Big Rally Falls Just Shy in Riverside Opener

Junior Kevin Barker finished with five hits on Thursday night against UC Riverside.

April 17, 2014

Box Score

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- UC Davis junior Kevin Barker finished 5-for-6 with a run scored and a pair of RBI, while three other Aggies finished with three hits on night, but a seven-run sixth inning rally came up just short as host UC Riverside held off the visitors from Davis for a 12-9 win on Thursday night at the Riverside Sports Complex.

The loss dropped UC Davis to 16-18 overall and 3-7 in Big West Conference play, while the Higlanders snapped a three-game skid against the Aggies following a sweep in 2013 at Dobbins Stadium, improving to 15-18 overall and 4-3 in league play.

The five-hit night was a career-high for Barker, who started in centerfield and hit second in the lineup after missing the better part of the last four games after being hit by a pitch in the opener against Long Beach State a week ago. It was the first five-hit game by an Aggie since Nick Lynch finished 5-for-5 at Saint Mary's on May 14.

UC Riverside struck early and often against UC Davis starter Harry Stanwyck (2-5) and reliever Raul Jacobson, plating 10 of its 12 runs in the first three innings -- including a grand slam in the second by Thomas Walker -- staking the Highlanders to a 10-1 lead after Brann drove home the Aggies first run with a second-inning double.

The UC Davis staff settled down, retiring nine of 10 hitters at one point and set the stage for a big comeback by the Aggies offense. Much like their 10-batter, seven-run, inning in the series finale against Long Beach State, UC Davis exploded again in the sixth on Thursday night, sending 11 batters to the plate and plating seven runs to make it a two-run ball game.



Five straight hits to lead-off the inning -- including run-scoring knocks by Brann, Bily, and pinch-hitter Brian Ruhm -- chased reliever Angelo Lingos from the game, while an error on a sacrifice attempt by Evan Heptig greeted reliever Joie Dunyon to load the bases. A walk to Seth Batty drove home another run and Barker followed with a two-run single up the middle to make it 10-7.

Dylan Stuart, the third pitcher of the inning, then stopped the bleeding, getting a strikeout, a ground ball (which scored the final run of the inning), and a fly ball to left, to end the inning. Stuart pitched the final four innings, allowing only an unearned run in the eighth on a sac fly by Lynch as the Aggies climbed back to within two runs at 11-9, to nail down his second save of the year as starter Jacob Smigelski (5-4) took home the win, allowing just one run on eight hits in five innings.

Stanwyck was tagged with the loss for UC Davis, charged with seven runs on five hits in just 1.2 innings. The Aggies stranded 11 runners on base for the game, six of those in scoring position.

Tino Lipson, Spencer Brann, and Tanner Bily, also finished with three hits on the night for UC Davis, which had six different hitters drive in runs on the night. Six different hitters finished with multiple hits for the host Highlanders, helping the home side out-hit the visitors, 18-14, for the game.

First pitch for game two of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday night from the Riverside Sports Complex, in a game to be streamed live online at

UC Riverside 12, UC Davis 9 (Apr 17, 2014 at Riverside, CA)
UC Davis............ 010 007 010 - 9 18 0 (16-18, 3-7 Big West)
UC Riverside........ 352 000 11X - 12 14 2 (15-18, 4-3 Big West)
Pitchers: UC Davis - Stanwyck, Harry; Jacobson, Raul(2); Razo, Orlando(8) and Brann, Spencer. UC Riverside - Smigelski, Jacob; Lingos, Angelo(6); Dunyon, Joie(6); Stuart, Dylan(6) and Ellis,Matthew.
Win-Smigelski, Jacob(5-4) Save-Stuart, Dylan(2) Loss-Stanwyck, Harry(2-5) T-3:27 A-270
HR UCR - Walker, Thomas.
Weather: Southern California