Aggies homer three times in series opening slugfest

April 28, 2017

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. -- UC Davis and visiting Long Beach State combined to slug seven home runs on the day, with Ryan Hooper, Cameron Olson, and Ryan Anderson each leaving the yard for the home team as part of a rally that erased an early 5-0 deficit, but the Aggies could not hold off the Big West leaders, who struck for six runs in the final two innings en route to a wild, 14-9, victory on a blustery day at Phil Swimley Field at Dobbins Stadium on Friday afternoon.

UC Davis fell to 10-21 overall and 5-8 in Big West play, scoring all nine of its runs in the middle four innings to carry a lead late into the contest. Long Beach improved to 26-14 overall and 11-2 in conference play, maintaining its hold on the top spot in the league standings.

After spotting the visitors an early advantage, the Aggies jumped back into the game quickly thanks to a big third inning, putting a pair on for Hooper, who launched his fourth of the year over the wall in left to make it a two-run contest. After a ground ball for the second out, Olson strode to the plate and skied another that easily cleared the wall in left for his sixth of the season to make it 5-4.

The round-tripper was the 15th of Olson's career, edging him past David Popkins and Kyle Mihaylo for the most in the program's Division I Era. The six home runs are also a career high, breaking his previous best of five set last season, and are the most by an Aggie slugger since Mihaylo hit seven during the 2010 campaign.

UC Davis wasn't done, completing the comeback with a run in the fourth to tie things up as Jacob Thomas led-off with a single to left, moved to second when Mark Cardinalli was hit by a pitch, and scored from there when Brad Pluschkell dropped a single into left field. Long Beach State briefly regained the lead on an RBI groundout in the fifth, but the Aggies came roaring back with three in the home half as Olson was hit by a pitch and Anderson left the yard -- his fifth of the season -- to make it 7-6.

It marked the first three home run game for UC Davis since the Aggies did so at Pacific on April 26, 2015, when Austin March homered twice and Olson cleared the fence in an 11-5 win over the Tigers.

The balls kept flying following a quiet sixth inning as Long Beach State tied things up on a two-run home run by Ramsey Romano in the seventh, but left the bases loaded as UC Davis found a way to rally once again. Anderson led-off with a double and moved to third on a ground ball to the right side to bring up Thomas, who got enough of a fly ball to centerfield, deep enough to plate Anderson for a, 9-8, advantage.

A back-and-forth affair swung back in favor of Long Beach State in the eighth as it took the lead for good on a two-run home run by Lucas Tancas for a 10-9 lead and the visitors tacked on four more in the ninth -- punctuated by a three-run shot off the bat of Daniel Jackson, who drove in five on the day -- en route to the win.

Connor Riley (2-1) earned the win in relief despite allowing the then go-ahead run in the seventh, scattering two hits in his one inning of work. Chris Rivera earned his sixth save of the season in a perfect two innings of work, striking out a pair. Matt Blais (0-3) took the loss, allowing three runs on three hits over two innings.

Anderson, Thomas, and Caleb Van Blake, each finished with two hits for UC Davis, which collected double-digit hits for the 13th time this season. Tancas and Jarren Duran finished with three hits apiece to pace Long Beach State.

Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday afternoon (April 29) at 1 p.m.

Long Beach State 14, UC Davis 9 (Apr 28, 2017 at Davis, Calif.)
Long Beach State.... 131 010 224  - 14 16  2     (26-14, 11-2 BIG WEST)
UC Davis…………... 004 130 100  -  9 10  0      (12-21, 5-8 BIG WEST)
Pitchers: Long Beach State - McCaughan, Darren; Villalobos, Eli (5); Baayoun, Zak (6); Riley, Connor (7); Rivera, Chris (8) and Banuelos, David. UC Davis - Razo, Orlando; Blais, Matt (7); Brown, Chris (9); Stone, Zach (9) and Diaz, Ignacio.
Win - Riley, Connor (2-1)  Save - Rivera, Chris (6)  Loss - Blais, Matt (0-3)  T-3:42  A-176
HR LBSU - Lundquist, Brock (3); Jackson, Daniel (3); Tancas, Lucas (7); Romano, Ramsey (2).
HR UCD - Hooper, Ryan (4); Olson, Cameron (6); Anderson, Ryan (5).
Weather: low 70s, wind: NNW 10 mph
Brown faced 1 batter in the 9th.