March 16, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. -- Senior outfielder Seth Batty lined a single down the left field line with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, plating Izaak Silva from second base with the decisive run, lifting host UC Davis to a 6-5 victory and a series win over visiting New Mexico State on Sunday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.
It was the first weekend series win for the Aggies, who have won three straight -- and seven of their last nine -- heading into final exams to improve to 11-9 overall on the season. NMSU lost for the seventh time in its last eight games, falling to 8-12 overall.
"On Sunday's, you've gotta come out and try and do everything right and fight until the end," Head Coach Matt Vaughn said. "Both teams are down in their pitching, deep into their bullpens and, the great thing about today was, we gave up a big crooked inning, we were down two runs, and our guys didn't seem bothered. You just felt like we were going to come back. That's the sign of a team that's maturing a little bit and has some confidence."
The two teams battled through a back-and-forth affair that saw the host Aggies jump out early, lose the lead thanks to a big fifth inning by New Mexico State, and rally back to tie it in the seventh to set up the game-winner.
A high-chopping infield single by Kevin Barker led off the frame, but he was erased on a force play at second. With Silva at first, John Williams lined a rocket right into the glove of NMSU closer Trey Gonzales (0-1), but the right-hander's throw to try and double-up Silva and force extra innings got away, allowing the UC Davis catcher to scamper into scoring position.
After Even Heptig was hit by a pitch to put two on, Batty stepped to the plate and sent the first pitch he saw from Gonzales into the corner in left field, allowing Silva to score to end the game.
Batty finished 3-for-3 and was on base in all six of his plate appearances on the day, drawing two walks and being hit by a pitch in the second inning. Spencer Brann (3-for-4) and Barker (2-for-5) also had multiple hits on the day as the host Aggies racked up 14 hits in the game.
Sophomore left-hander Spencer Henderson (1-0) earned the win in relief after starting the day as the designated hitter, throwing four innings while allowing just one run on three hits and striking out five, retiring eight-straight New Mexico State hitters at one point en route to the win. He also added three hits in the first five innings, including a fifth-inning double and run scored that tied the game at 4-4.
"Spencer was awesome," Vaughn said. "He was a guy that we expected to be there at the beginning, but he had some injuries to start the year. We needed him this weekend and he pitched big for us... twice."
Sophomore right-hander Max Cordy started and struck out a career-high 10 batters -- the most by any UC Davis pitcher this season -- in five innings of work, scattering five hits in the no-decision.
"Max is a guy who is going to walk some guys, he's going to throw some balls, but he's also going to be flat-out dominant at times," Vaughn said. "That pitching in the fourth with runners on second and third and no outs, to do what he did there (striking out the side), that's just big-time pitching right there."
Just like its first two wins in the series, UC Davis struck first with an RBI single by Nick Lynch in the first for the 1-0 lead and, after New Mexico State tied things up in its half of the second, regained the lead thanks to an run-scoring groundout by Heptig in the second to make it 2-1.
The score stayed that way until the fifth when teh visiting Aggies put up three runs, sending eight batters to the plate. Michael Paulson (bases-loaded walk) and Ryan Wagner (two-run single) had the big at-bats in the inning to stake NMSU to a 4-2 advantage as Cordy wriggled off the hook with his 10th strikeout to end the inning with runners at the corners.
Undaunted, UC Davis rallied back in its half of the inning as a walk and a one-out double put two in scoring position for Barker, who scorched a single to centerfield to make it 4-3 and Brann followed with another single to centerfield to tie the game.
New Mexico State answered with a run in the sixth on a double by Kent Blackstone and an RBI single by Derek Umphres, who finished with three of NMSU's eight hits, but the host side responded to tie things up again in the seventh as John Williams' two-out ground ball back through the box bounced off the glove of a diving Blackstone, enough to score pinch-runner Austin March from second and draw even at 5-5.
Kyle Kilgore started for New Mexico State, but lasted just two-plus innings, allowing two runs on six hits. Junior right-hander Riley Barr filled in an gave up three runs on six hits over five innings of relief before giving way to Gonzales in the eighth.
Sunday marked the seventh time in the last eight games that UC Davis has finished with double-digit hits while Williams' seventh-inning single extended his hitting streak to a team-high nine games. With a walk in the second inning, senior Adam Young has reached base safely in each of his last 11 contests.
UC Davis 6, New Mexico State 5 (Mar 16, 2014 at Davis, Calif.)
New Mexico State.... 010 031 000 - 5 8 1 (8-12)
UC Davis............ 110 020 101 - 6 14 0 (11-9)
Pitchers: New Mexico State - Kyle Kilgore; Riley Barr(3); Trey Gonzales(8) and Taylor Noyer. UC Davis - Cordy, Max; Henderson, Spencer(6) and Brann, Spencer; Silva, Izaak.
Win-Henderson, Spencer(1-0) Loss-Trey Gonzales(0-1) T-3:06 A-448
Kilgore faced 2 batters in the 3rd.