March 29, 2003
DAVIS, Calif. - David Butterworth's home run in the second inning was the only run Michael Potter needed as he silenced the Antelope bats through eight innings as UC Davis defeated Grand Canyon, 1-0, in the opening game of a California Collegiate Athletic Association doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium. In the second game, Adam Blong's RBI single in the top of the seventh was the game-winner as Grand Canyon earned the split with a 6-5 win over the Aggies.
With the split the Aggies see their record move to 17-12 on the season, 11-8 in CCAA play. Grand Canyon goes to 23-13 overall, 14-12 in conference action.
Butterworth drilled a two-out home run deep over the left field fence to put UC Davis on top in the second inning. As it turned out that would be the only run of the game as Potter and reliever Joel Needham combined to hold Grand Canyon to just three hits in the first game.
Potter went eight strong innings, surrendering just three hits while striking out two. Only one Antelope batter reached third through the first eight innings as Potter faced the minimum 18 batters through the first six frames. He came out after giving up a leadoff single in the ninth, giving way to Needham who retired all three batters he faced to earn his second save of the season. Grand Canyon had the tying run on third in the ninth, but left him stranded.
Butterworth banged out two of the Aggies six hits in the game while Grand Canyon's Brian Smith had two hits for the Antelopes. Devin Perrin went the distance for Canyon, allowing just the one run while striking out five in suffering his first loss of the year.
In the nightcap, Grand Canyon jumped out with four runs in the top of the third, the big blast coming from Joey Reiman, who drilled a two-run home run over the left field fence. Two more Antelope hits and an Aggie error led to the other two runs.
UC Davis responded with a four-spot of its own in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back RBI singles from Robby Tulk and Ryan Coultas cut the lead in half before Butterworth tied the game with a two-run single.
After falling behind in the fifth, UC Davis tied the score at 5-5 in the sixth on a Coultas RBI single that plated Mark Wells. The Aggies would put runners at second and third with one out in that same inning but failed to push another run across.
In the top of the seventh, Chris Rock hit a bases-empty two-out single to center. On the play Tulk overran the ball, allowing Rock to move to second on the play. The next batter, Adam Blong, singled to left, driving Rock in with the winning run.
Butterworth, Coultas, Dustin Soderman and Tyler LaTorre each had two hits in the nightcap to lead a nine-hit Aggie attack. Vince DeCoito, making his first appearance of the season, started and went 2.1 innings, allowing four runs on five hits while striking out one. Needham and Dave McKae combined for the final 4.2 innings, surrendering two runs, one earned, on just four hits. McKae took the loss although the run her surrendered was unearned.
Travis Kaats led Grand Canyon with three hits in the second game, while Reiman and Blong each drove in a pair of runs. The Antelopes used four pitches in the game with Jeff Swanson going the final 1.2 innings to pick up his second win in as many days. His season record improves to 3-0.
"I though Potter pitched his tail off in the first game, as did Needham who relieved him," said Aggie Head Coach Rex Peters. "Grand Canyon is a good offensive club and our pitchers pitched well. In the second game, we did a good job battling back after being down. But we still have a hard time finishing off games. We haven't figured out how to win close ball games consistently."
These same two teams will conclude their four-game series with a single game at Dobbins Stadium beginning at noon on Sunday.