Blankenheim's Pinch-Hit Heroics Lead Aggies To Comeback Win

Feb. 13, 2004

Box Score

TURLOCK, Calif. - UC Davis rallied for four runs in the ninth inning to complete its comeback from a 7-1 deficit as the visiting Aggies opened the CCAA season with a dramatic, 9-8, win over Cal State Stanislaus at Warrior Baseball Field Friday afternoon.

The Aggies got a huge two-run pinch-hit single from Matt Blankenheim that scored two runs, including the game-winning score, as UC Davis improved to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

For Cal State Stanislaus, three relievers were unable to close the door in the ninth, as the Warriors dropped to 2-4 overall and 0-1 in the CCAA.

The Warriors had built a six-run lead through four innings with a four-run frame in the home half of the fourth. Mike Gonzalez tripled to center to drive in two runs and Cody Crossman belted a two-run jack to left to give Stanislaus a 7-1 lead.

But, UC Davis would answer with a couple of runs in the fifth and two more in the seventh to pull within two runs, at 7-5.

In the ninth, Warrior freshman Josh Lewis got two quick outs before getting into trouble. Two singles later, Lewis was replaced by Mario Reyes, who walked the first batter he faced to load the bags. Against the Aggies' clean-up hitter David Butterworth, Reyes apparently had the batter out on a check swing with a full count, but the appeal to the field umpire was denied to give the Aggies a run.

In continuing his quest to find a closer early in the season, Warrior head coach Kenny Leonesio went to lefty Marshall Beyer to close out the game. However, Blankenheim took Beyer's second offering to centerfield for two runs. The Aggies would add another run to take a 9-7 lead.

Still, the Warriors had their shots in their final at-bat.

Chad Rolen led-off the Stanislaus inning with a walk and Jeff Crabtree was hit by a pitch to put two runners on with nobody out. Designated hitter Tucker Vasquez, who already had two hits, was asked to bunt the runners over, but failed to do so after three attempts.



Then, Chad Gordon, who was 2-for-4, struck out against UCD's Joel Needham. Needham then hit Gonzalez to load the bases for leadoff man Crossman. Crossman, who had already doubled, homered and drove in four runs, drew a walk for a score. However, Needham got Josh Burnett to pop-out to third to end the game.

The bottom half of the Stanislaus lineup once again caused havoc for the opposing pitcher. Batters 6-7-8-9 of Crabtree, Vasquez, Gordon and Gonzalez, combined for seven hits (7-for-16), scored six runs and drove in three scores. Crossman finished his day with a 3-for-3, five RBI performance. He also drew three walks - two of them intentional.

Stanislaus starter John Sothern was solid early before giving way to the bullpen in the seventh. Sothern allowed five runs on five hits in six innings and struck out five. Reyes was charged with the loss as both batters he walked scored.

Defensively, the Warriors turned four double plays.

UC Davis starter Michael Potter was hammered for eight hits and gave up seven runs in four innings. He stayed in the game after being hit in the head in the second inning. Philips picked up the win and Needham a save for the Aggies.

The four-game series shifts to Davis for a doubleheader on Saturday before the finale in Turlock on Sunday. First game at UC Davis is at Noon.

UC Davis








Cal St. Stanislaus








Potter, Boyl (5), Philips (8), Needham (9) and Reisinger; Sothern, Lewis (9), Reyes (9), Beyer (9) and Gonzalez. WP-Philips (1-0), LP-Reyes (0-1). SV-Needham (1). BB-SO: Potter 0-3, Boyl 6-2, Philips 1-2, Needham 1-2, Sothern 5-5, Lewis 1-1, Reyes 2-0, Beyer 0-0.

Leading Hitters: UCD-Tulk 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Blankenheim 1-1, 2 RBI; CSUS-Crossman 3-3, 2B, HR, 5 RBI; Gonzalez 2-4, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI; Crabtree 1-3, 2B. T-3:26. A-206.