Review Category : Baseball

Athlete of the Quarter: Honorable Mention

Junior Paul Politi’s season ended with a 10-game hitting streak intact, topped off with an All-Big West Conference second team selection. The Los Gatos native manned the hot corner all year for UC Davis, and was the only Aggie to start all 57 games. The third baseman hit a team-leading .345 for the season – good enough to place him eighth in the Big West – and amassed another team-leading 79 hits on the year, which ranked third in the conference. Politi also led UC Davis with 32 RBIs, second on the team with 13 doubles, and blasted three home runs. His single in the bottom of the 11th against Big West rival Cal Poly provided the walk-off RBI on May 4. His 4-6 performance that day was just one of many highlights in this season of offensive explosion. Politi will return next year for the Aggies and will look to add to his already impressive batting statistics. RUSSELL EISENMAN can be reached at sports@theaggie.org. ...

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Aggie Digest

Baseball Senior catcher Scott Kalush, junior third-baseman Paul Politi and sophomore designated hitter/first baseman Nick Lynch were named to the Big West Conference second team this week. Kalush played in all but three of UC Davis’ 57 games this season, hitting .240 with five home runs, tied with fellow senior David Popkins for a team high. Politi was a clutch performer for the Aggies this season, recording a walk-off home run against Pacific and a walk-off single against Cal Poly. The Los Gatos, Calif. native led UC Davis with a .345 batting average and 32 RBI. Lynch was a strong power hitter for the Aggies. Playing primarily as a designated hitter, Lynch hit .303 with four home runs on the season in just 40 starts. Senior starting pitcher Anthony Kubpens was also named a Big West honorable mention. The south-paw went 5-4 this season with a 2.46 ERA. Overall the Aggies tallied a record of 27-30 this season — nine wins above their 2011 mark of 18-36. — Trevor Cramer ...

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Emotional ending

It was an up-and-down last weekend for the UC Davis baseball team, as it saw the careers of some key seniors come to an end. While the Aggies were able to take the series from UC Irvine by winning on Friday and Saturday, Sunday’s disappointing defeat on senior day was one the Aggies would like to forget. UC Davis finishes 27-30 overall, fifth in the Big West Conference at 12-12. The 27 wins are the highest win total for the Aggies since 2008 when they advanced to an NCAA Div. I regional. Friday — UC Davis 4, UC Irvine 0 In his final collegiate start, senior Anthony Kupbens threw a complete game shutout, giving up just five hits, all singles. No Anteater runner ever passed second base during the game. “It’s incredibly rewarding while incredibly sad, because that’s the last time we’re going to see him out there,” said head coach Matt Vaughn. “UC Irvine is one of the best teams in our conference and they didn’t have a chance... ...

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Aggies light up Saint Mary’s

UC Davis took its seventh win in nine games with its 7-2 win over Saint Mary’s on Tuesday. Freshman Kevin Barker went four-for-five with three RBIs, sophomore Evan Wolf pitched five innings while surrendering only one run as UC Davis took a victory in its final away game of the season. UC Davis improves to 25-29 overall (10-11 Big West Conference), winning seven of its last nine, averaging over six runs a game during that span. Junior Paul Politi hit a solo shot in the first inning, his third of the season, and senior Brett Morgan scored a career-high four runs to support an offense that is tearing it up. The UC Davis offense was complimented by a strong performance from the pitching staff that limited the Gaels to just five hits. Wolf picked up the win to move to 3-4 on the year and freshman Spencer Koopmans struck out a career-high six batters in three innings of relief. With the score 2-1 in the sixth, Morgan and senior Ryan... ...

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UC Davis wins third straight series

Senior Tom Briner pitched his second straight complete game and the bats stayed hot to help lead UC Davis to its third straight Big West Conference series win. Senior first baseman Eric Johnson went 8-10 in the two victories, scoring four times with two RBI. The Aggies’ season-high four-game win streak was snapped in the series finale. UC Davis improves to 24-29 overall and 10-11 in the Big West. Friday — UC Davis 9, Cal State Northridge 5 UC Davis scored four runs in both the second and third innings to jump out to a big lead that it would not relinquish. Senior Anthony Kupbens pitched seven innings with six strikeouts while giving up only three earned runs. Kubpens did not allow the Matadors to record a hit until the fourth inning. Freshman Spencer Koopmans pitched the final two innings, giving up one hit and one unearned run. Already owning a 1-0 lead and runners on second and third, freshman Tino Lipson hit a two-RBI double and later scored on... ...

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Surging Ahead

With an offense that is consistently scoring, UC Davis baseball has now won four of its last five games after two midweek victories. Sophomore pitcher Evan Wolf gave the team a much-needed quality start on Monday and the Aggies scored a season-high 12 runs on nine hits in Tuesday’s make up game at Blethen Field in San Jose. UC Davis improves to 22-27 overall and 8-10 in the Big West Conference. Monday — UC Davis 6, Hawaii 3 Senior David Popkins went two-for-five and scored twice, junior Paul Politi drove in two runs and Wolf tied a career-high with five strikeouts as UC Davis won against the future Big West Conference opponent. Playing for the fourth time in four days with another game on the way, Wolf gave up just two runs on six hits in six full innings of work and sophomore Harry Stanwyck earned his team-leading fifth save in two-and-one-third innings. “We needed a six or seven-inning start today from Evan [Wolf] to help keep us intact for... ...

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Aggies take two

Senior Eric Johnson hit a walk-off single Friday, and senior pitcher Tom Briner’s complete game shutout Saturday helped UC Davis en route to its series win over second-place California State University, Long Beach State. The Aggies had to rally from a 5-4 deficit in the ninth on Friday after giving up the lead in the top half of the inning. Johnson went 5-for-7 at the plate in the two victories to lead the offense. UC Davis moves to 20-27 overall and 8-10 in the Big West Conference. Friday — UC Davis 6, Long Beach State 5 In a back-and-forth contest, UC Davis jumped on the board in the first with an RBI single from senior Nick Lynch that scored freshman Kevin Barker. Long Beach State responded with two runs in the next two innings, but Lynch blasted the first pitch he received in the bottom of the third for his fourth home run of the season and tied the game at 2-2. Senior starter Anthony Kupbens battled the 90-degree heat... ...

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Aggie rally comes up short

UC Davis came back from an 8-2 deficit in the ninth with two outs to tie the game, but Nevada claimed the 9-8 victory on a squeeze play in the bottom half of the inning. After two groundouts, freshman Tino Lipson jump started the Aggie rally that featured six runs on six hits. With the loss, UC Davis drops to 18-26 overall (6-9 in the Big West Conference). After freshman John Williams and senior Ryan Allgrove grounded out, Lipson singled to right and pinch runner sophomore Drew Lassen moved to second on a wild pitch. Senior David Popkins walked, followed by a pinch hit RBI double by sophomore Austin Logan to set up sophomore Spencer Brann’s two-RBI single up the middle and all of a sudden the Aggies trailed just 8-5. Senior Paul Politi singled, and another wild pitch put both runners in scoring position for freshman Kevin Barker, who came through with a two-run double to left. Senior Eric Johnson followed with an infield single off the Wolf Pack... ...

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New head baseball coach swings for the fences

It ended with a “ping.” The sound doesn’t have quite the same flair as the crack of the wooden bats in the Major Leagues, but that didn’t really matter at that moment. The crowd had dwindled as the 11-inning game neared the four-hour mark, but the UC Davis baseball players were focused entirely on the field, as a walk-off single off junior Paul Politi’s aluminum bat gave the Aggies a victory over rival Cal Poly. The entire UC Davis team ran out of the dugout to mob Politi in excitement, and the remaining spectators cheered while the sun set behind the center-field wall on a clear, crisp Friday afternoon. But as the celebration continued behind him, UC Davis head coach Matt Vaughn showed little emotion. He clapped his hands a few times, took a brief moment to look around sparsely populated Dobbins Baseball Complex and then walked at a measured pace to exchange a handshake with the opposing coach in front of home plate. It’s the calm, steady demeanor that... ...

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UC Davis conquers Cal Poly

Despite its ace pitcher sidelined by injury, UC Davis cooled the Cal Poly hitters while keeping its bats hot in taking the series. Returning home after an eight-game road trip, junior third baseman Paul Politi sent the fans home happy with a walk-off single on Friday. Senior first baseman Eric Johnson singled in the bottom of the eighth to put the Aggies ahead in the series finale, and freshman Craig Lanza earned his first collegiate win. UC Davis moves to 18-25 overall and 6-9 in the Big West Conference. Wednesday — Fresno State 11, UC Davis 4 Sophomore Spencer Brann went 3-for-4 with his first home run of the season, but Fresno State scored early and often to win the nonconference matchup in Fresno. Brann was a triple shy of the cycle, hit a two-run homer in the top of the fourth and picked up two RBIs while scoring twice. The Aggies scored first when sophomore Nick Lynch drove in freshman Kevin Barker with a sacrifice fly. The Bulldogs, however,... ...

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Baseball preview

Teams: UC Davis at Fresno State; vs. Cal Poly Records: Aggies 16-23 (4-8); Bulldogs 18-22; Mustangs 25-17 (9-6) Where: Beiden Field — Fresno; Dobbins Field When:  Wednesday 6:05 p.m.; Friday 2:30 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. Who to watch: Sophomore designated hitter Nick Lynch mans the cleanup spot in the order, and for good reason: He leads the Aggies with a .330 average and .430 on-base percentage, and is second on the team with 17 runs batted in. Did you know? If UC Davis can get a lead early, it’s pretty good at holding on to it. The Aggies are 14-2 when leading after six innings; however, their opponents have outscored them 28-9 in the eighth inning this season. Preview: UC Davis baseball closes out its eight-game road trip at Fresno State tonight before returning to Davis for a Big West Conference battle with third-place Cal Poly. Sophomore pitcher Evan Wolf will take the mound against the 2008 National Champion Bulldogs, looking for his second straight win after... ...

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Power struggle

The Big West Conference battle between UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara featured seven home runs hit between the two teams in the three-game series. Freshman Kevin Barker accounted for two of those home runs, including a two-run blast on Saturday to help lead the Aggies, who had 16 total hits in the game, for their lone win against the Gauchos. The Aggies may feel they could have come away with more, as a wild pitch allowed the winning run in a 3-2 loss in the series finale. UC Davis drops to 16-23 overall and 4-8 in the Big West. Friday — UC Santa Barbara 8, UC Davis 2 Senior starter Dayne Quist’s perfect season ended (6-1) as he suffered his first loss after a six-run second inning by UCSB. UC Davis started off with the lead after Barker’s first career home run in the top of the second made it 1-0. But the Gauchos’ freshman starter Andrew Vasquez settled in and shut down the Aggie bats, pitching seven innings... ...

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City Lovin’

Sophomore pitcher Evan Wolf took a no-hitter into the seventh inning to lead UC Davis to victory over San Francisco in his first collegiate win. The Aggie bats picked up 12 hits to support Wolf’s outing, with four different players recording two hits apiece. UC Davis put five runs on the board, and Wolf’s stellar pitching held the Dons’ bats at bay. With the 5-2 victory, UC Davis improves to 15-20 overall. “The team put it on themselves to be better in midweek games and on Sundays and for [Wolf] to come out and respond to that for his first collegiate win is pretty special,” said head coach Matt Vaughn. Wolf, making his fourth start of the season, gave UC Davis the big midweek performance it has been looking for. The Clovis, Calif. native retired the first six batters he faced before giving up a leadoff walk in the third inning. Wolf then put down the next seven Dons before hitting a batter with one out in the fifth inning.... ...

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Aggies come up short

UC Davis won the first game of the weekend series against Big West Conference opponent UC Riverside with another strong pitching performance from senior starter Dayne Quist, improving his record to a perfect 6-0 on the year. Senior David Popkins hit his team-leading fourth home run of the season in Saturday’s game, but the Aggies gave up six unearned runs and their rally fell short. The Highlanders shut down the Aggie bats in the Sunday matchup for the series win. UC Davis drops to 14-20 overall and 3-6 in the Big West. Friday — UC Davis 7, UC Riverside 2 Senior Dayne Quist continued his season dominance with an eight-innings, 11-strikeouts performance in the series opener. Quist allowed two runs, only one of which was earned, en route to his second double-digit strikeout game of the season. He struck out five straight in the first and second innings alone. Seniors Eric Johnson and Scott Kalush led the Aggies offensively, each going 3-for-3 at the plate. UC Davis jumped out to... ...

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Causeway flop

UC Davis committed two errors in the sixth inning that led to a four-run rally, allowing Sacramento State to come from behind and win the Causeway rematch 8-5. Junior Paul Politi and sophomore Spencer Brann had two RBIs apiece, and the Aggies led by as many as three runs, but the defensive mistakes and the power of the Hornets were too much to overcome. The loss drops UC Davis to 13-19 on the year. UC Davis got going quickly against the Hornets in the first inning when senior Brett Morgan led off with a double and scored after senior David Popkins’ sacrifice fly and Politi’s RBI groundout to short. Sac State responded for one in the top of the second during a two-out rally against freshman Spencer Koopmans, who was making his third start of the season. He was able to get a strikeout to retire the side to minimize the damage. The Aggies returned the favor with a two-out rally of their own in the third. With Popkins on... ...

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