May 14, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - David Popkins went 2-for-5 and scored twice while Paul Politi drove in two runs and Evan Wolf struck out five batters as the UC Davis baseball team took a 6-3 win over Hawai'i on Monday at Dobbins Stadium in Davis.
UC Davis, playing its fourth game in four days, improves to 21-27 overall while Hawai'i drops to 28-22. The Aggies have now won four of their last six games.
With the win, Wolf moved to 2-4 after giving up just two runs on six hits and striking out five in six full innings of work. Harry Stanwyck earned his team-leading fifth save of the year, limiting the Rainbow Warriors to just two hits in 2.1 innings.
"We needed a six or seven inning start today from Evan to help keep us intact for the game we have to finish and then play tomorrow," said head coach Matt Vaughn. "He knows that he needed to go deep into this game and he found a way to do it. It's been kind of a roller coaster year for him, but he's been able to put together some good starts and today was one of them."
UC Davis struck early, taking a 4-1 lead after three innings. The Aggies got on the board in the first inning after Popkins doubled down the left field line, then scored on Austin Logan's single up the middle. Politi's double then scored Logan to give the Aggies a 2-1 lead.
In the second inning, John Williams took advantage of back-to-back wild pitches by Hawai'i starter Kyle Dowdy. Williams doubled with one out, then moved to third and came home on the two straight wild pitches.
Politi drove in the Aggies' fourth run of the day after his RBI single up the middle scored Spencer Brann from second. Brann reached base with a single through the gap into right field, then moved to second on a wild pitch. His run gave UC Davis a 4-1 lead.
"Spencer Brann is a very good offensive player and we feel good about putting him in the game from an offensive standpoint," said Vaughn. "All year long, Austin Logan has been swinging the bat pretty well. We felt like they didn't have a lot of left-handed pitching so we thought we could load it a little bit with the left-handed hitters and I think that worked for us, especially early. Logan had three tremendous at bats. It's a challenge to play four games in a row and they met that challenge today. It says a lot about this team. It speaks to their character and hopefully it speaks to us turning a corner."
Wolf got the Aggies out of a jam in the fifth inning after putting a runner on third with two outs, but he forced Trevor Podratz to ground out to end the inning.
The Warriors did get a run in the top of the sixth, however, after Collin Bennett doubled to lead off the frame, then scored on Zack Swasey's RBI base hit. Hawai'i put up another run in the seventh, to cut UC Davis' lead to 4-3.
Two more runs for UC Davis, however, sealed the 6-3 win. In the bottom of the seventh, Popkins singled, moved to second on Ryan Allgrove's sacrifice bunt then moved to third after Politi was hit by a pitch, scoring when Kevin Barker singled through the left side. Eric Johnson's RBI single scored Nick Lynch to give the Aggies the win.
UC Davis closes out a busy stretch of games by traveling to San Jose State on Tuesday. The Aggies will first resume the postponed game from Feb. 21 that was called due to darkness with the score tied 3-3 in the top of the 12th. Following that, a rained out game from Mar. 17 will be made up. The games will be played at SJSU's Blethen Field beginning at 1:30 p.m.