SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Freshman Tanner Murray posted a 2-RBI double to give UC Davis a one-run lead in the fifth and junior Ryan Anderson recorded his first sacrifice fly of the season in the seventh to break a five-all tie, but after evening the score at seven apiece in their half of the inning, host Cal Poly edged the Aggies with a one-run eighth inning to steal an 8-7 victory and a series win on Friday evening at Baggett Stadium in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
The Aggies fell to 9-19 overall and a 2-5 Big West record, while the Mustangs improved to 15-17 on the season with a 2-5 league mark.
A lead-off single to left field by Logan Denholm in the second inning gave UC Davis its first baserunner of the game and marked the first hit of the night by either squad. But back-to-back strikeouts from junior right-hander Jarred Zill brought a quick end to the inning, stranding Denholm at first. The bottom half of the inning saw a similar series of events with Cal Poly at the plate, as senior Matt Blais recorded two strikeouts for UC Davis and the Mustangs stranded a runner in scoring position.
Alex Aguiar kicked off the third inning with a stand-up double that reached the left field warning track, advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt by Garret Kelly. Freshman Tanner Murray tallied his 10th RBI of the season, allowing Aguiar to complete his trip around the bases and give UC Davis a 1-0 advantage.
But three consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly to center field by Cal Poly in the fourth would tie things up at one apiece. The Mustangs then claimed their first lead of the night off an RBI-single from Alex McKenna to make it 2-1 in favor of Cal Poly.
The fifth would see a three-hit inning for the Aggies, including a 2-RBI double off the bat of Murray to give UC Davis a 3-2 lead over the Mustangs.
UC Davis would improve its lead by two more in the sixth, taking advantage of an error-ridden inning by the Cal Poly defense. Loading the bases off two singles and a fielding error, UC Davis brought two more runs across on a throwing error, giving the Aggies a 5-2 advantage.
But three extra-base hits and walk would bring three runs across for Cal Poly in their half of the inning, tying things up at five-all.
The Aggies continued to battle in the seventh, regaining the lead after two singles, one double, and a sacrifice fly gave UC Davis a 7-5 lead, marking its third consecutive two-run inning of the game.
But the Mustangs matched pace in the bottom of the inning, scoring two runs on a pair of walks and a pair of singles to even things up once again, 7-7. Cal Poly went on to claim its second lead of the night thanks to an RBI single off the bat of Nick Meyer in the bottom of the eighth.
Down to its last at bat, Anderson kept UC Davis alive with a single through the left side and advanced to second on a drawn walk by Denholm, forcing the Mustangs to look to to their bullpen. After four straight balls from Cam Schneider loaded the bases, the Aggies had a chance to tie but could not convert, lifting Cal Poly to a narrow 8-7 victory.
Murray finished 2-for-5 with a career-high three RBI, while Anderson, Denholm, and Aguiar each finished 2-for-4. Alex McKenna paced the Mustangs finishing 4-for-5 with one run and 2 RBI.
Connor Loar (1-2) suffered the loss for the Aggies after allowing one run on three hits and striking out three over two innings of work. Starter Matt Blais threw the first five innings for UC Davis, allowing two runs on eight hits and striking out three in the process.
Matt Arens (1-0) earned his first win of the season for Cal Poly after giving up just one hit and striking out three over 1.2 innings—one of seven Cal Poly hurlers to take the mound during Friday’s series opener at Baggett Stadium.
Games two and three of the series are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday (Apr. 14) and 1 p.m. on Sunday (Apr. 15).
Cal Poly 8, UC Davis 7 (04/13/18 at San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
UC Davis............ 001 022 200 - 7 11 0 (9-19, 2-5 Big West)
Cal Poly............ 000 203 21X - 8 14 2 (15-17, 2-5 Big West)
Pitchers: UC Davis - Blais, Matt; Wieser, Tim(6); Barraza, Daniel(6); Loar, Connor(7) and
Denholm, Logan. Cal Poly - Zill, Jarred; Clark, Michael(4); Dondanville, Austin(5);
Alvarez, Andrew(6); Dollard, Taylor(6); Arens, Matt(8); Schneider, Cam(9) and Meyer, Nick.
Win-Arens, Matt(1-0) Save-Schneider, Cam(2) Loss-Loar, Connor(1-2) T-3:25 A-1402
Weather: Sunny, cool, 62 deg., 10-20 Nw
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