Aggies look to right ship in Moraga

Teams: UC Davis at Saint Mary’s, vs. Portland University, vs. Kansas State,

Records: Aggies, 1-3 (0-0); Gaels, 1-3 (0-0); Pilots 1-2, (0-0); Wildcats 0-3, (0-0)

Where: Louis Guisto Field — Moraga, Calif.

When: Thursday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 21 at 10 a.m.; Saturday, Feb. 22 at 10 a.m.; Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m.

Who to watch:

Izaak Silva came through when the Aggies needed him most. The junior catcher hit a go-ahead RBI double in game one of UC Davis’ Feb. 15 doubleheader against Seattle to give the Aggies a 3-2 lead, which they hung on to for a 4-3 win. Then, in the series finale on Feb. 16, Silva again gave the Aggies a late-inning lead, this time connecting on a two-run single in the sixth to put the Aggies to cap a four-run inning that gave them a 5-4 lead. The Aggies later succumbed to an 11-run Seattle seventh inning and lost 17-5.

Look for Silva to keep his clutch at-bats coming in the upcoming Gael Invitational from Feb. 20 to 23.

Preview:

After a disappointing 2013 season, the UC Davis baseball team opened the 2014 campaign by sending a message: they can play with anyone. Although the Aggies lost three of four over a weekend homestand to Seattle University, they were in every one of the games.

The Aggies (1-3) held Seattle to just five hits in the season and series opener. Senior Harry Stanwyck held the Redhawks (3-1) to just one run and three hits in five and a third innings, but the Aggie bats couldn’t get rolling to give their righty starter a win. UC Davis managed just three hits through the first eight innings before getting on the board in the bottom of the ninth. It was too little too late, however, as the Aggies fell 2-1.

UC Davis got its first win of the season in the first game of the Feb. 15 doubleheader. Junior catcher Izaak Silva drove in two runs with a one-out sixth-inning double to put the Aggies up 3-2. The Aggies, behind stellar pitching from juniors Spencer Koopmans, Raul Jacobson and Craig Lanza, allowed just three hits the entire game and held on to win 4-3. Senior third baseman Adam Young led the Aggies with three hits.

In the afternoon game, Seattle used a three-run seventh inning to tie the game at 3-3. The Redhawks used a successful squeeze play in the top of the ninth to plate the game-winning run. The Aggies were paced by senior right fielder Seth Batty, who led the team with two hits, and by senior second baseman Steven Patterson, who knocked in two runs.

The series finale was close for six innings. After a two-run Silva single in the bottom of the sixth gave the Aggies a 5-4 edge, Seattle sent 16 batters to the plate in the top of the seventh en route to an 11-run inning and a 17-5 victory.

Up next, UC Davis travels to Saint Mary’s College in Moraga for this year’s four-team Gael Invitational. The Aggies face the host Gaels (1-3) in the opener on Feb. 20 before playing Portland (1-2) Feb. 21, a team coming off a three-game series against No. 12 UCLA. On Feb. 22, the Aggies face off against the winless Kansas State Wildcats (0-3) before finishing off the weekend with a Sunday matinee versus Portland.

— Scott Dresser

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