suffering his first loss of the year while James Wheeler saw the most action, going 3.2 innings in relief of Cuckovich. Wheeler allowed four hits and one unearned run.
"We got off to a quick start and then Gonzales came in and shut them down," said Aggie head coach Rex Peters. "Gonzales is a good competitor and he is capable of doing that. It was positive to see the way he worked today.
"Matt (Blankenheim) had a big hit early that jump-started our offense," Peters continued. "That gave us confidence and allowed us to relax at the plate and then Ryan came in and hit the big three-run home run."
Coultas finished the day with four RBI while Blankenheim had three. Oliver led the way with three hits on the game while Irving and Jacobellis each had two hits.
Acha had three hits in five at-bats for the Hornets as did Jack Arroyo while Hnilo finished two-for-four with four RBI.
UC Davis begins California Collegiate Athletic Association play this Friday in the first of a four-game series against Cal State Stanislaus. Friday and Sunday's games are in Turlock while the two teams will play a Saturday doubleheader at Dobbins Stadium.