Furious Friday Comeback Falls Short

Freshman Justin Mullins was stellar in relief on Friday, allowing just one run on six hits over 7 1/3 innings while striking out a career-high seven against the Gauchos.

May 23, 2014

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. -- UC Davis strung together a three-run rally in its last ups to nearly erase a four-run deficit in the ninth, but visiting UC Santa Barbara hung on for the win, stranding the tying and winning runs in scoring position to escape Dobbins Stadium with a 6-5 win on Friday afternoon.

Trailing by a 6-2 count entering their half of the ninth, the Aggies (23-30, 7-16 in the Big West Conference) saved their best for last against Gauchos' closer Dillon Tate, who entered the day ranked second in the league with 11 saves and a stellar 0.87 ERA in 26 appearances. Senior Adam Young greeted the right-hander with a looping single down the right field line and moved to second when fellow senior Spencer Brann was hit by a pitch on the second offering from Tate.

Junior Nick Lynch then loaded the bases for the home side with a single to left to bring up pinch-hitter Austin March, who worked the count in his favor before drawing a walk, driving home Young to make it 6-3. A deep fly ball into foul territory in right field for the first out was far enough to score Brann on the sacrifice fly, inching UC Davis closer at 6-4.

Seth Batty kept the rally going, blooping a single into right field that glanced just off the glove of a diving Cameron Newell and ricocheted off his foot back to the infield, holding the runners to one base, but playing Lynch to make it 6-5. With runners at first and second, Tino Lipson sent a double-play ball to the right side, but the junior found an extra gear, beating out the relay, and moving March to third.



Tanner Bily came to the plate and battled Tate through an eight-pitch at bat, during which Lipson "stumbled" trying to possibly get caught in a rundown to give March a chance to come home, but reached base safely when Tate intercepted the rundown and ran Lipson safely to second.

Now, with the tying run 90 feet away, and the winning run standing at second, Tate buckled down as Bily worked the count full, but the Aggies' sophomore could not catch up to a slider from the Gauchos' closer, striking out the UC Davis rightfielder to end the game.

UC Santa Barbara's Austin Pettibone (5-1) earned the win for the Gauchos (33-17-1, 11-12), allowing two runs on five hits and striking out six before giving way to Greg Mahle in the seventh, who pitched two scoreless innings while scattering just two hits.

Senior right-hander Harry Stanwyck (3-8) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on five hits over 1 2/3 innings of work. Freshman Justin Mullins then entered in relief and was masterful, allowing just one run on six hits while striking out a career-high seven batters in a career-best 7 1/3 innings to keep his side in the contest.

Five different Aggies finished with two hits to account for the team's 10 singles as Batty, Lipson, Bily, Young, and Lynch, all reached the mark. Campbell Wear finished 3-for-4 for UCSB with a pair of runs scored -- including the one that would turn out to be the difference when he came home after teammate Peter Maris was caught in a rundown in the fourth, touching the plate before Maris was tagged out to end the inning.

After a quick first inning for both teams, including a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play by the UC Davis defense to end the top half of the first, the Gauchos broke through in a big way in the second, sending nine batters to the plate. Five straight one-out hits brought home three runs before a wild pitch and an RBI groundout staked Pettibone and UCSB to a 5-0 lead.

Trailing by six, UC Davis' offense finally responded with a pair in the fourth inning, cutting into the Gauchos' lead. A single to right by Batty broke up the no-hitter after Pettibone had retired the first nine batters of the game, and a high-chopper by Lipson to first base was corralled by Tyler Kuresa, but his throw to get Batty at second was wide, putting a pair on for the Aggies.

Bily sacrificed both runners into scoring position for Patterson, who was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Young followed with a bounding ball through the right side to score Batty and, following a strikeout for the second out, Lynch reached on an infield single to second, beating a throw and scoring Lipson to make it 6-2. Any further rally was snuffed out, however, when Kuresa wheeled and threw home to get Patterson trying to take an extra base on Lynch's hit, ending the inning.

UC Davis put another rally together in the sixth as Lipson singled to lead-off the inning and moved up 90 feet on Bily's single. After a fly ball, both runners moved into scoring position thanks to a wild pitch, but the Gauchos wriggled off the hook when Kuresa handled Young's ground ball to the right side, stepped on first, and threw home to erase Lipson trying to score, ending the inning.

The Aggies left seven runners on base for the game -- five of those in scoring position.

The two teams close out the 2014 regular season on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., as the Aggies will salute seven seniors, who will be making their final appearances at Dobbins Stadium as part of "Senior Day" ceremonies. The pregame festivities will begin at approximately 12:45 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara 6, UC Davis 5 (May 23, 2014 at Davis, Calif.)
UC Santa Barbara.... 050 100 000 - 6 11 0 (33-17-1, 11-12 BIG WEST)
UC Davis................. 000 200 003 - 5 10 0 (23-30, 7-16 BIG WEST)
Pitchers: UC Santa Barbara - Pettibone,Austin; Mahle,Greg(7); Tate,Dillon(9) and Wear,Campbell. UC Davis - Stanwyck, Harry; Mullins, Justin(2) and Brann, Spencer.
Win-Pettibone,Austin(5-1) Loss-Stanwyck, Harry(3-8) T-2:59 A-389
Weather: 85, wispy clouds, wind S4 mph