Feb. 11, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. - A four-run second inning helped UC Davis chop the Pacific Tigers' seven-run lead by more than half in Tuesday's home opener at La Rue Field, but that three-run deficit eventually became the difference in the game as the Aggies fell by an 8-5 score.
Led by Kimberly Pena who finished 2-for-3, and Chandler Wagner who drove in a team-high two runs, UC Davis will enter its second home game in as many days with a 1-5 record. By virtue of having its two previously games, scheduled against Sacramento State, postponed due to rain, the Tigers start its season with a 1-0 mark.
That same Hornets squad will start its season against the Aggies Wednesday afternoon in the first of two Causeway Cup contests scheduled this year.
Pacific jumped out to a 7-0 lead after its half of the second, only to watch UC Davis storm back to score four runs of its own.
After drawing a five-pitch walk, Amy Nunez advanced to scoring position on a single to right from Pena-one of a team-high two hits recorded by the Aggies' designated player.
Krista Bava earned a free pass to first, on four straight pitches, to load the bases before Jasmine Lee and Wagner drove in their team's first runs on back-to-back singles. Completing her trip around the diamond on Lee's single was Nunez, Pena and Bava touched home on Wagner's hit.
Wagner recorded the final UC Davis run on a single to second base by Christa Castello. In all, UC Davis batted through its entire lineup to pull itself within reach of Pacific.
Pacific extended its lead in the third by scoring one run before the Aggies returned their deficit back to a three-run buffer thanks to Brianna Warner's hustle.
Leading off the bottom of the fifth with a double to left, Lauren Saunders left the game briefly when UC Davis head coach Karen Yoder inserted Warner into the game to pinch run. On a fly ball to right, Warner chose to tag and advance to third on the play, or so everyone at La Rue Field thought. Instead of pulling up, the Aggie coaching staff gave her the green light to turn the corner and head for home. Easily beating the throw from Tiger right fielder Taylor Petty, Warner easily slid around the catcher, who tried her best to block the plate, to record the Aggies' fifth run.
Making her first appearance in the circle at La Rue against UC Davis' former Big West foe, freshman Andrea Reynolds prevented Pacific from causing additional damage in its half of the second inning.
When she entered the game, the bases were loaded; after striking out her first batter faced, Reynolds watched Lee record the second out of the frame before running into the fence in first base foul territory, then forced a groundout to Castello at short to end the rally.
"(Reynolds) put us in a position to battle back and give this team a chance to win this game," said Yoder.
For the first time in two seasons, Sacramento State will visit UC Davis, Wednesday afternoon's first pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.