Aggies Top Utes 9-8 in Extra Inning Thriller

David Popkins was hit by a pitch in the tenth inning to bring home the winning run. (Wayne Tilcock)

Feb. 20, 2012

Final Stats

DAVIS, Calif. - Ben Burke struck out three batters in three complete innings, Brett Morgan and Ryan Allgrove each recorded two hits and Alex Lipson turned a triple play in the third inning to help the UC Davis baseball team claim a thrilling 9-8 extra-inning victory over Utah on Monday at Dobbins Stadium.

UC Davis moves to 3-1 overall while Utah drops to 1-3 overall.

"It bodes well for a long season that we can play four games in four days and pull out a win like this," said head coach Matt Vaughn. "We had a chance to maybe put the game away in the first four or five innings and we relaxed a little bit. For them to hang in there and come back and put up some runs late and to see the young guys do what they're doing has been outstanding."

The Aggies jumped out to a 5-0 lead after junior righty Ben Burke retired the Utes in the top of the first, striking out two batters, to set up the UC Davis offense. Shortstop Alex Lipson drew a walk to open UC Davis' first time at the plate, then move to third on a double from Ryan Allgrove. Paul Politi brought home Lipson with a sacrifice fly for the first run of the inning, then Austin Logan's double drove in Allgrove and David Popkins who had reached first base after being hit by a pitch.

The first inning ended wildly, but not before UC Davis put up a fourth run. Brett Morgan's hit towards third base allowed CJ Blom to score. Morgan reached base safely after Utah third baseman Biss Larsen overthrew to first, but Morgan got caught in a run down and was thrown out. Logan rounded third and attempted to take advantage of the long throw, but Utah regrouped and fired a throw to home, getting Logan out at home base.



Lipson's base hit to center field in the second brought home Kevin Barker and UC Davis tok a 5-0 lead.

With two Utah runners on and nobody out, Lipson provided the defensive heroics, turning a triple play to get UC Davis out of the inning. Tyson Gonzalez hit a line drive right to Lipson, who then stepped on second base and get James Brooks out. Lipson then threw to Logan at first for the third out of the inning.

The triple play marks the first for UC Davis at Dobbins Stadium since Mar. 4, 2007 when Evan Hudson accomplished the feat against Portland.

Utah regrouped and put up three runs in the fifth after Parker Morin hit a bases-clearing double, then took a 6-5 lead when Brooks hit a three-run home run over the wall in left center field.

The Aggies responded in the bottom half of the inning after Morgan led off with a base hit, moved to second on an Adam Young sacrifice bunt, then scored after pinch hitter John Williams hit a triple into the corner in right field. Lipson's sacrifice fly brought home Williams and UC Davis was back on top 7-6.

UC Davis added on another run in the bottom of the seventh. Evan Wolf led off with a base hit, then pinch runner Drew Lassen entered the game for Wolf and came around to score on a wild pitch to give the Aggies an 8-6 advantage.

With two outs and a runner on first, Utah's Shaun Cooper connected on the second pitch he saw for a two-run homer to left field, tying the game at eight runs apiece. The Aggies were unable to respond in the bottom half of the inning and the game would go to extras.

Harry Stanwyck struck out Trey Neilsen to start the tenth, then forced Jo Jo Sharrar to pop up to second base, before striking out pinch hitter Conner Eppard to hold Utah scoreless.

Williams drew a walk from Utah reliever Tyler Wagner, then moved all the way to third when Wagner botched a throw to first. Williams would score the game-winning run when, with the bases loaded, Wagner's pitch to David Popkins hit Popkins on the arm bringing Williams home for the 9-8 Aggie victory.

Stanwyck earned the win to move to 1-0 on the year while Wagner was credited with the loss.

Lipson and Logan each recorded two RBI for UC Davis, while Brooks and Morin led Utah with three RBI apiece.

UC Davis returns to action on Tuesday, playing their fifth straight game, when the Aggies travel to San Jose State for a 2 p.m. matchup at Blethen Field.