Aggies roll to series win over No. 13 Gauchos, 13-3

Freshman Logan Denholm finished with a home run, three hits, and four RBI on the day to help the Aggies take the series from UC Santa Barbara on Sunday. (Photo by Mark Honbo/UC Davis Athletics Communications)
May 8, 2016

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. -- Three UC Davis pitchers combined to hold UC Santa Barbara to six hits on the day, while a quartet of Aggies finished with three hits, helping them clinch their first Big West Conference series win of the season with a 13-3 rout of the No. 13 Gauchos on Sunday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.

UC Davis improved to 15-26 overall and 4-11 in conference play, winning its first series against UC Santa Barbara since the Aggies swept the Gauchos on the road in 2010 and took a series at home from Santa Barbara for the first time in the program's Division I history.

UCSB fell to 31-12-1 overall and 9-6 in the Big West with Sunday's defeat, led by a 2-for-3 day off the bat of Devon Gradford.

In tying its season high for runs in a conference game this season, UC Davis scored multiple times in five of the eight innings on the day, matching its offensive output in a 13-12 win over UC Riverside back on April 3. After falling behind 2-0 in the second, the Aggies responded with four in their half of the inning, added two more runs in both the fourth and fifth, scored three times in the sixth, and finished off with a pair in the seventh.

Freshman Logan Denholm finished 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and four runs driven in, slugging his second home run of the season (a two-run shot) in the sixth and adding a two-run single in the seventh to cap the scoring. Sophomores Justin Allen and Brad Pluschkell also added three hits and a pair of RBI, while senior Tanner Bily was 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored at the top of the order.

Trailing by two, back-to-back singles by Denholm and Ryan Hooper started the winning rally for the Aggies in the second off starter Kyle Hatton (3-1). With runners at the corners following a fly ball for the first out, Justin Allen pulled a ball to the left side that deflected off the glove of the diving third baseman and ended up in no-man's land, allowing Denholm to score and make it 2-1.

A hit batter loaded the bases and chased Hatton from the game in favor of Kyle Nelson, who got ahead in the count to Pluschkell 0-2 before the sophomore ripped a double into the left field corner, scoring a pair for the 3-2 lead. Bily added a sacrifice fly in the very next at-bat to extend the lead and the Aggies rolled from there.

Alex Aguiar had a two-run single in the fourth, a fielder's choice and a throwing error allowed two more to cross in the fifth, Denholm lined a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left in the sixth and was followed later in the inning with an RBI single by Allen to push it to 11-2 in favor of UC Davis, before Denholm capped the scoring with his two-run single in the seventh.

Senior right-hander Nat Hamby (3-4) earned the win for the Aggies, allowing just one earned run on four hits while striking out four over 5.2 innings of work. After giving up the two runs in the second, he allowed only two base runners to reach in the third through fifth innings, stranding both in scoring position, before leaving with two outs in the sixth with runners on second and third.

Freshman Chris Brown came in and needed only one pitch to escape the jam, inducing J.J. Muno into an inning-ending pop-up, and threw 2.1 innings of relief, allowing just one hit and an unearned run while striking out two. Matt Blais came on to start the ninth and, after giving up a lead-off single, got a pop-up and a pair of strikeouts to end the game.

Hatton was charged with four runs on four hits in just 1.1 innings of work in the loss, while Nelson and Kenny Chapman were tagged for eight earned on 12 hits in a combined 4.2 innings. Grant Dragmire finished the final two innings for the Gauchos, allowing just one hit and walking one.

Spencer Henderson and Ryan Hooper also added two hits apiece as the Aggies finished with double-digit hits for the sixth time in the seven games, falling two hits shy of their season high of 19 set in the win at Riverside on April 3.

The Aggies hit the road for their next five games, opening with a clash against Causeway rival Sacramento State for the second time in a week on Tuesday (May 10) at John Smith Field in Sacramento at 3 p.m. UC Davis then returns to Big West play with a three-game series next weekend at CSUN, beginning Friday (May 13) at 3 p.m.

UC Davis 13, #13 UC Santa Barbara 3 (May 08, 2016 at Davis, Calif.)
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UC Santa Barbara.... 020 000 010  -  3  6  3      (31-12-1, 9-6 BIG WEST)
UC Davis............ 040 223 20X  - 13 17  2      (15-26, 4-11 BIG WEST)
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Pitchers: UC Santa Barbara - Hatton, Kyle; Nelson, Kyle(2); Chapman, Kenny(6); Dragmire, Grant(7) and Grover, Dempsey. UC Davis - Hamby, Nat; Brown, Chris (6); Blais, Matt (9) and Denholm, Logan.
Win - Hamby, Nat (3-4)  Loss - Hatton, Kyle (3-1)  T-3:07  A-402
HR UCD - Denholm, Logan (2).
Weather: overcast, mild, little wind
Chapman, K faced 2 batters in the 7th.