DAVIS, Calif.— Freshman right-hander Jared Sasaki tossed his fifth “quality” start of the season for UC Davis, limiting the Anteaters to just one run on seven hits over a season-high eight innings of work, while senior Ryan Hooper and freshman Tanner Murray tacked on two hits apiece, as the Aggies evened the series with a 4-1 victory over UC Irvine on Friday afternoon at Phil Swimley Field.
The Aggies improve to 17-35 on the season and 8-15 in Big West play with the win, while the Anteaters fall to 32-23 overall with a 13-10 league mark. Both UC Davis and UC Irvine will close out the 2018 regular season schedule during tomorrow’s series finale, set begin at 12 p.m. at Phil Swimley Field.
Freshman Jared Sasaki (4-6) tossed his fifth “quality” start of the season for UC Davis, credited with the win after limiting UC Irvine to just one earned run on seven hits and striking out three over a career-best eight innings of work, while senior Connor Loar provided an inning of scoreless, hitless relief en route to his third save of the season.
Freshman right-hander Trenton Denholm (4-8) suffered the loss for the Anteaters, charged with three earned runs on nine hits over six innings on the mound, striking out four.
An error haunted UC Davis early after the Anteaters jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, but it would prove to be UC Irvine’s only run scored on the afternoon as the UC Davis defense put together a flawless performance over the final eight innings of play.
UC Davis answered in the bottom half of the first, tying the game at one-all on a single from Murray and a double to left field by fellow freshman Joseph Myers—his fifth of the season.
The Aggies then claimed the lead for good in the second, taking advantage of an error by the Anteater defense and scoring on a sacrifice fly from senior Alex Aguiar to make it 2-1.
After surrendering a single to Mikey Filia to lead-off the third, Sasaki retired 16 of the next 19 batters he faced, including two strikeouts.
The UC Davis defense backed Sasaki's stellar performance on the mound, making several outstanding plays. Freshman shortstop Tanner Murray recorded six assists on the afternoon and prevented a run from scoring in the seventh with a terrific throw home on a ball hit deep in the hole, allowing Denholm to cut off the runner with room to spare.
Hooper recorded a two-out knock in the fourth for a triple, and later scored on a single laced up the middle from fellow senior Brad Pluschkell to make it 3-1. UC Davis tacked on its final run of the day in the sixth when Hooper singled to right center with runners on the corners.
Hooper finished 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI logging his 21st extra-base hit of the year, while Murray added on a pair of hits and came around to score once in the first.
Junior Cameron Briggs tallied his seventh double of the season and sophomore Logan Denholm threw out his eighth would-be base stealer of the year. Denholm faced his younger brother, Trenton Denholm, on the mound three times.
The series finale is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. tomorrow (May 26) at Phil Swimley Field. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and show their support for the UC Davis baseball program’s seven departing seniors who are making their final appearances in an Aggie uniform this season: Alex Aguiar, Daniel Barraza, Matt Blais, Ryan Hooper, Connor Loar, Brad Pluschkell, and Guillermo Salazar.
UC Davis 4, UC Irvine 1 (05/25/18 at Davis, Calif.)
UC Irvine........... 100 000 000 - 1 7 1 (32-23, 8-15 Big West)
UC Davis............ 110 101 00X - 4 10 1 (17-35, 13-10 Big West)
Pitchers: UC Irvine - Denholm, Trenton; Sparling, Sean(7); Garcia, Alonzo(8) and Reitano, Matt;
Mazur, Griffin. UC Davis - Sasaki, Jared; Loar, Connor(9) and Denholm, Logan.
Win-Sasaki, Jared(4-6) Save-Loar, Connor(3) Loss-Denholm, Trenton(4-8) T-2:14 A-157
Weather: Cloudy, 63 degrees, S 9 mph
ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and animal science programs.
DON'T MISS OUT!
Season tickets for UC Davis softball and baseball are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at UCDavisAggies.com.
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