UC Davis Sweeps Twinbill from New Mexico State

Junior right-hander Raul Jacobson tossed 3.2 innings on one-hit ball on Saturday to help the Aggies to a 5-1 win in the opening game of a doubleheader against New Mexico State.

March 15, 2014

Box Score - Game 1 | Box Score - Game 2

DAVIS, Calif. -- Solid pitching and sparkling defense helped power host UC Davis to a doubleheader sweep of visiting New Mexico State on Saturday afternoon, winning the opener 5-1 before posting a 4-0 shutout in the nightcap at Dobbins Stadium.

The two victories pushed the host Aggies over the .500 mark at 10-9 overall on the season, clinching at least a series split with the finale looming on Sunday at Noon. The 4-0 win in the nightcap was the team's first shutout since blanking former Big West Conference rival Pacific, 2-0, in the opening game of a three-game series back on May 10, 2013, in Stockton, Calif.

The visiting Aggies fell to 8-11 with the two losses on Saturday.

"I think it all started yesterday, making some adjustments late in that game, scoring some runs, getting into their bullpen," Head Coach Matt Vaughn said. "It gave us a little momentum coming into today and let them know that we weren't going to roll over. I still think we can make some better offensive adjustments early, but our pitching and defense was outstanding."

Senior Adam Young finished 4-for-6 with two runs scored and an RBI, while John Williams added four hits and a pair of RBI in support of starters Spencer Koopmans (2-0) and Evan Wolf (2-1), who combined with their bullpen to allow just one run on 12 hits in the two games.

"Defense is something that we've really stressed this year and the guys have really taken that to heart," Vaughn said. "Our defense is just getting better and better and, when we throw strikes, we're going to be in every game.



"I don't know if defense is contagious but, I think, when you work hard and start making the routine plays regularly, consistently, then all of a sudden, you start seeing some spectacular plays. There's some confidence that comes with that."

GAME 1: UC Davis 5, New Mexico State 1
Junior right-hander Spencer Koopmans scattered just four hits and struck out five over five innings of work and the Aggies' offense tallied double-digit hits for the sixth-straight game, lifted the home team to a 5-1 win in the opener.

Koopmans (2-0) worked around six walks to strand eight NMSU baserunners on the day -- five of those in scoring position -- as Raul Jacobson and Zach Stone came on in relief to hold New Mexico State to just one hit over the final four innings. Stone needed just four pitches to tally his fourth save of the season while Jacobson retired seven straight at one point to hold back the visiting Aggies.

Single runs in the first two innings got UC Davis out quickly as run-scoring groundouts by Steven Patterson and Seth Batty gave the home side a 2-0 lead. New Mexico State got a run back in the fifth on an RBI single by Derek Umphries, and threatened to make it more, loading the bases with a pair of walks, but Koopmans wriggled off the hook, striking out Michael Paulson to end the inning.

UC Davis' first extra-base hit of the series came in the sixth to plate two more runs and give the Aggies some breathing room as a one-out walk to Kevin Barker, a single by Spencer Brann, and a passed ball, put runners at second and third for Williams with two outs. The junior then lofted a ball into no-mans land in short left field as the ball fell between the left fielder, center fielder, and shortstop, allowing Williams to slide into second and plate both runners for a 4-1 advantage.

Another run-scoring groundball, this one by Spencer Henderson, added another to the UC Davis total in the seventh and the host Aggies cruised from there, allowing just a walk in the eighth and stranding a pair in the ninth to close out the game.

Williams finished 3-for-4 at the plate while Batty, Young, and Barker, each added two hits in the win. Brann behind the plate threw out four runners on dropped third strikes and also erased a pair of would-be base-stealers defensively.

Umphries and Taylor Noyer each had a pair of hits in support of starter Bill Conard (1-2), who surrendered four runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out five in six innings of work.

Three UC Davis pitchers combined on a seven-hit shutout and the Aggies got a pair of hits from Adam Young and Steven Patterson, blanking New Mexico State, 4-0, in the nightcap.

Senior right-hander Evan Wolf (2-1) scattered just five hits and struck out five in six innings as the first of three UC Davis pitchers on the day, earning his second win of the season. Freshman Orlando Razo allowed two hits in 1.1 scoreless innings, while freshman Zach Stone came on to get the final five outs for his fifth save of the season, allowing a walk and striking out one to nail down the victory.

The trio combined to strand eight New Mexico State base runners on the day -- three of those in scoring position.

Robert Kraft (1-2) pitched into the eighth inning for the visiting Aggies, limiting UC Davis to just five hits, but surrendering four runs and walking four in 7.1 innings of work.

Wolf and Kraft traded zeroes on the scoreboard for the first 3 1/2 innings before the home team finally broke through with single runs in the fourth and fifth. An RBI groundout with the bases loaded by Barker and an RBI double to left by Young staked UC Davis to the 2-0 lead before tacking on two more in the eighth.

Young, who finished 2-for-2 and reached base in all four of his plate appearances, drew a walk with one out and came home on Steven Patterson's fourth triple of the year past a diving Kyle Kilgore in left to make it 3-0 and chase Kraft from the game. Junior Nick Lynch followed by greeting reliever Zach Freeman with a ringing double to left center, plating Patterson for the final run of the game.

New Mexico State had its best chance to score in the sixth as back-to-back two-out singles by Kristoffer Koerper and Joseph Koerper brought Michael Paulson to the plate, who lined a single into left. Kristoffer Koerper made the turn around the third, but a perfect throw by Batty hit relay man Young near the mound, and he flipped on to catcher Izaak Silva, who applied the tag to end the inning.

Another stellar play came in the seventh to stunt a NMSU rally as pinch-hitter Kilgore led-off with a single off Razo, but a sharply hit ball by Jory Goldstrom was snared by Evan Heptig to start the 6-4-3 double play that ended with a nice scoop by Henderson at first.

"Adam (Young) had a play on a slow-roller at third in the first game, the cutoff play to get the runner at home, that's just good baseball. That's what we strive to do," Vaughn said. "The double play up the middle, Heptig to Patterson, and then the scoop at first by Henderson, all those guys did something special on that play and those are game-changing plays, especially when you're only up one or 2-0 at that point."

UC Davis 5, New Mexico State 1 (Mar 15, 2014 at Davis, Calif.) (Game 1)
New Mexico State.... 000 010 000 - 1 5 1 (8-10)
UC Davis............ 110 002 10X - 5 10 1 (9-9)
Pitchers: New Mexico State - Billy Conard; Trey Higgenbotham(7); Matt Moriarty(7) and Taylor Noyer. UC Davis - Koopmans, Spencer; Jacobson, Raul(6); Stone, Zach(9) and Brann, Spencer.
Win-Koopmans, Spencer(2-0) Save-Stone, Zach(4) Loss-Billy Conard(1-2) T-3:02
Koopmans faced 1 batter in the 6th.
Higgenbotham faced 2 batters in the 7th.

UC Davis 4, New Mexico State 0 (Mar 15, 2014 at Davis, Calif.) (Game 2)
New Mexico State.... 000 000 000 - 0 7 0 (8-11)
UC Davis............ 000 110 02X - 4 6 0 (10-9)
Pitchers: New Mexico State - Robert Kraft; Zach Freeman(8) and Kevin Carswell. UC Davis - Wolf, Evan; Razo, Orlando(7); Stone, Zach(8) and Silva, Izaak.
Win-Wolf, Evan(2-1) Save-Stone, Zach(5) Loss-Robert Kraft(1-2) T-2:39 A-263