After posting nine runs a night earlier, the UC Davis baseball team went scoreless for the first eight innings of Tuesday’s nonconference finale against Stanford.
But with two outs in the bottom of the ninth at Dobbins Stadium, Nick Lynch’s walk-off single sent the Aggies into Big West play with a 2-1 victory over the Cardinal.
UCD — which opens league play on Thursday night at No. 21 Cal Poly — improved to 10-12 by winning its second game in two days. The Aggies went on the road to top San Jose State, 9-2, on Monday.
“Coming off finals week and getting these two wins is big for us,” said UCD head coach Matt Vaughn. “We had a tough series at Seattle U before finals, but our guys were ready for these games. It was especially fun seeing three freshmen go out there (Tuesday) and pitch really well. It bodes well for us going forward.”
Redshirt freshman reliever Max Cordy (4-2) picked up the win by throwing a scoreless ninth inning while Stanford reliever Garrett Hughes (2-2) suffered the loss. He allowing the two Aggie runs on two hits, a walk and a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth.
Way back in the first inning, Stanford (11-8) scored the only other run of the game, taking a 1-0 lead that could have been larger. The Cardinal led off the contest with back-to-back doubles and scored on a sacrifice fly. But on that play, UCD center fielder Kevin Barker rifled the ball to third and caught Stanford catcher Wayne Taylor trying to advance.
The game settled into a pitcher’s duel after the top of the first, as the Aggies and Cardinal combined for just two hits over the next six innings.
UCD starting pitcher Evan Wolf allowed one run on three hits in three frames to start the game, followed by freshman relievers Spencer Henderson and Zach Williams, who combined to toss five innings of no-hit ball with just one walk. Cordy gave up one hit in the ninth, but kept Stanford off the board so the Aggie offense could break through in the bottom of the inning.
John Williams started the rally by crushing a full-count triple to right to start the ninth, but Hughes retired the next two batters he faced. With the game on the line and Paul Politi in the box, Hughes uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Williams to score the tying run from third.
But UCD wasn’t done yet, as Politi followed with a single up the middle and stole second. After Steven Patterson walked, Stanford pulled Hughes and brought on reliever Sam Lindquist. Lynch turned on Lindquist’s first pitch and drove it over the leaping second baseman into right field to bring home Politi with the winning run.