March 28, 2003
DAVIS, Calif. - Travis Kaats' second home run of the game capped a five-run 10th inning as Grand Canyon rallied from the brink of defeat to post a 9-5, extra-inning victory over UC Davis in a California Collegiate Athletic Association baseball game Friday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.
With the loss the Aggies fall to 16-11 on the season, 10-7 in CCAA play while Grand Canyon improves to 22-12 overall, 13-11 in conference action.
With the wind blowing out to left field, UC Davis took advantage first as with two outs in the first, third baseman Matt Kamigawachi sent a 2-0 pitch over the left field fence for the 1-0 lead. Grand Canyon answered in the second with a three-run home run off the bat of Adam Blong. Right fielder Travis Kaats hit the next pitch over the fence in left-center for a 4-1 lead.
The Aggies got a pair of those runs back in the bottom of the second as first baseman hit a two-run shot down the leftfield line, scoring Dustin Soderman, who reached on an error. UC Davis tied the game in the fourth as Robby Tulk's two-out RBI single scored Butterworth, who led off the inning with a walk.
Aggie starter Julio Marquez settled down after a shaky second inning to hold the Antelope bats to no runs and just five hits over the next seven innings.
UC Davis had a golden chance in the bottom of the eighth as Soderman led off the frame with a double down the leftfield line. After a passed ball, the Aggies had a runner of third with no outs. Antelope starter Josh Blocher struckout the next two batters then with runners on the corners, he induced Tulk to groundout to the first baseman to get out of the inning as the score remained 4-4.
The Aggies were one pitch away from victory in the ninth as they had the bases loaded with just one out. Antelope reliever Jeff Swanson came on and threw three straight balls before running the count full and getting Soderman to fly out to short centerfield.
Butterworth then grounded out to first, ending the Aggie threat and forcing extra innings. In the top of the 10th, Ryan Bethel led off with a triple to right field. He would score two batters later on a Greg Serrano RBI single. Grand Canyon would push across five runs in the frame, the big blast being Kaats second home run of the game, a three-run shot to deep left.
"We had our chances in this game and couldn't execute when we needed," said Aggie Head Coach Rex Peters. "We left 13 runners on base and had a man on third with less then two outs in both the eighth and ninth innings and couldn't push the run across.
"Julio gave us a chance to win today and did as good a job as you can under the conditions," Peters continued. "We just didn't get it done offensively."
Butterworth led UC Davis at the plate with a pair of hits while seven other Aggies collected hits. Marquez lasted into the 10th inning, allowing nine hits and six in taking his first loss of the season. Travis Bearden came on the 10th and allowed three runs on three hits.
Grand Canyon pounded out 12 hits on the afternoon, three each by Blong and Chris Rock. Blong and Kaats each drove in four runs in the contest. Blocher pitched into the ninth innings, allowing all four Aggie runs, three earned, striking out eight. John Lezaja pitched to one batter in the ninth before giving way to Swanson, who improved to 2-0 on the year.
These same two teams will face off in a doubleheader on Saturday at Dobbins Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for noon.