Bluejays stage late rally to take series from Aggies

Senior catcher Ignacio Diaz extended his hitting streak to eight games with a pair of hits on Tuesday at Creighton. (Photo by Steven Branscombe)
March 28, 2017

Box Score

OMAHA, Neb. -- UC Davis senior Cameron Olson homered and drove in a pair, while Ignacio Diaz and Ryan Hooper each collected a pair of hits, but host Creighton scored four unanswered runs to rally from an early hole and steal a series victory with a 4-3 win on Tuesday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.

Despite jumping out to a lead with runs in two of the first three innings, the Aggies fell to 6-12 overall on the season with the loss. UC Davis will play one more game in Cornhusker State with a late addition of Omaha to the schedule, as first pitch between the two teams is scheduled for 11 a.m. PT on Wednesday (March 29) at Seymour Smith Park.

The Bluejays, who lost the opener 12-1 before posting a pair of one-run wins, improved to 7-12 on the season.

UC Davis got off to a quick start with a run in the second on a Hooper two-out RBI single after Diaz and Cameron Briggs singled earlier in the inning for a 1-0 advantage. The Aggies quickly made it a 3-0 lead in the third as Ryan Anderson reached on an error to bring up Olson, who slugged his third home run of the season over the wall in right field.

Olson's long ball ties Anderson for the team lead in that category and moving him into a tie for third on the program's Division I career list with 12 alongside Paul Politi (2009-13) and Nick Lynch (2012-15). The Division I mark is shared by David Popkins (2009-12) and Kyle Mihaylo (2008-10), who each hit 14 during their Aggie careers.

Creighton got a run back off starter Matt Blais in its half of the inning with an infield hit to make it 3-1, but Blais induced a double play to strand a runner at third and end the threat. Blais pitched into the sixth before leaving with a lead, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out one.

The Bluejays, who climbed to within a run on Michael Emodi's RBI double in the sixth, tied the game off reliever Chris Brown in the seventh on an RBI single by Clark Brinkman, and took the lead for good on Thomas Luevano's first home run of the season to start the eighth off Blake Peters (0-3) for the final, 4-3, advantage.

David Gerber (1-5), who entered in relief in the eighth and struck out the side, duplicated the effort in the ninth to nail down the series win, getting the last two Aggies swinging to end the game. UC Davis left five runners on -- four of those in scoring position -- over the first four innings before the Bluejays' staff retired the final 16 Aggie hitters on the day.

Diaz' two hits extended his hitting streak to a season-best eight games, batting .548 (17-for-31) with three doubles, three runs scored, and five RBI.

Following Wednesday's contest at Omaha, the Aggies open up Big West Conference play this weekend at Dobbins Stadium, welcoming in CSUN for a three-game series beginning Friday (March 31) at 2:30 p.m.

The Mavericks enter Wednesday's game with a 5-19 overall record, fresh off a 1-0 loss to Air Force on Tuesday as the Falcons limited their host to just three hits. UC Davis and Omaha were scheduled to meet earlier this year in a season-opening tournament at UNLV, but were rained out twice.

Creighton 4, UC Davis 3 (Mar 28, 2017 at Omaha, Neb.)
UC Davis............ 012 000 000  -  3  8  0      (6-12)
Creighton........... 001 001 11X  -  4  9  3      (7-12)
Pitchers: UC Davis - Blais, Matt; Brown, Chris(6); Peters, Blake(7) and Diaz, Ignacio. Creighton - ROGALLA, K.; TAPANI(7); D GERBER(8) and EMODI.
Win-D GERBER(1-5)  Loss-Peters, Blake(0-3)  T-2:48  A-1125
HR UCD - Olson, Cameron (3).
Weather: 52 - Overcast - W: 5 MPH E