Spartans Spoil Hancock's Bid For Perfection In Season-Opening Sweep Of Aggies

Hancock delivers near her near-perfect game against San Jose State on Tuesday. <br> (Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 
Hancock delivers near her near-perfect game against San Jose State on Tuesday.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 

Feb. 1, 2005

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. - Danielle Eakins' double to right-center field with one out in the seventh inning on Tuesday spoiled UC Davis freshman pitcher Jessica Hancock's bid for a perfect game, while Elisa Barrios' subsequent single scored Easkins with the game's only run as San Jose State beat UC Davis 1-0 in the second game of their season-opening twinbill at LaRue Field.

San Jose State won the opener 6-2 in eight innings after the Aggies tied the game in the bottom of the seventh. Carol Forbes pitched the complete-game win in the opener for the Spartans and then earned a save in the nightcap, relieving freshman hurler Kat Castro who gathered the win by allowing just three hits.

Third baseman Nikki Sheldon and outfielder Carie Brueckner each had hits in both games for UC Davis, which was making its debut under new head coach Karen Matteson. Junior Rachel Kelly scattered six hits and struck out four in the opener before being relieved in the extra frame.

Hancock provided a lot of the opening day excitement on Tuesday, putting the Spartans down in order through the first six frames as she battled Castro in a scoreless duel. Hancock struck out the side in the second and had two more in the fourth on her way to eight strikeouts in her Aggie debut. She didn't walk a batter.

Hancock got a groundout to start the seventh before Eakins stroked a double to the fence, splitting the Aggies' center- and right-fielders. Barrios then followed with a bouncer up the middle that scored Eakins for the go-ahead run. Lindsay Tognetti later relieved Hancock to get the final two outs. Forbes then came in for Castro and put UC Davis down to end the game.

 

 

UC Davis twice had runners at third base with less than two outs during the game but couldn't score runs in either situation. UC Davis left five runners on base in the second game after stranding nine in the first.

Matteson was pleased with both starting pitchers' performances but said the Aggies needed to do more offensively to support them.

"We just have to be able to put the runners in scoring position and push the runs across," she said.

Castro had three strikeouts and a walk to pick up the win. Brueckner had a leadoff triple in the fifth for UC Davis but Castro got an infield popup, a groundout and a flyout to end the threat.

UC Davis rallied in the first game on a pair of occassions, including in the bottom of the seventh when the Aggies were down 2-1. De La Hoya rapped a one-out triple deep to right and raced to third with a triple, scoring on a short fly to center field by Kristin Herrera one batter later.

Using the international tiebreaker in the extra frame, each team started with a runner on second. San Jose State took advantage of an infield error to score Jana Arde for its first run while a two-run single from Carlie Hill made it 5-2. A sacrifice fly brought in the final run as Forbes then held the Aggies without a run in the bottom half ot the inning to end the game.

UC Davis tied the game the first time as Brueckner doubled to left center in the fourth and came across two batters later on shortstop Lindsay Cox's single. The Spartans answered in their next at-bat on another infield error by UC Davis for a 2-1 lead which the Aggies would later erase.

Courtney Lewis and Eakins each had two hits in the opener for San Jose State while five different Aggies collected hits. Kelly struck out four and walked just two in her first appearance of the season.

"I thought our pitchers did an above average job for this point of the year," said Matteson.

Matteson said her youthful Aggie team will continue to improve.

"I thought we did a lot of good things," she said.

UC Davis will travel to compete in the San Diego Aztec Invitational this weekend, opening play on Friday against Long Beach State.