DAVIS, Calif. - After coming back a pair of times in the series opener last night, the Creighton baseball team couldn't repeat on Saturday, falling 6-3 to the UC Davis Aggies. The series is now tied at a game a piece, with the rubber game to be played tomorrow afternoon.
Creighton drops to 4-3 on the season, while the Aggies improve to 6-4. Creighton was led offensively by Erik Mattingly and Nick Judkins, who combined for four of the seven hits for the Jays on the day.
The Aggies struck first for the second straight game, but this time it was just one run in the second inning. Spencer Brann picked up the first extra-base hit of the game, a double to left field. Bluejay starter Brandon Koenigstein forced three straight ground ball outs, but Brann scored on the second.
The Bluejays took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third inning, using two hits and one Aggie error to score all three runs. Jake Peter led off the inning getting hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Brad McKewon then walked to put a pair of Jays on the basepaths. A Nick Judkins single and errant throw by the Aggie centerfielder scored Peter and put both McKewon and Judkins in scoring position.
Erik Mattingly then singled to center, advancing Judkins to third and scoring McKewon from third. The Jays then used a little small ball to score their third run, as Alex Staehely bunted down the line and Judkins raced home, sliding in just before the ball got to the catcher.
The Creighton lead didn't last long, however, as the Aggies responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third. After back-to-back singles to start the inning, a sacrifice bunt and intentional walk loaded the bases full of Aggies. Paul Politi then drove a double to right center, driving in a pair of runs before a single through the left side gave the Aggies the 4-3 lead.
UC Davis added a run in the bottom of the fourth and the bottom of the sixth, and the Aggie pitching staff allowed just a pair of Bluejay hits and keeping the bats silent through the eighth inning.
Creighton did put together a rally in the top of the ninth, started by Brennan Murphy reaching due to a throwing error by the Aggie shortstop. A walk to Jake Peter put a pair of Jays on the bases with one out. Ross grounded into a fielders choice, putting runners on the corners for pinch-hitter Jordan Makovicka. But the junior struck out to end the game.
Creighton and UC Davis play the final game of their three-game series tomorrow, with first pitch set for 3:00 pm Central Time. Andrew Urban is scheduled to get the start for the Jays, while Chris Johnson will take the mound for the Aggies.
NOTES: For the second straight game, Chance Ross reached base as the first batter of the game. Also for the second straight game, the senior thirdbaseman was stranded on base ... Erik Mattingly has now been hit by pitch in back-to-back games, after getting hit just once in all of last season ... While the Bluejays have been known for turning doubleplays, the Bluejays grounded into a pair on the day ... Shane Liska made his second appearance on the season, striking out a pair of Aggies to strand one runner on third in his first outing ...