April 2, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. -- Five UC Davis pitchers combined on a five-hitter and the Aggies' offense took full advantage of a pair of miscues by the Saint Mary's defense, lifting them to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Gaels under sunny skies on Wednesday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.
The win pushed UC Davis back over the .500 mark, improving the Aggies to 13-12 overall heading into this weekend's Big West Conference series at No. 18 Cal State Fullerton. Saint Mary's, which had won five of six coming into the mid-week clash, fell to 13-14 overall with the loss.
All four runs for UC Davis were unearned as the Aggies put up a pair of runs in both the fourth and seventh innings thanks to throwing errors that prolonged the innings.
Following a two-out walk to Austin March, Izaak Silva's ground ball was thrown wildly by the Gaels' shortstop, putting a pair on for junior Evan Heptig, who made Saint Mary's pay with a single down the left field line, scoring March for the 1-0 lead. Seth Batty followed and made it 2-0 with full-count single to right field, plating Silva all the way from second base.
The Gaels got one of the runs back in their half of the seventh as Michael Valentin singled to lead-off the inning, stole second, moved to third on a ground ball to the right side that Nick Lynch smothered to prevent extra bases down the line, and scored on a wild pitch to make it a one-run ballgame.
That would be as close as the visitors would come, however, as UC Davis pushed across two more runs in its half of the inning for some much-needed breathing room. Batty led-off with a walk and was safe at second base after Adam Young's sacrifice attempt back to the mound was thrown wide by the Saint Mary's pitcher trying to get the lead runner.
Steven Patterson, who finished 2-for-3 with a walk, followed with an infield single and the Aggies had the bases loaded with one out when Spencer Henderson was hit by an 0-2 pitch from Gaels' reliever Corbin Burnes, driving home Batty to make it 3-1. Kevin Barker then followed with a fly ball to right centerfield, deep enough to score Young for the final 4-1 tally.
Junior Spencer Koopmans (3-0) started and was credited with the win on the predetermined "staff day," pitching two shutout innings with a pair of strikeouts, while freshman Zach Stone pitched a perfect ninth to nail down his sixth save of the year. Orlando Razo, Justin Mullins, and Henderson, combined to allow just the one run on five hits while striking out three in six innings of relief, holding the Saint Mary's bats at bay.
Kurt Jahnke (1-1), the first of three pitchers on the day for the Gaels, was tagged with the loss, allowing two unearned runs on four hits in 3.2 innings of work, walking three and striking out three.
Despite an 0-for-4 day at the plate, Young reached base safely for the 16th consecutive game with a third-inning walk for the Aggies, while five other players finished with hits for UC Davis.
This weekend's series with the Titans begins on Friday (April 4) at 7 p.m. from Goodwin Field and will be streamed live over the Internet courtesy of ESPN3.com. First pitch for game two on Saturday is scheduled for 6 p.m., with Sunday's series finale scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.