DAVIS, Calif. — Trailing by six heading into the bottom of the eighth, UC Davis scratched its way back to within two of the Rainbow Warriors thanks to a four-run effort that included three doubles--one from junior Garret Kelly, who paced the Aggies finishing 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. But the rally would prove too little too late for UC Davis, lifting the Rainbow Warriors to an 8-5 victory on Saturday afternoon at Swimley Field to clinch the series.
The Aggies fell to 8-17 overall and 1-4 in Big West, while the Rainbow Warriors improved to 10-18 on the season with a 4-1 league record.
The Aggies were off to a strong start during Saturday afternoon’s Big West matchup, finding themselves with one out and the bases loaded following back-to-back singles from Brad Pluschkell and Ryan Anderson, and a drawn walk by Logan Denholm, before scoring its first run of the day on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Caleb Van Blake.
The Rainbow Warriors threatened in the second after an error and a wild pitch advanced Chayce Ka’aua around to third, but a key strikeout from freshman starter Jared Sasaki ended the inning before Hawai’i could get on the board.
Following three scoreless innings by both squads, Hawai'i broke the silence scoring its first run of the game in the fifth en route to a 3-1 lead over UC Davis. The 'Bows would then go on to tally two runs apiece in the sixth and eighth, jumping out to a commanding lead, 7-1.
Despite taking the early lead, UC Davis would not score again until the bottom half of the eighth, trailing Hawai'i by a margin of six. The Aggies chipped away at the deficit beginning what would be a four-run rally with a lead-off walk by Van Blake, before stringing together three back-to-back hits—including two extra base—to secure three of the inning's four total hits. Following a single through the left side from Ryan Hooper and a double down the left field line by Alex Aguiar, a wild pitch made it a 7-3 ball game in favor of the ‘Bows. The Aggies would record two more doubles before the end of the inning off the bats of Kelly and Pluschkell, helping UC Davis keep Hawai’i within striking distance heading into the top of the ninth. Pluschkell currently leads UC Davis with 11 doubles recorded on the season so far.
But the ninth inning would see an eighth and final run from Hawai'i, taking advantage of a fourth error by the UC Davis defense.
The remaining three-run deficit would prove too much to overcome for UC Davis, lifting Hawai’i to an 8-5 victory.
The Rainbow Warriors stranded 13 baserunners total on the afternoon, while UC Davis left 10 Aggies on the base paths, of which, five were in scoring position.
Johnny Weeks led the ‘Bows finishing 3-for-5 at the plate with one run scored and one RBI, while Kelly paced the UC Davis offense averaging .386 on the afternoon with one double and a pair of singles, driving one run across and coming around to score during the Aggies’ four-run stint in the eighth.
Freshman right-hander Jared Sasaki (2-3) suffered the loss for UC Davis after allowing five runs on 10 hits across 5.1 innings of work on the mound. In his eighth appearance of the season, Tim Wieser allowed the Rainbow Warriors just one hit over 1.2 innings.
Neil Uskali (6-1) was credited with the win for the ‘Bows after allowing one run on four hits, walking four and striking out two over six innings, while Dylan Thomas provided Hawai’i with 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit, en route to his 9th save of the season.
The Aggies return to action tomorrow (Apr. 8) for the series finale beginning at 1 p.m.
Hawaii 8, UC Davis 5 (04/07/18 at Davis, Calif.)
Hawaii.............. 000 032 021 - 8 14 1 (18-10, 4-1)
UC Davis............ 100 000 040 - 5 10 4 (8-17, 1-4)
Pitchers: Hawaii - Uskali, Neil; Smith, Cade(7); Thomas, Dylan(8) and Ka'aua, Chayce.
UC Davis - Sasaki, Jared; Lara, Andres(6); Moffitt, Brock(8); Wieser, Tim(8) and Denholm, Logan.
Win-Uskali, Neil(6-1) Save-Thomas, Dylan(9) Loss-Sasaki, Jared(2-3) T-2:47 A-214
Weather: cloudy, 68 deg., SSW 11mph
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