April 21, 2012
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - David Popkins hit his team-leading fourth home run of the year while Brett Morgan went 2-for-4 with two RBI, but UC Riverside took the lead with a five-run third-inning then held off UC Davis to claim a 7-6 win on Saturday at the Riverside Sports Complex.
UC Davis drops to 14-20 overall and 3-5 in Big West Conference play while UC Riverside evens the series, moves to 13-19 overall and improves to 3-5 in league action.
Austin Logan led off the second inning with a double into right field, moved to third on a wild pitch, then scored on Morgan's ground out to short to give UC Davis a brief 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third, Popkins took a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right center field to extend UC Davis' lead to 2-0.
UC Riverside, however, came storming back in the bottom half of the frame, putting up five runs on five hits to take a 5-2 lead. Eddie Young led off with a single, then Jake Gallaway's grounder was bobbled by Aggie starter Anthony Kupbens, allowing Gallaway to reach first.
Kubens struck out the next two batters he faced, but Phil Holinsworth's single scored Young and Clayton Prestridge doubled down the left field line to score both Holinsworth and Gallaway. Two additional Highlander runs would score off of base hits by Cody Hough and Nick Vilter before Kupbens forced Young to ground out for the final out of the inning.
UC Riverside tacked on another run in the fourth to extend the lead to 6-2, but UC Davis began to rally in the sixth. Paul Politi led off the inning with a base hit, then moved to second on an error by Young, the Highlander shortstop. Spencer Brann singled Politi over to third, then Morgan's base hit brought home the Aggie third baseman to move the score to 6-3.
The Aggies repeated in the seventh inning, putting up two more runs. Pinch hitter Mike Mazzara led off with a base hit, moved to second on an error then moved to third on Popkins' hard bouncer off the chest of Highlander first baseman Vince Gonzalez. He would come around to score on a fielder's choice RBI by Politi, then Brann's sacrifice fly brought home Tino Lipson.
The Aggies would tie the game at 6-6 in the top of the eighth inning after Morgan, who walked to start the inning, scored on an RBI base hit by Lipson.
UC Riverside responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning to take a 7-6 lead and the Aggies were unable to come back. With two outs and runners on first and second, Evan Wolf was picked off at first as UC Riverside took the 7-6 win.
The series concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m.