Stanford Falls At UC Davis, 8-3

May 27, 2006

DAVIS, Calif. - Lukas Kirby, Aaron Hanke and Kevin James each hit home runs for UC Davis on Saturday afternoon while senior right-hander Vince DeCoito went 8-2/3 innings to earn the victory as the Aggies completed a two-game sweep of Stanford with an 8-3 nonconference baseball victory before 714 fans at Dobbins Stadium.

The Aggies, who won 3-0 at Stanford on Friday night, picked up their first series win of the season to finish the year with an 18-34 record. The Cardinal, who were led by three hits each from designated hitter Grant Escue and second baseman Chris Lewis, completed the regular season with a 30-25 record. Stanford will now await a possible invitation to the upcoming NCAA Regionals.

Stanford led 1-0 in the first inning but single runs by the Aggies in both the first and second innings, followed by a three-run home run by Hanke in the third staked them to a an early 5-1 run lead. Three more runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by James' first homer and third baseman Tyler LaTorre's two-run single, made it 8-1.

Stanford scored a pair of unearned runs in the ninth inning and had the bases loaded with two out but closer Nik Aurora was able to get shortstop Chris Minaker for the final out.

DeCoito, making his sixth start of the season and his 18th appearance overall, scattered 11 hits but gave up just two after the fifth inning. He finished with three strikeouts, two walks and just one earned run. He came within one out of pitching UC Davis' second complete game of the year - and second in as many days - after senior Michael Potter threw a three-hitter on Friday at Stanford.

'It just goes to show you when you get a group of guys - 35 guys - pulling the rope in the same direction, fighting in the same direction, and really playing with some desire (and) some passion what you can acomplish,' said Aggie coach Rex Peters.

Stanford took the early lead against DeCoito, getting a leadoff triple from center-fielder Ryan Seawell and a sacrifice fly to center from Escue to score the game's first run. The Cardinal had four hits in the first inning.

However, Kirby - one of eight Aggies honored during Senior Day pregame ceremonies - hit a homer to right off Stanford starter Nolan Gallagher to tie the game in the first inning. Shortstop Matt Dempsey then gave UC Davis the lead for good in the second inning, hitting an RBI single to right that scored center-fielder Michael Hernandez for a 2-1 lead.

UC Davis added three more runs in the third afer LaTorre and Kirby opened with singles. Hanke then followed with a long homer to left-center field, his fourth home run of the season, and giving the Aggies a 5-1 lead.

DeCoito kept Stanford scoreless until the ninth, benefitting from good defense behind him which included Hanke throwing out Seawell at third as he tried to advance from first on Escue's single to right in the fifth inning.

James hit his first career home run with one out in the eighth off reliever Matt Manship to make it 6-1. After a single by Dempsey and a double by second baseman Daniel Descalso later in the frame, LaTorre made it 8-1 with a two-run single to left.

Stanford threatened in the ninth inning, capitalizing on two hits - including an RBI single up the middle by Escue - and an error to score two runs and load the bases with two outs. However, Aurora got the final out on a strikeout to end the game.

UC Davis finished with 13 hits while Stanford had 12. Dempsey went3-4 and Kirby finished 3 for 5 while LaTorre and James each had two hits. Escue had a pair of RBI's with his three hits while Lewis finished 3 for 4. Seawell went 2 for 4 for the Cardinal and pinch-hitter Jim Rapoport had an RBI bunt single in the ninth.

Gallagher took the loss, falling to 4-4, after giving up five runs and five hits in two innings. Jeremy Bleich pitched 4-1/3 innings of scoreless baseball before yielding to Manship.

Hernandez finished 0 for 3 on Saturday, bringing his 18-game hitting streak to end. It was the longest for UC Davis this season.

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