May 19, 2012
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Tom Briner pitched his second-straight complete game, striking out seven batters, and the UC Davis baseball team scored seven runs in the eighth inning to take an 8-2 victory over Cal State Northridge on Saturday at Matador Field.
UC Davis wins its fourth straight game and third consecutive Big West Conference series to improve to 24-28 overall and 10-10 in conference play. Cal State Northridge drops to 22-26 and 9-11 in league play.
Briner allowed eight hits, but gave up only two runs, one of which was earned, in his team-leading fourth complete game of the season, carrying the shutout into the bottom of the ninth inning. He improves to 4-6 on the year while Cal State Northridge's Jerry Keel picked up the loss to move to 6-2.
Offensively, UC Davis was led by Eric Johnson for the second straight game. Johnson went 4-for-5 with a double and a triple, scored two runs and drove in two more. Tino Lipson went 3-for-5 with two RBI while Scott Kalush was 2-for-4 with three RBI.
The Aggies took a 1-0 lead in the second after Johnson singled, then David Popkins was hit by a pitch. The duo pulled a double steal and Kalush's single through the gap into left field scored Johnson.
As Briner continued to limit the Matadors, UC Davis was likewise held by Keel. The Aggies put up just three hits between the fourth and seventh innings. He was replaced in the top of the eighth by Louis Cohen after giving up a leadoff single to Lipson.
From there, UC Davis took over. With one out, pinch hitter Austin Logan loaded the bases after drawing a walk, then Johnson's RBI double down the left field line scored Paul Politi, who singled, and Ryan Allgrove, who reached base on a fielder's choice.
Cohen intentionally walked Popkins, loading the bases for the second time in the inning before Kalush doubled down the left field line to score Johnson and pinch runner John Williams. Brett Morgan drew a walk, reloading the bases, and pinch hitter Spencer Brann was hit by a pitch to bring home a run.
After a Matador pitching change, the Aggies returned to the top of the order as Lipson's single up the middle scored both Morgan and Kalush to give UC Davis the 8-0 lead.
Cal State Northridge plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth for the 8-2 final score.
UC Davis will try for the series sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m.