Aggies' Ninth Inning Rally Falls Short As Portland Claims Series, 3-2

Daniel Descalso reaches base after driving home a run in the ninth inning on Sunday. (Wayne Tilcock, <i>Davis Enterprise</i>)
 
Daniel Descalso reaches base after driving home a run in the ninth inning on Sunday. (Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 

March 4, 2007

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning off RBI's from junior Daniel Descalso and sophomore pinch hitter Jacob Jefferies, but fell one run short of forcing extra innings as Portland held on for the 3-2 victory at Dobbins Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Portland won the final two games to take the series and now stands at 6-4 on the season while UC Davis is 4-9.

Descalso finished the day with a hit, an RBI and a run scored while Matt Dempsey was the only Aggie with multiple hits as he went 2-for-3. Jefferies pinch hit in the ninth and drove home Descalso on a ground out to the second baseman.

Jeff Reekers got the start for the Aggies and allowed three earned runs while striking out two batters in 5.1 innings of work. Justin Fitzgerald and Nik Aurora combined to pitch 3.2 innings of two-hit shutout baseball.

For Portland, four batters accounted for eight of the team's 11 hits as Cory Wiltshire, Rocky Gale and C.J. Cullen each went 2-for-4 with an RBI while Jesse Rodgers was 2-for-3.

Ari Ronick earned the victory for the Pilots as he allowed only three hits in seven shutout innings. Despite giving up two runs in the ninth inning, Josh Roberts got credit for his third save of the season.

Wiltshire opened the scoring for the Pilots in the first inning with a solo homerun to right field.

With runners on the corner and only one out in the second, Reekers pitched out of the jam by making the next two batters pop up and ground out to end the threat.

 

 

In what was the highlight of the day, the Aggies turned an unconventional 6-3 triple play to get out of another jam in the third inning. The Pilot batter lined out to Evan Hudson at first who then tagged the runner at first and threw out the runner at second base.

"That was a very athletic play by Hudson," said head coach Rex Peters of the triple play. "Sometimes you need a little bit of luck and a little bit of skill and that's what we got on that play."

Portland stranded two more runners in the fourth inning after two straight singles to left field.

Gale drove home another Portland run in the sixth with a single to right field before Cullen singled home another run the next at-bat to cap a two-run inning and give the Pilots a 3-0 lead.

Michael Jacobellis pinch hit to start the Aggie ninth and was walked to begin the rally. Jacobellis advanced to second on a wild pitch and was driven home the next play off Descalso's single up the middle. A single by Aaron Hanke and a sacrifice bunt from Hudson advance Descalso to third. Jefferies drove him home as a pinch hitter to make the score 3-2. A ground out and a foul pop up to the catcher ended the game.

"The fact that we came back and fought like that in the ninth was a positive thing for us," said Peters. "We haven't had that kind of play in a while so it was good to see our guys fight back and make the other team work a little bit. Hopefully we can use that to build on."

UC Davis caps it's eight-game homestand at Dobbins Stadium this Tuesday as they welcome the Nevada Wolf Pack for a 2:00 p.m. game.