April 26, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. -- UC Davis right-handers Harry Stanwyck and Spencer Koopmans each twirled a gem in their respective starts, but rallies by visiting UC Irvine late in both games Saturday helped lift the Anteaters to a pair of wins to open a Big West Conference series at Dobbins Stadium.
UC Irvine used four ninth-inning runs to take the opener 4-2, while scoring three times in the final two innings to take the nightcap by the score of 4-1, as the two teams battled through a doubleheader after being rained out on Friday afternoon. The Anteaters improved to 27-14 overall and 10-1 in league playe while the hard-luck Aggies fell to 17-22 overall and 3-11 in the Big West.
Starters Stanwyck and Koopmans combined to allow just one earned run on seven hits over 14 innings of work and striking out eight, but were charged with no decisions after UC Irvine rallied against the UC Davis bullpen. Junior Kevin Barker and senior Adam Young each finished with three hits in the doubleheader, including a pair of doubles by the former, to pace the offense, as the Aggies ripped five doubles on the day.
The Aggies look to salvage a win in the series finale, which begins Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Senior right-hander Evan Wolf (3-3, 4.70 ERA) is scheduled to face UCI right-hander Evan Brock (6-3, 3.41 ERA).
GAME 1: UC IRVINE 4, UC DAVIS 2
After being held to just four hits over the first eight innings, UC Irvine rallied from down two runs, sending eight batters to the plate and scoring four times to post the 4-2 victory in the opener.
Limited to just two hits through the first five innings, the Aggies found a way to rally against UC Irvine ace Andrew Morales in the sixth, plating a pair of runs to break a scoreless deadlock and take a 2-0 lead. A one-out double by Barker and a walk to Tanner Bily set the stage as, following a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Tino Lipson and Adam Young followed with run-scoring singles to put UC Davis out front.
Morales, who has never lost in his Anteater career, entered the game with a nation-leading 0.61 ERA and just five earned runs allowed all season.
Stanwyck was equally as brilliant, retiring the first 11 batters of the game before surrendering an infield single off his ankle by Connor Spencer in the fourth, and finishing with six strikeouts. He pitched into the ninth before giving way to freshman Zach Stone (2-3) following a lead-off walk to Chris Rabago. UC Irvine finally found a groove with a little help from the Aggies' closer, who walked a batter and hit another to load the bases with no outs.
A hard-hit ground ball back through the box by Jonathan Munoz was snared by Lipson behind the second base bag, who flipped to Evan Heptig for a force, but it was enough to score Rabago to make it 2-1 and keep runners at the corners for the Anteaters. Jerry McClanahan then rolled a single through the right side to score Spencer to tie the game and move pinch runner Jonathan Herkins all the way to third.
Grant Palmer followed with a deep fly ball to right field, scoring Herkins for the eventual game-winning run, while Evan Cassolato added an RBI single to center to cap the rally.
Sam Moore then came on to close it out, but it didn't come without some drama as pinch-hitter Brian Ruhm led-off the ninth with an infield single, was sacrificed to second, and moved to third on a ground ball. After Seth Batty was hit by a pitch to put the tying run on base, Moore induced an inning-ending ground ball to end the rally.
Matt Fielding (1-0) earned the win for UC Irvine, allowing just a single hit in one inning of work, while the save was Moore's 17th of the year. Stone suffered the loss, charged with three runs on three hits.
Barker and Young each finished with two hits to lead the Aggies, while Spencer was 2-for-3 for the Anteaters.
GAME 2: UC IRVINE 4, UC DAVIS 1
In the nightcap, Palmer's RBI single snapped a 1-1 tie in the eighth and the Anteaters tacked on two more insurance runs for some breathing room in the ninth, lifting UC Irvine to the Saturday sweep.
Nick Lynch's double-play ball with the bases loaded plated Seth Batty (who doubled) to give the Aggies the lead in the first inning in support of Koopmans, who allowed an unearned run on just three hits while striking out two on just 78 pitches over six innings.
A throwing error with one out in the fourth led to the Anteaters' only run against the junior, who worked out of numerous jams to keep his side in the game, stranding eight UC Irvine baserunners on the basepaths -- six of those in scoring position -- including runners at second and third in both the second and sixth innings.
UC Davis had its chances as well, stranding eight for the game -- five of those in scoring position -- including a runner at third in the seventh after Izaak Silva laced a one-out double to the wall down the rightfield line, but a pair of ground balls left him 90 feet short from scoring the go-ahead run.
The Anteaters responded with the winning run in the eighth off reliever Raul Jacobson (4-1), as a single and an error in the outfield put Taylor Sparks at second base to lead off the inning. Munoz sacrificed him to third, where he stayed after a nice stop by Lipson on a rocket past the mound off the bat of Renae Martinez for the second out. UC Irvine wouldn't be denied, however, as Palmer lined a shot into centerfield, scoring Sparks for the winning run.
Back-to-back one-out singles in the Aggies' half of the eighth by Bily and Lynch off reliever Jimmy Litchfield went for naught, as the Anteaters tacked on two more in the ninth thanks to an RBI double by Rabago and a run-scoring single by Spencer for the final 4-1 tally.
Just as he did in game one, Moore came on to retire the side in the ninth, allowing another lead-off pinch-hit single to Ruhm before getting a double play and a ground ball to short to log his nation-leading 18th save of the year.
Mitch Merten (1-2) earned the win in relief of starter Elliot Surrey, striking out one in a single inning of work. Surrey worked around three walks to allow just one run on five hits in 6.1 innings for UC Irvine.
Jacobson was charged with the loss, allowing three runs on five hits in 2.1 innings of relief before giving way to freshman Justin Mullins, who allowed a hit and struck out one in getting the final two outs.
Lynch finished 2-for-4 to lead the Aggies' offense, as the top five hitters in the order collected six of the team's eight hits on the day. Rabago, Sparks, and Palmer each finished with two hits for UC Irvine.