April 28, 2010
DAVIS, Calif. - Kyle Mihaylo hit a walk off double in the bottom of the ninth inning and the UC Davis baseball team rallied back from a two-run deficit to upset No. 20/23 Cal by a score of 6-5 Wednesday at Dobbins Stadium.
UC Davis moves to 17-19 overall while Cal now stands at 23-15. The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Aggies.
"You've got to keep playing and that's what we've been telling them all year," said head coach Rex Peters. "Even though you're behind, you keep playing hard so you create that habit and hopefully it will pay off somewhere down the line, like today. You may not come back to win a game but you might establish some momentum for the next game. Today, we did fall behind but we kept playing."
The game was halted due to rain immediately after the first batter of the game, but as play resumed, the Bears began to build their lead over the Aggies.
Cal recorded seven stolen bases on the day, all of which came in the second and third innings and led to a quick 4-2 lead. The Bears then put up an additional run in the fifth inning when catcher Chadd Krist hit a solo home run just over the left field wall to give Cal a 5-2 advantage.
UC Davis' rally came in the sixth inning as the Aggies scored three runs to tie the game at five runs apiece. Scott Lyman led off with a single through the left side, then moved to second base on a wild pitch before scoring on an RBI double from Eric Johnson. Johnson then moved to third on a base hit by Paul Politi, but was thrown out in an attempt to get home for the first out of the inning. With runners on first and second, Scott Kalush singled to right field to load the bases. Justin Schafer's base hit was far enough to bring home the equalizer as Politi and Daniel Cepin were able to round the bases and score.
The Bears began the seventh inning with a lead off single by Danny Oh who then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Guinn. With only one out, David Popkins entered to provide some relief on the mound, but walked Canha.
On the very next pitch, Krist hit a line drive into left field, but freshman outfielder Seth Batty was able to chase the ball down and made a sliding catch for the second out. With Oh caught off base, Batty threw hard to second baseman Scott Heylman who tagged Oh out at second to complete the double play and get the Aggies out of the inning.
With the score still tied at five runs each, home plate umpire Billy Haze signaled that the ninth inning would be the final inning of play due to the impending darkness settling on Dobbins Field.
Popkins went back to work on the mound for UC Davis and promptly struck out the side. He forced Marcus Semien to ground out to third base, then struck out Oh before pulling another ground out from Brian Guinn to set up Mihaylo's ninth inning heroics.
After Schafer's fly out to center field, Heylman singled up the middle, then advanced to second on a wild pitch by Cal pitcher Brian Diemer. Diemer intentionally walked Popkins to bring up Mihaylo. With the count at 1-2, Mihaylo hit a fastball squarely into center field to bring Heylman home and seal the win for UC Davis.
It was UC Davis' first win over a top-25 team this season.
"There was one out when he came to the plate and we figured we had a good chance having two shots at it with him and Lyman (up next to bat)," said Peters. "They're the run producing guys in the lineup and you've got to let them hit. He came up to me a little bit earlier and said he was having good swings. I told him to concentrate on squaring one up and he finally did that."
Popkins picked up his first win of the season after throwing 2.2 solid relief innings where he gave up just one hit and no runs. Diemer moved to 1-2 after giving up one run on five hits in three innings of work.
The walk off double was Mihaylo's only hit of the day as he went 1-for-5. Lyman led the Aggie offense, going 3-for-4 with two runs and a double.
Cal was led by Krist who went 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBI, a home run and a stolen base. Chad Bunting was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI to go with two stolen bases.
UC Davis resumes conference play with a three-game series at Cal State Northridge beginning Friday at 3 p.m. First pitch for Saturday and Sunday is set for 1 p.m. with all three games played at Matador Field.