May 25, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - In his final collegiate start, senior Anthony Kupbens threw his third complete game of the year and gave up just five hits as the UC Davis baseball team claimed a 4-0 victory over UC Irvine on Friday at Dobbins Stadium in Davis.
UC Davis improves to 26-29 on the year and are 11-11 in the Big West Conference while UC Irvine moves to 30-24 and 12-10 in league play.
With the win, Kupbens finishes the year with a 5-4 record as he carried a one-hitter into the fifth inning. After giving up a base hit to Jeff Stephens to lead off the second inning, Kupbens retired the next 10 straight hitters before allowing a base hit to Connor Spencer in the fifth. Only one Anteater runner would advance past second base during the game and all five hits were singles.
He gave up a single in the eighth, but forced two fly outs to end the inning, then closed the game by forcing Chris Rabago to hit into a double play.
"It's incredibly rewarding while incredibly sad, because that's the last time we're going to see him out there," said head coach Matt Vaughn. "But what a way to go out. UC Irvine is one of the best teams in our conference and they didn't have a chance against him. It's incredibly special to get that, but he's been that way his whole career here. Even as a freshman, he threw games like this. For him to go out there and for us to get the first win of this series, it's huge."
The Aggies got out on top of UC Irvine starting pitcher Andrew Thurman early, putting up four runs over the first three innings. UC Davis quickly took a 2-0 lead in the first, then added on another two runs in the third.
Tino Lipson led off the game with a single up the middle, moved to second on a grounder by David Popkins, then came around to score after Nick Lynch doubled into left field. Lynch would score the second Aggie run of the game when Paul Politi followed with a double of his own to give UC Davis the 2-0 lead.
The Aggies extended their lead in the third after Popkins was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a single by Lynch, then came home on an RBI single by Politi. Kevin Barker singled Lynch home and UC Davis took a 4-0 lead.
"There's no one hotter coming in as a pitcher right now than Andrew Thurman," said Vaughn. "I think it speaks to what we've done as a team all month. We've never stopped playing hard. We had one of our best practices of the year yesterday and our coaches did a good job of putting together a plan for him. We had a good scouting report and fortunately we were able to execute it right off the bat. We were able to get enough early and Kupbens made it stand up. It was a great effort offensively."
Lynch went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs while Politi was 2-for-2 with two RBI to lead UC Davis offensively. Barker went 2-for-4 while Lipson was 1-for-4 with a run.
The Anteaters' five hits came from five different players.
The series resumes on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Dobbins Stadium.