April 22, 2011
IRVINE, Calif. - The UC Davis baseball team scored a run in the top of the tenth inning and reliever Tom Briner held off 18th-ranked UC Irvine as the Aggies claimed a 3-2 Big West Conference victory, snapping UC Irvine's perfect 16-0 home record, at Anteater Ballpark in Irvine, Calif.
UC Davis moves to 9-23 overall and 3-5 in the Big West. UC Irvine falls to 25-10 on the year and 7-4 in conference, suffering its first home loss of the 2011 season.
Down 2-0 entering the top of the sixth, Seth Batty led off with a base hit up the middle, then moved to second on a grounder by Brett Morgan before advancing to third on a wild pitch from UC Irvine starter Crosby Slaught. Karl Kobler's ground ball to second base allowed Batty to score, cutting the Anteater lead to only one run.
The Aggies tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the ninth inning when, with two outs and a runner on first, pinch hitter Kevin Grove singled up the middle, moving pinch runner Corbin Cutshaw all the way to third base. An error on Anteater catcher Ronnie Shaeffer allowed Cutshaw to score.
After UC Davis reliever Nathan Slater gave up a double to lead off the bottom of the ninth, Briner entered the game with nobody out and a runner on first and proceeded to retire the next three batters he faced. He forced UC Irvine center fielder Scott Gottschling to ground out, then struck out Reyes and DJ Crumlich in consecutive at bats to take the game into extra innings.
Scott Lyman and Eric Johnson hit back-to-back singles in the top of the tenth, putting runners on first and third with only one out. Freshman Spencer Brann connected on an 0-2 pitch, but Crumlich fumbled the catch for UC Irvine which allowed Lyman to score, putting UC Davis up 3-2.
Briner walked Sean Madigan, throwing four straight balls, to start the bottom of the tenth before settling in and sending the next three Anteater batters back to the dugout. Brian Hernandez hit a ground ball and was thrown out at first, then Briner struck out Drew Hillman before forcing Jordan Leyland to fly out to right field.
Briner earned the win to move to 2-1 on the year, striking out three Anteater batters without allowing a hit in two full innings.
Lyman started on the mound for UC Davis, giving up only two runs, one of which was earned, on four hits while striking out five in 6.1 innings. The only hit Slater allowed in his 1.2 innings of relief work was the double to lead off the bottom of the ninth.
Johnson hit 2-for-4 while Daniel Cepin went 2-for-5 to lead UC Davis offensively.
The series concludes on Saturday at 2 p.m. with lefty Anthony Kupbens starting for UC Davis against UC Irvine lefthander Matt Whitehouse.