Following a season-high four-game win streak stretching from March 15 to March 25, the UC Davis baseball team was on a roll, matching dominant pitching with timely hitting. However, the Aggies saw their streak and momentum disappear over the weekend of March 28 in San Luis Obispo, getting swept by Cal Poly.
The three-game series was both teams’ first in Big West play, and Cal Poly (23-4, 3-0), currently ranked fifth in the country, lived up to its billing by thoroughly overwhelming the Aggies (12-12, 0-3).
In the series opener on March 28 at Baggett Stadium, the Mustangs jumped all over UC Davis starter senior Harry Stanwyck for seven runs in the first inning, essentially putting the game out of reach from the outset, en route to an 8-0 shutout victory. The right-hander faced 12 batters and allowed six hits in the first inning alone, although he did regroup to complete three more innings and save the Aggie bullpen from having to burn itself out. In four innings, Stanwyck allowed eight runs on eight hits and struck out three.
On the flip side, the Aggies were shut down by Cal Poly starter Matt Imhof, who tossed a complete-game shutout. Imhof allowed just four hits, and he struck out 13.
One bright spot for UC Davis was its bullpen. Freshman right-hander Justin Mullins threw four scoreless frames in relief of Stanwyck.
In the second game of the series on March 29, the Aggies raced out to an early lead before falling 5-3. In the third inning, RBI hits from senior Steve Patterson, junior Nick Lynch and sophomore Spencer Henderson put the Aggies up 3-1. However, the lead was short-lived, as Cal Poly pushed across three runs in the fourth to regain the lead. For the game, seven different Aggies recorded hits, but no player had more than one.
In the series finale on March 30 in front of 2,039 fans, Cal Poly once again dismantled UC Davis, winning 9-1. The Aggies were led by senior Adam Young’s two hits and RBI. The third baseman extended his reached base safely streak to 15 games, and he is now hitting a blistering .446 this year, which leads the team by far (the next highest is junior center fielder Kevin Barker at .367).
Following the game, Cal Poly’s head coach was impressed with the effort of his team, which is now 16-1 at home.
“That’s what we wanted to do, take care of business,” coach Larry Lee said in an interview with Cal Poly’s athletic department. “But we still need to work on a lot of areas and get major contributions from other players if we are to reach the goals we want to accomplish.”
Up next for the Aggies is a home game on April 1 against Saint Mary’s (13-13), followed by a three-game road series against Big West foe Cal State Fullerton (14-10), currently ranked No. 16 in the country.