April 11, 2003
DAVIS, Calif. - Robby Tulk's sacrifice fly in the seventh inning proved to be the winning run while Travis Bearden and Joel Needham combined for 4.2 innings of scoreless relief as UC Davis defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills, 5-3, in a California Collegiate Athletic Association baseball game Friday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.
With the victory the Aggies improve to 21-14 on the season, 15-10 in CCAA play. The Toros fall to 20-22 overall, 14-19 in conference action.
The Toros got on the board first in the top of the third when Joe Gevas drove in Eric Pringle with an RBI single to center. UC Davis answered with a run in the bottom of the frame as Dustin Soderman led off with a double to right and scored on a suicide squeeze by Mark Wells.
Dominguez put another run up in the fourth as Pringle singled home David Keesee from second with one out. Again the Aggies responded, finally getting to Toro starter Larry Robles. Ryan Coultas drilled the first pitch of the inning down the left field line for a leadoff double. Two batters later, David Butterworth doubled Coultas home then scored from second on an RBI single off the bat of Andy Reisinger.
In the fifth, the Toros continued to get at Aggie starter Julio Marquez as the first three batters drilled singles, loading the bases. Following a Keesee sacrifice fly, the Toros loaded the bases again on a single by Efren Esparza, the fourth hit of the inning. That was enough to end Marquez' day as Bearden came on with the bases full and just one out. On his first pitch Bearden induced Pringle into an inning-ending double play as UC Davis escaped with just the one run allowed, tying the score at 3-3.
The score would remain tied until the seventh when Robby Tulk's sacrifice fly to left scored Soderman, who led off the inning with his second double of the game. The next batter, Coultas, doubled to left scoring Kyle Irving, pushing the Aggie lead to 5-3.
Dominguez collected 15 hits on the afternoon against the Aggie pitchers but struggled pushing runs across the plate. They left 13 runners on base and twice had the bases loaded and failed to score.
"Today was a grind-it-out win," said Aggie Head Coach Rex Peters. "This was one of those games where you have to find a way to win and we made some quality pitches at big times and the defense helped us out with a few key double plays.
"We beat a good pitcher today," Peters continued. "He was strong the first few innings and to our guys credit, they made some adjustments and got some timely hits."
Marquez went 4.1 innings for the Aggies, surrendering all three runs on 11 hits. Bearden came on and went the next three innings, scattering four hits before giving way to Needham with two on and one out in the eighth. Needham retired all five batters he faced to earn his team-leading fourth save of the season.
At the plate the Aggies collected 10 hits in the game, three by Soderman and two by Coultas. Robles went the distance for the Toros, allowing 10 hits while striking out six as he suffered his first defeat of the year against four victories. Gevas led the Toro attack with three hits while four other players had multi-hit games.
These same two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday at Dobbins Stadium. Gametime is set for noon.