No. 13 UCSB Drops Davis Rubber Match 13-3

Devon Gradford (photo by Eric Isaacs)
Devon Gradford (photo by Eric Isaacs)

DAVIS, Calif. – Catcher Logan Denholm homered and drove in four runs to lead a 17-hit offensive outburst for UC Davis in its 13-3 win over No. 13 UC Santa Barbara in Sunday's rubber match at Dobbins Stadium. 

UCSB (31-12-1, 9-6 Big West) forced the tiebreaking contest after evening the series with a 7-3 win on Saturday. UCD (15-26, 4-11) claimed a 6-2 triumph in the opener of the three-game set. 

Six different batters had multiple hits for the Aggies, led by Denholm. The home team went up for good with a four-run second inning, and then went on to put up crooked numbers in each inning four through seven to put the game out of reach. 

The Gauchos were the first team on the board on Sunday, scoring a pair in the top of the second. Sophomore second baseman JJ Muno started off the rally with an RBI single into right to plate Ryan Cumberland, who reached on an error.

Muno went on to steal both second and third, two of UCSB's season-high six stolen bases on the day, before scoring on an RBI base hit up the middle from junior right fielder Devon Gradford

UC Davis countered with a four-run rally in the second, chasing UCSB starter Kyle Hatton from the game after just four outs. Nine-hitter Brad Pluschkell struck the big blow in the inning with a bases-loaded double into the left field corner that brought in two runs. 

The Aggies received two-run singles from Alex Aguiar and Denholm in their later rallies on top of Denholm's two-run shot in the sixth. 

UCSB battled back for a run in the eighth, with Cumberland driving in Josh Adams on a single down the left field line. 

In two starts in place of the injured Ryan Clark, Cumberland afforded himself well, going 3-8 with a pair of RBIs. Gradford reached three times on the day, and with his ninth inning single became the only Gaucho to record multiple hits. 

UCSB will look to get back into the win column on Tuesday as Cal State Bakersfield (11-34) comes to town. The Gauchos are 21-1 this season at Caesar Uyeaka Stadium, including a 17-game win streak at home that is the longest active in the NCAA.

Despite the series loss, UCSB currently still sits in second place in the Big West standings. The Gauchos resume conference play next weekend in a battle for Big West supremacy against first place Cal State Fullerton.