Aggies battle Bluejays in series opener

Feb. 23, 2018

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. — Trailing 4-1 after the first three innings of play, the Aggies battled back to within one of the Bluejays after a solo shot from Ryan Anderson and sacrifice fly from Caleb Van Blake, but the Aggies would not be able to find an answer for the Bluejays’ two-run ninth inning, resulting in a 6-3 victory for Creighton over UC Davis.

The Bluejays take the series opener and improve to 2-2 on the season. The Aggies will look to rebound in game two with a 2-3 overall mark.

Recent Big West Field Player of the Week, Brad Pluschkell, was 4-for-5 on the afternoon, boosting him to 14-21 on the season. Starting in all five games on the UC Davis schedule in 2018, Pluschkell continues to lead the Aggies’ offense with a .667 average at the plate, an on base percentage of .682, and a slugging percentage of .714.

Following two scoreless innings, the Creighton offense was first to get on the board, taking a 4-0 lead in the top of the third. With the bases loaded, junior infielder Jack Strunc brought two across for the Bluejays with a 2-RBI double to right center field. Creighton would go on to snag two more before the end of the inning with a 2-RBI single up the middle from junior Michael Emodi.

The Aggies would begin to chip away at the four-run deficit in the bottom of the inning, as junior infielder Steve Ouellette sparked momentum for UC Davis with a lead-off single to right field. Pluschkell kept the rally alive with a single through the left side, marking his second hit of the game. With a runner in scoring position, UC Davis capitalized on the opportunity with an RBI-double from redshirt sophomore Logan Denholm, placing UC Davis within three of the Bluejays.

After three scoreless innings by both squads, UC Davis threatened in the bottom of the seventh after a solo shot from Anderson—his first round-tripper of the season—got the fans in Dobbins Stadium to their feet, making it, 4-2, Creighton. The next at bat for UC Davis would span 11 pitches and end with a walk drawn walk by Denholm, allowing the Aggies to bring the tying run to the plate. After a double to left field by senior Alex Aguiar, the Bluejays were forced to make the first of two pitching changes in the inning, bringing in left-hander Grant Spranger for right-hander Jonah Smith. The Aggies’ would go on to score their second run of the inning off a sacrifice fly from Caleb Van Blake, getting UC Davis within one.

But Creighton would shut the door on the Aggies in the top of the ninth, tacking on two more runs to make it a 6-3 advantage in favor of the Bluejays.

The three-run deficit would prove too much for the Aggies to overcome, lifting Creighton to a 1-0 lead in the series.

Creighton right-hander Ryan Tapani earned his second win of the 2018 season after allowing one run on seven hits over five innings of work, while junior Bobby Kametas was credited with his first save of the season after taking over in the bottom of the eighth, providing the Bluejays with 1.1 innings of scoreless, hitless relief.

UC Davis starting pitcher Matt Blais (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season for the Aggies after allowing four earned runs on six hits across five innings on the mound. Junior left-hander Daniel Barraza made his second appearance of the season taking over for Blais in the top of the sixth, allowing two runs on three hits, while striking out six in the process. 

UC Davis returns to action at Phil Swimley Field tomorrow (Feb. 24) with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. The Aggies will also be honoring alumni from the program’s 2003 College World Series team prior to Saturday’s game, with former players warming up their arms and dusting off their gloves to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before game two of the series begins at 1 p.m.

Creighton 6, UC Davis 3 (02/23/18 at Davis, Calif.)
Creighton........... 004 000 002 - 6 10 2 (2-2)
UC Davis............ 001 000 200 - 3 12 2 (2-3)
Pitchers: Creighton - Ryan Tapani; Jonah Smith(6); Grant Spranger(7); Mitchell Boyer(7);
Thomas Luevano(8); Bobby Kametas(8) and Michael Emodi. UC Davis - Blais, Matt;
Barraza, Daniel(6); Wieser, Tim(9) and Denholm, Logan.
Win-Ryan Tapani(2-0) Save-Bobby Kametas(1) Loss-Blais, Matt(1-1) T-3:22 A-209
HR UCD - Anderson, Ryan (1).
Weather: mostly clear and cold
LUEVANO faced 1 batter in the 8th.
Game: UCDBSB05

Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and animal science programs.

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