Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Aggies solve Utes in series finale

UCD's Evan Heptig rounds third base on his way to score on Monday in the Aggies' 10-7 victory over Utah. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

From page B1 | February 26, 2013 |

After dropping the first three outings of a four-game series against Utah, the host UC Davis baseball team said enough was enough on Monday, beating the Utes, 10-7, at Dobbins Stadium.

The victory put the Aggies at 5-4 in a season-opening home stand and dropped Utah to 4-3 on the year.

UCD right-hander Evan Wolf pitched seven solid innings and Mike Mazzara had a key three-run double during a four-run fifth inning to lift the Aggies. In that sixth, Paul Politi’s single to left field extended his hitting streak to 19 games. He had hits in the final 10 games of last season and has picked up at least one in each of the first nine games this year.

Wolf scattered six hits and allowed just three runs in seven innings of work, striking out two batters and walking two. He was efficient in his performance, throwing 85 pitches and improving to 1-0.

“After we played those first three games the way we played them … for him to come out Monday and give us that effort was pretty special,” said UCD coach Matt Vaughn. “We were on the ropes and he got us off the ropes and gave our offense a chance to do what our offense is capable of doing.

“We made more plays (Monday). If you can stay in there with just one error and get that kind of pitching, I think we’re going to be in a lot of games because our offense is pretty good.”

Utah scored an unearned run in the first inning, but the Aggies tied things up in the bottom half when Steven Patterson worked a bases-loaded walk.

The Utes added two more in the second, and the score remained 2-1 until Patterson doubled and came home on Austin Logan’s fourth-inning single. Seth Batty knocked in Logan and shortstop Evan Heptig scored a run on a misplay in the outfield to put UCD up 4-2.

Leading 4-3 in the fifth, the Aggies loaded the bases with two walks and a hit. Mazzara then came in as a pinch hitter with two outs, doubling down the line in left to score catcher Spencer Brann, left fielder Austin March and Politi. Mazzara later scored on Heptig’s single to right-center field.

UCD tacked on another run for Wolf in the sixth, handing him a 9-3 lead.

The Aggies pounded out 12 hits Monday and have 69 over the past five games, but Vaughn said his team’s success begins with good defense:

“It cost us a couple of times this weekend, and I don’t think, I know it did. We have to get better defensively to give this offense a chance to do good things.”

Nine different Aggies had hits in the series finale, with Batty, Heptig and outfielder John Williams posting two each. Six UCD players knocked in runs.

On Sunday, Politi bashed a first-inning home run and Nick Lynch added another dinger later in the game, but visiting Utah used a 13-hit attack to hold off the Aggies, 7-6.

Tino Lipson finished with three hits for UCD, Politi added his fifth double of the season, and Batty and Lynch had two hits apiece in the loss.

The Aggies now head out on the road for a three-game series against Oklahoma State (7-1) beginning Friday in Stillwater, Okla.



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