NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — Freshman right-hander Jared Sasaki pitched a quality start for the Aggies and freshman shortstop Tanner Murray recorded two hits on the afternoon, but a single down the left field line with a runner on second would be enough to lift host CSUN to an 11-inning victory over UC Davis, 2-1, on Saturday afternoon at Matador Field.
The Aggies slip to 15-30 on the season with a 7-13 Big West mark, while the Matadors improve to 23-26 overall and 11-9 in league play, securing its fifth conference series win of the season.
Charged with no earned runs, Sasaki scattered eight hits and struck out two over seven innings of work before giving way to fellow freshman Brett Erwin, who suffered the loss for UC Davis after allowing one run on three hits across 3.1 innings on the mound. Matador right-hander Tei Vanderford (3-2) was credited with the win for CSUN after tossing one inning of scoreless, hitless relief.
UC Davis was first to get on the board for the second game in a row, taking an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Murray led off the inning with a double to left field—his ninth of the season—and was driven in by junior Ryan Anderson, who reached on a throwing error.
An error would also come back to haunt UC Davis in the inning that followed, after Riley Conlan advanced an extra 90 feet on an infield error before coming around to score on a sacrifice fly from Joey Cooper, tying the game at one-apiece. Conlan went on to finish 3-for-5 on the afternoon with one run scored and one RBI.
The game would remain tied, 1-1, as both Sasaki and Nunez settled in, with Sasaki retiring ten of the next 16 batters he faced, and Nunez retiring 12 of 13.
The Aggies threatened in the fifth with a double from senior Alex Aguiar, then again in the seventh, taking advantage of a second error by the Matador defense. Following a single through the right side by Cameron Briggs, Logan Denholm reached on a fielder’s choice before advancing to second on a throwing error. An infield single by senior Brad Pluschkell then put runners on the corners and forced CSUN to turn to its bullpen in right-hander Jayson Newman. Aguiar then loaded the bases drawing a pass with a hit-by-pitch at bat, but the Aggies could not convert.
In the bottom half of the 11th, a sacrifice bunt moved Kevin Riley into scoring position, who led off the inning with a single to left field. Now facing Aggie senior Connor Loar, Conlan poked a third-pitch single down the left field line to lift the Matadors to an extra-inning victory, 2-1.
Both squads left nine runners on the base paths, with the Aggies stranding five in scoring position, and the Matadors, four.
UC Davis and CSUN are set to conclude the weekend series with a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday (May 13).
Looking ahead, the Aggies will continue with the fifth of an eight-game stretch on the road on Tuesday (May 15) facing San Francisco at 3 p.m. at Benedetti Diamond.
CSUN 2, UC Davis 1 (05/12/18 at Northridge, Calif.)
UC Davis............ 100 000 000 00 - 1 8 1 (15-30, 7-13 Big West)
CSUN................ 010 000 000 01 - 2 12 2 (23-26, 11-9 Big West)
Pitchers: UC Davis - Sasaki, Jared; Erwin, Brett(8); Loar, Connor(11) and Denholm, Logan.
CSUN - Nunez, Isaiah; Newman, Jayson(7); Vanderford, Tei(11) and Casanova, Trevor.
Win-Vanderford, Tei(3-2) Loss-Erwin, Brett(0-1) T-3:06 A-433
Weather: Cool, overcast, 60's
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