May 6, 2005
DAVIS, Calif. - Dave McKae threw his second shutout of the season while Lukas Kirby's RBI double in the sixth produced the game's only run as UC Davis snapped an eight-game losing skid with a 1-0 victory over UC Riverside in the first of a three-game series Friday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.
With the win the Aggies improve to 22-22 on the season while the Highlanders fall to 21-22.
It was a pitchers duel throughout as McKae and Highlander starter Haley Winter battled all afternoon. Both pitchers allowed six hits and each struck out seven, but McKae benefitted from a big hit and an even bigger defensive play.
The Aggies finally broke into the scoring column in the sixth as Kirby's double to left scored Brandon Oliver. Oliver led off the inning with a bunt single before stealing second. Daniel Descalso then drew a walk prior Kirby's deep shot to left. The Aggies had runners on second and third with no outs in the inning but could not push any more across.
UC Riverside looked as though it might even the score in the eighth on Matt Cunningham's two-out single to right. Brett Bigler, running from second on the play, was thrown out as home by Dan Baldini' in right field. The throw got to catcher Tyler LaTorre on one hop as Bigler did not slide and was called out on the close play.
UC Riverside had a runner on third with less than two outs on two other occasions but each time McKae worked out of the jam, getting Bigler to line out to second in the second and striking out Andrew Garcia to end the fourth.
"David was outstanding today," said Aggie head coach Rex Peters. "He bulldogged his way through today and got the win even when he didn't have his best stuff.
"The game came down to one big swing of the bat and we got it and they didn't."
Offensively the Aggies ran into another hot pitcher as Winter retired the side in order four times and only allowed a runner to third during the sixth inning. Kirby led the way with two hits on the day while Oliver, Descalso, Baldini and Ryan Royster also had hits.
McKae's second shutout of the season lowered his ERA to 2.40 this season. He allowed just six hits, all singles, while walking just one. He also moved into fifth place on the all-time strikeouts list and second on the school's career shutout list.
Bigler has two of the Highlanders six hits on the afternoon while also stealing two bases.
These same two teams resume the series Saturday at Dobbins Stadium with a 1 p.m. start.