ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Senior Brad Pluschkell finished 3-for-5 with a double, a pair of singles, and a career-high five RBI, while junior Ryan Anderson notched his 19th multi-hit performance with a 4-for-6 finish at the plate, as all nine Aggies in the starting lineup tallied at least one hit on the evening to help visiting UC Davis to a 13-8 victory over New Mexico in Friday’s opener at Santa Ana Star Field in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Aggies improve to 16-32 on the season with the win, marking the first victory over the Lobos in program history. New Mexico fell to 18-33-1 overall, surrendering 19 hits. Game two of the series is scheduled to begin tomorrow (May 19) at 2 p.m. MT/ 1 p.m. PT. This weekend’s series marks the first meeting between the two teams in baseball.
Matt Blais (4-7) was credited with his fourth win of the season for the Aggies after allowing five runs (four earned) on 12 hits over six innings of work, striking out four. Justin Slaten (2-9) suffered the loss for the Lobos, charged with three earned runs on five hits over 1.1 innings on the mound.
UC Davis forced trouble on the Lobos early, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the visitor half of the second after capitalizing on an error-ridden inning by the New Mexico defense. Senior Ryan Hooper’s 12th double of the season put the Aggies on the board, with RBI-singles from Pluschkell and freshman Tanner Murray giving the Aggies a three-run advantage and forcing the Lobos to turn to their bullpen. Now facing right-hander Drew Gillespie on the mound, a second error allowed all three baserunners to advance, tacking on another run for the Aggies to make it 4-0. Murray attempted to take an extra-base on the play, but was thrown out at home.
UC Davis would go on to score six times over the next three innings, including one in the third on a pair of singles form Logan Denholm and Pluschkell, and one in the fifth on back-to-back doubles from junior Caleb Van Blake and Anderson, both runs scoring on two outs.
Van Blake extended his hitting streak to six games with a single and a double, while Anderson notched his 19th multi-hit performance of the season and now leads the UC Davis offense with 19 extra-base hits on the year.
The fourth inning would see another four-run effort from the UC Davis offense after New Mexico scored one run in the third on three singles. Murray led off the inning with a single through the left side, as the Aggies brought one across thanks to a single off the bat of freshman Joseph Myers, and two more on a triple laced down the right field line by junior Cameron Briggs. Hooper drove in the final run of the inning to make it 9-1.
Briggs finished 1-for-2 with two walks, driving in two and tallying a career-high three runs scored.
The Lobos scratched their way back to within four of the Aggies after posting a four-run inning of their own in the home-half of the fifth, and threatened once more in the seventh after forcing the Aggies to look to their bullpen in right-hander Tim Wieser. With the bases loaded and no outs, Wieser got UC Davis out of trouble retiring the next three batters he faced, striking out two.
The Aggies shut the door on the Lobos in the eighth, bringing three more across on a 3-RBI double from Pluschkell. The senior third baseman ended the night 3-for-5 with one run and a career-high five RBI, marking his fifth multi-RBI effort of the season.
Five different Aggies were responsible for UC Davis' six extra-base hits, accounting for just under one third of its 19 total hits.
Games two and three of the series are set to begin on Saturday (May 19) at 2 p.m. MT/ 1 p.m. PT and Sunday (May 20) at 1 p.m. MT/ 12 p.m. PT.
UC Davis 13, New Mexico 8 (05/18/18 at Albuquerque, N.M.)
UC Davis............ 041 410 030 - 13 19 2 (16-32)
New Mexico.......... 001 040 030 - 8 15 3 (18-33-1)
Pitchers: UC Davis - Blais, Matt; Wieser, Tim(7); Erwin, Brett(8) and Denholm, Logan.
New Mexico - SLATEN, Justin; GILLESPIE, Drew(2); COFFEY, Brian(6); EMOND, Malachi(8) and
Win-Blais, Matt(4-7) Loss-SLATEN, Justin(2-9) T-3:15 A-601
Weather: 82, Cloudy, out to RF 14 MPH
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