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PULLMAN, Wash. – Junior catcher Jake Jefferies had a game-high five hits and drove in three runs, and UC Davis used a season-high 21 hits to overcome a seven-run deficit and defeat Washington State, 13-11, in a nonconference baseball game at Bailey-Brayton Field Sunday afternoon. The Aggie win evened the final series at 2-2.
UC Davis improves its overall record to 20-10 while Washington State falls to 18-12. Aside from the Aggies’ seven-run victory in Friday’s game, the final three games of the series were decided by two runs. Jefferies finished with five hits in six at bat to go with a triple and three RBI’s to pace the Aggies’ offense. Ty Kelly, Ryan Royster, Kevin James and Scott Heylman each drove in two runs and UC Davis shelled out a season-best 21 hits in the game. All nine Aggie starters had at least one hit while Ryan Scoma and Grant Hirneise rounded out seven Aggies with RBI’s.
Jim Murphy had a game-high six RBI’s and four hits along with a double and a grand slam to lead the Cogars. Shea Vucinich had three RBI’s in the game.
Washington State took a big lead early with seven runs in the first inning. Murphy opened the scoring with a grand slam. Vunicich doubled home two more runs in the inning and Travis Coulter doubled home another to cap the huge inning.
UC Davis chipped away at the lead in the second inning with four runs. James hit a two-run homer to open the scoring and Jefferies tripled to right field to drive in the other two runs.
The Aggies claimed the lead in the third inning as they matched the Cougars offensive output in the first inning with seven runs of their own to jump ahead 11-7. Heylman opened the scoring with a two-run double down the right field line. Royster, Scoma, Kelly and Jefferies singled home two more runs in the inning. The other runs came from a fielder’s choice from Hirneise.
The Cougars scored two more runs in the bottom half of the third to make the score 11-9. Murphy hit a two-run single to drive in his fifth and sixth RBI’s of the contest.
The scoring slowed down from the middle innings on as either team scored only two more runs each. The Aggies’ runs came in the sixth and ninth innings while the Cougars scored single runs in the seventh and eighth. Royster had the RBI in the fifth while Kelly hit a solo home run in the ninth. Washington State’s runs came off a single and fielder’s choice.
Tom Briner earned his first collegiate victory in the game by allowing only two runs in 3.2 innings and striking out three. Justin Fitzgerald notched his team-leading sixth save of the season as he allowed only three hits and no earned runs through the final 2.2 innings.
The Aggies continue their season-long road swing next week with a single game at Stanford on Wednesday and a three-game conference series at UC Santa Barbara.