DAVIS, Calif. -- Brad Pluschkell's sacrifice fly with one out in the ninth plated pinch-runner Colton Evans with the game-winning run, as host UC Davis salvaged a win in its series finale with UConn thanks to a 7-6 victory on Sunday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.
The Aggies improved to 5-9 overall on the year, pounding out a season-high 13 hits en route to the victory. The Huskies fell to 8-5 overall, watching as their four-game winning streak came to an end.
After UConn tied the score in the ninth, senior Ignacio Diaz got the rally started by leading off the home half with a walk and moving into scoring position thanks to a balk from reliever Ronnie Rossomando (0-1). Evans came on to pinch run and sprinted 90 feet to third thanks to a wild pitch, setting the stage for Pluschkell, who lifted the second pitch he saw into right field.
Isaac Feldstein made the catch and threw a strike, but the throw was just enough up the third base line to allow Evans to slide around the catcher and slap the plate for the winning score.
Zach Stone (2-0) earned the win in relief despite allowing the tying run, inducing three straight ground balls after hitting the first two batters to end the inning. Connor Loar and Blake Peters combined to allow two hits in 2.1 innings in relief of starter Justin Mullins.
A home run by Feldstein, who finished the day 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, in the second staked UConn to the early lead, but the Aggies answered in a big way in their half of the inning, scoring a pair when Alex Aguiar's infield single was thrown away, allowing Pluschkell and Alejandro Lara to both score for a 2-1 advantage. Jacob Thomas followed with a run-scoring groundout to make it a two-run game, but the advantage was short-lived.
Hits by Willy Yahn (infield single) and Zac Susi (double), as well as a run-scoring groundout by Feldstein, put together a big inning for the Huskies, who plated four runs in the frame to regain the lead. UC Davis pulled one back in the fifth on a Ryan Anderson RBI single to cut the deficit to one, but UConn responded with an RBI single by Aaron Hill for a little breathing room and a 6-4 lead.
That's when the Aggies began to chip away, plating a run in the sixth, tying the game in the seventh on another Anderson RBI single, and regaining the lead on a squeeze by Mason Novak in the eighth, to set the stage for Pluschkell's winner in the ninth.
Pluschkell finished 3-for-4, while Novak, Anderson, and Mark Cardinalli each added a pair of hits, helping UC Davis finish in double digits in that category for the third time in four games. The team's previous season high was 12 hits against Utah Valley (Feb. 25) and the opener against UConn earlier this weekend.
UC Davis returns to the diamond on Tuesday (March 14) at 2:30 p.m., hosting Saint Mary's in a mid-week clash at Dobbins Stadium. It will be the final game for the Aggies prior to final exams as they will not play another series until they face Creighton on March 26-28 in Omaha, Neb.
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