May 23, 2009
DAVIS, Calif. - Redshirt freshman Eric Johnson roped a pinch-hit walk-off single through the left side to score junior Ty Kelly from third base and cap a three-run UC Davis rally during the ninth inning of a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over Cal State Northridge in Big West Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium. The Aggie victory ties the series at 1-1 and sets up the rubber match in tomorrow's season finale.
UC Davis, which improves to 12-42 overall and 4-19 in conference play, will honor four seniors before the start of tomorrow's game. The Matadors are now 24-31 and 7-16.
The Aggies rallied from a 5-3 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Johnson, Kelly and Ryan Scoma each had RBI-singles in the inning. Justin Schafer hit a one-out single up the middle and Daniel Cepin reached on a fielding error on the Matador third baseman to begin the rally. Schafer advanced to third on the error. Kelly then lined a single to right field to score Schafer and Scoma followed with a ground out to second base to plate the tying run in Cepin. Following a walk to Kyle Mihaylo, Johnson pinch hit and singled past a diving third baseman to plate Kelly from second.
Northridge trailed up until the eighth inning when Ryan Pineda hit a two-run homer over the left field wall to put the Matadors ahead 4-3. They extended the inning with a single and stolen base from Chris Hannick and scored another run on a fielding error on the second baseman to go ahead by two runs.
UC Davis pounded out 14 hits in the game and overcame three fielding errors. Kelly had the hottest bat on the day as he finished 4-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and three RBIs. Schafer scored a game-high three runs and had three hits. Mihaylo added two hits and an RBI while Grant Hirneise's two hits made him the fourth Aggie with multiple hits.
The Matadors managed just six hits in the game and only TS Reed had more than one hit. The only earned runs came on Pineda's three-run shot in the eighth.
Two runs in the first and another in the third gave UC Davis an early 3-0 lead. Kelly and Mihaylo singled home the runs in the first and Kelly struck again in the third with an RBI-double. The double gives Kelly 20 on the season and ties him for third on the single season list.
CSUN scored its only other run in the sixth inning on a balk with a runner on third base, marking the first of two unearned runs.
Aggie starter Dayne Quist had another effective start as he went five innings and did not allow an earned run while striking out a game-high four batters. Tom Briner came on in relief after the go-ahead home run in the eighth and gave up one unearned run on just one hit over the final two innings in the victory.
Brian Slover, who saved yesterday's game for the Matadors, was on the mound for Northridge in the ninth inning in the loss. Two of the three runs were earned.
The series concludes tomorrow at 1 p.m. with the rubber match. UC Davis will honor seniors Hirneise, Scoma, Jeremy McChesney and Adam Bennett during a pregame ceremony. The game will be simulcast live through ucdavisaggies.com and KDVS 90.3 FM.