March 11, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - Tom Briner gave up just five hits, struck out six Seattle batters and didn't walk a single Redhawk in the first complete game shutout of his career as UC Davis took a 3-0 win over Seattle on Sunday at Dobbins Stadium.
UC Davis now sits at 8-8 and wins its third series of the year while Seattle moves to 9-8.
Briner returned to action for the Aggies after an errant throw to second by catcher Scott Kalush hit Briner in the face in the fifth inning against Creighton on Mar. 4.
Seattle's five hits were scattered throughout the first seven innings as Briner retired the side in the eighth and ninth to get the win and move to 2-1 on the year. He used just 110 pitches and faced only two batters over the minimum in the win.
"He picked up right where he left off last week with a low pitch count and no walks," said head coach Matt Vaughn. "We're getting outstanding pitching from our starters, but for Tom to come back like that after what happened and the week he went through, I just can't say enough about it. It's a special kid and a special effort today."
Briner closed the first inning with a three-pitch strikeout, then retired the side in the second before striking out Grant Newton to lead off the third. Marcelino Morales singled up the middle, but Briner forced Trent Oleszczuk to ground into a double play to end the inning.
The senior right-hander retired the side in the fifth, then picked off Morales at first for the first out of the sixth inning. The Redhawks' final hit of the day came in the seventh inning, but the Aggies turned a second double play and Briner sent the final six batters he faced back to the dugout.
Briner's performance was complemented by strong hitting from UC Davis who put up 10 hits in the win. Evan Heptig went 2-for-3 while Kevin Barker's lone hit was his team-leading sixth double of the year. Barker also scored a run while Austin March went 1-for-2 with a run.
"We have some injuries and we talked a lot about the fact that we have guys who can pick up for us," said Vaughn. "It's just a matter of getting into the right situation and executing that when we get the chance. Those guys are doing it. We've got a good young group of players that can step in and play and it's been a long time since UC Davis had a group of freshmen like this who can step in and play right now."
In the second inning, Austin March was hit by a pitch to, then scored on an RBI base hit by Brett Morgan. Barker tacked on the third Aggie run of the game in the fifth inning. The freshman led off with a double, moved to third on an Allgrove ground out, then scored off Politi's ground out to short.
UC Davis saw its lead off hitters reach base on five different occasions.
The Aggies continue a lengthy homestand, hosting the University of San Francisco on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.