DAVIS, Calif. – In a battle between a pair of Big West Conference leaders on Saturday, UC Davis came out on top with two narrow victories over visiting UC Santa Barbara at La Rue Field. The Aggies edged out UCSB, 4-2, in game one before topping the Gauchos, 4-3, in extra innings during the second game of the doubleheader.
With the losses, UCSB falls to 23-28 on the season and 8-6 in Big West play. The Aggies improve to 20-25 and 10-4 in league, which keeps them in a tie for first with Long Beach State and Pacific.
In the second game of the doubleheader, UCSB battled back from a three-run deficit to tie the contest and send it into extra innings before succumbing to the Aggies in the bottom of the ninth.
UC Davis had gained the early advantage in the bottom of the third when Amy Nunez scored on a two-out throwing error by the Gauchos. A two-out two run home run by Nunez in the next inning pushed the Aggie lead to 3-0.
Lainey DePompa opened the seventh inning with a double to right center field and one out later, Jenessa Jeppesen hit an infield single to put runners on the corners. Lauren Boser's two-RBI double to left field tied the game and forced extra innings.
Pitcher Andriana Collins retired six consecutive batters to keep the Gauchos in the game, but UCSB couldn't manage to bring its base runners home, stranding two in the eighth inning and leaving the bases loaded in the ninth.
UC Davis' Rachel Miller drew a walk to lead off in the bottom of the ninth and was able to advance on a Gaucho error. Kylie Fan walked before Kelly Schulze provided the game-winning heroics in the form of a timely single to left center field, which drove Miller home.
Collins (5-14) suffered the loss after tossing the last four innings. She allowed just one unearned run on two hits. Boser led the Gauchos' offensive effort going 3-for-4 with two RBI and a double.
In game one, UCSB got off to a strong start. With one out, Kathryn Pilpil hit a triple to center field and came home on a sacrifice fly belted to left field by Taylor to put the Gauchos out to a 1-0 lead.
UCSB led until the bottom of the second when Schulze drove Kylie Fan home with an RBI double hit to right center field. After advancing on a sacrifice bunt by JJ Wagoner, Schulze scored on an illegal pitch to put the Aggies up, 2-1.
UC Davis scored two more runs in the third when Schulze hit a two-out double to right field.
The Gauchos chipped away at the deficit when Keilani Jennings belted a 1-0 pitch over the center field fence to put the Gauchos within two runs.
Pitcher Shelby Wisdom held off the Aggies through the next three innings to keep the Gauchos in the game. In the top of the seventh with two outs, Lauren Boser started a rally with a single hit to left center. Jeppesen drew a walk and an error allowed McKenzie Kane to reach first and load the bases. Aggie pitcher Justine Vela was able to squelch the comeback with a strikeout to end the game.
Wisdom (18-14) suffered the loss after allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits. She struck out eight and allowed two walks.
UCSB will conclude its series with UC Davis on Sunday at La Rue Field with a noon game.