Aggies rally for series victory over the Matadors

April 2, 2017

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. -- Junior Alex Aguiar singled home the tying run with two outs and junior Guillermo Salazar's pinch-hit base hit plated two more runs to cap a three-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning, helping lift host UC Davis to a, 7-5, win and a Big West Conference series victory over visiting CSUN on Sunday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.

The Aggies clinched their second series victory of the year, improving to 8-13 overall and 2-1 in league play. With Sunday's win, UC Davis has taken the series from the Matadors in eight of the program's 10 seasons as members of the Big West, missing out only in 2013 and 2016.

CSUN fell to 13-15 overall and 1-2 in conference play with the loss.

The Matadors scored all five of their runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, briefly taking the lead thanks to an error on a fly ball to the outfield and a two-run home run off the bat of Kevin Riley in the sixth, tying the game back up at four-all on Nick Sablock's RBI double in the seventh, and pushing across the go-ahead run in the eighth on a single by Alvaro Rubalcaba to make it 5-4.

That set the stage for the Aggies' rally in the home half of the eighth as Ryan Anderson drew a one-out walk and moved to second on Ignacio Diaz's infield single into the hole at shortstop with two down. That brought up Aguiar, who worked the count in his favor before bouncing a single through the left side to plate Anderson to tie the game at five apiece.

Now with two on, and still two outs, Salazar pinch hit for Cameron Briggs and worked the count to 3-1, forcing CSUN reliever Conner O'Neil to come in with a pitch. Salazar jumped on the offering and lined a single into left that was misplayed by the charging fielder and rolled to the wall, allowing both Diaz and Aguiar to score for the 7-5 advantage.

Sophomore left-hander Chris Brown (1-3), who entered in relief and got the final out of the eighth inning, then closed out the win with a fly ball and a pair of ground balls in a 1-2-3 ninth.

Senior starter Justin Mullins was solid over seven innings, allowing three earned on five hits and striking out five in the no decision. Connor Loar pitched two-thirds of an inning, facing four batters in the eighth, before giving way to Brown.

O'Neil (2-3) suffered the loss in relief for CSUN, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits over two-thirds of an inning. Andrew Weston got the start for the Matadors, allowing three earned on seven hits and striking out three over seven innings in a no-decision.

As they had in each game of the series, the Aggies jumped out to the early lead with runs in each of the first two innings. Jacob Thomas led off the home half of the first with a single, moved to second on a wild pick-off throw, went to third on a ground ball, and scored on a wild pitch, for a 1-0 lead.

Diaz, who finished 2-for-4, then made it a two-run game in the second, slugging his first career home run over the wall in left on the second pitch he saw from Weston.

The score stayed that way until the sixth when CSUN rallied for its first three runs, but UC Davis bounced back, loading the bases to start the inning on singles by Caleb Van Blake and Anderson, before Cameron Olson was hit by a pitch. Diaz then rolled a ball to short as the Matadors got the out at second, but the throw to first went wild trying to turn two, scoring Van Blake and Anderson for the 4-3 advantage.

Anderson, who finished 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored, collected his team-high 12th multi-hit game of the season, while Diaz added his ninth. Diaz and Aguiar have now reached base safely in each of the team's last 11 games, while Ryan Hooper's bunt single in the fifth extended his hitting streak to eight games -- the longest active streak among UC Davis hitters.

The Aggies look to keep the momentum going with a mid-week clash against Causeway rival Sacramento State on Tuesday (April 4) at 2:30 p.m. at Dobbins Stadium, before heading to Southern California to take on defending conference champion Cal State Fullerton in a three-game series at Goodwin Field beginning Friday (April 7) at 7 p.m.

Friday night's opener against the Titans will be streamed live via the ESPN3 platform, with games two and three following on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.

UC Davis 7, CSUN 5 (Apr 02, 2017 at Davis, Calif.)
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CSUN................ 000 003 110  -  5  8  5      (13-15, 1-2 BIG WEST)
UC Davis............ 110 002 03X  -  7 10  3      (8-13, 2-1 BIG WEST)
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Pitchers: CSUN - Weston, Andrew; Toerner, Justin(8); O'Neil, Conner(8) and Alexander, Dylan. UC Davis - Mullins, Justin; Loar, Connor (8); Brown, Chris (8) and Diaz, Ignacio.
Win - Brown, Chris (1-3)  Loss - O'Neil, Conner (2-3)  T-2:46  A-179
HR CSUN - Riley, Kevin (6).
HR UCD - Diaz, Ignacio (1).
Weather: 73 deg. wind:WNW 10 mph