Aggies steal one from the Gaels with late rally

Junior Ryan Hooper tied a career high with three RBI in Tuesday's win over Saint Mary's. (Photo by Wayne Tilcock/Davis Enterprise)
May 2, 2017

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. -- Junior Ryan Hooper plated the tying run with an RBI single and teammate Jacob Thomas' RBI single pushed across the go-ahead score to spark a four-run eighth inning and rally the host Aggies, who held on for an 11-10 non-conference victory over Saint Mary's on Tuesday afternoon at Phil Swimley Field at Dobbins Stadium.

The win snapped a four-game skid for UC Davis, which improved to 13-23 overall heading into this weekend's three-game Big West Conference series on the road at UC Santa Barbara. The Gaels, who received four hits from Edward Haus and scored in all but two innings on the day, fell to 28-16 overall on the year, snapping their four-game winning streak in the series with the Aggies.

Two big innings for the host side keyed its first win since April 22, scoring five times in the fourth inning to erase a two-run deficit, and four times in the eighth after Saint Mary's rallied with four unanswered runs to regain the lead in the top half of the inning.

Having retired 11 consecutive hitters and taking an 8-7 lead on an RBI double by Austin Chauvin, freshman Alejandro Lara got the Aggies' rally started by reaching on an error with one out and moving to second on Cameron Briggs' single to right that turned the lineup over.

Hooper then came through with his second hit of the day, a single through the left side that plated pinch runner Brad Pluschkell with the tying run to make it 8-8 and bring up Thomas, who sent the first pitch he saw into right centerfield, scoring pinch-runner Garrett Kelly to put UC Davis ahead for good. A wild pitch scored Hooper from third, and Ryan Anderson added a much-needed insurance score with a bloop single to center, scoring Thomas for a three-run advantage.

Saint Mary's had one more rally in themselves to make things interesting, as Andrew Shebloski led-off with a single and was safe at second on Conor Thane's bouncing fielder's choice to the left side. A single by Brett Rasso loaded the bases before a passed ball plated the first run to make 11-9 with nobody out. Following a pop-up to the left side for the first out, Zach Kirtley grounded out to the left side to drive home another run to make it 11-10, but junior Blake Peters was able to get Kevin Milam reaching and loft a soft pop-up to Caleb Van Blake at second base to end the game.

Junior Zach Stone (4-2), who allowed a run on a hit over two innings of relief earned the win as the sixth of seven Aggie pitchers on the day. Peters was able to nail down his first save of the year -- and only the third by a UC Davis pitcher on the season -- allowing just one earned on two hits in a busy night.

Hansen suffered the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits over 4.1 innings, getting the final out of the fourth and not allowing an Aggie base runner until Lara reached on the error in the decisive eighth.

Milam's two-run single in the first staked Saint Mary's to the early lead, as the Gaels added a run on a Haus double and a Joe Vranesh single in the second and third, respectively. UC Davis answered with single runs in the first two innings on a double by Cameron Olson and a groundout by Hooper to make it a two-run contest, before taking their first lead with a big fourth inning.

The Aggies sent 10 batters to the plate in the frame, as the first five batters reached base safely, loading the bases on a double, a walk, and a single to shallow left field. Briggs then drew a full-count walk to force home Alex Aguiar and Hooper followed with another full-count base on balls to score Caleb Van Blake, tie the game, and knock starter Cameron Neff from the game.

A ground ball to the right side forced a runner at second, but was enough to score Lara for the go-ahead run and make it 5-4, as Olson and Ignacio Diaz followed with a sacrifice fly and an RBI single, respectively, for the three-run advantage.

Back-to-back singles by Haus and Kirtley scored a pair in the sixth for the Gaels, who added the tying run on a sac fly by Rasso in the seventh to set up the wild finish.

Four UC Davis hitters extended lengthy hitting streaks in the game as Hooper's first-inning single gave him hits in each of the last 10 games -- the longest hitting streak by an Aggie this season -- while his three RBI tied a career high set last weekend against No. 9 Long Beach State. Olson's first-inning double gave him hits in nine straight, Anderson's streak moved to eight consecutive games with his single in the eighth, and Aguiar made it seven-in-a-row with his fourth-inning double.

UC Davis' series against the Gauchos begins on Friday (May 5) at 3 p.m., while games two and three to follow on Saturday (May 6) and Sunday (May 7) at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.

UC Davis 11, Saint Mary's 10 (May 02, 2017 at Davis, Calif.)
Saint Mary's........ 211 002 112  - 10 15  1      (28-16)
UC Davis............ 110 500 04X  - 11 13  2      (13-23)
Pitchers: Saint Mary's - NEFF, Cameron; HANSEN, Andrew(4); MADRIGAL, Ty(8) and THORESON, Jackson. UC Davis - Blais, Matt; Barraza, Daniel (2); Loar, Connor (3); Brown, Chris (6); Hannah, Blake (7); Stone, Zach (7); Peters, Blake (9) and Diaz, Ignacio.
Win - Stone, Zach (4-2)  Save - Peters, Blake (1)  Loss - HANSEN, Andrew (0-2)  T-3:20  A-79
Barraza faced 2 batters in the 3rd.
NEFF faced 5 batters in the 4th.
Loar faced 4 batters in the 6th.
Brown faced 1 batter in the 7th.
Hannah faced 2 batters in the 7th.