TACOMA, Wash. – Washington has found all kinds of ways to win early this baseball season, but Saturday’s 2-1 win at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium in the first game of a day-night doubleheader over UC Davis might take the cake.
UW freshman Kyle London scampered around from second base in the ninth inning in a 1-1 ballgame after UC Davis center fielder Kevin Barker dropped a Branden Berry fly ball to score and give the Huskies the win.
Barker drifted back into deep left-center field and settled under the ball. London tagged at second and took off after Barker appeared to catch the ball and fumble it to the ground. Third base coach Donegal Fergus did not hesitate to wave London around to home after Barker’s throw missed the cut-off man at third base. London scored standing up, setting off a wild Husky celebration at second base around Berry.
Orlando Razo (1-1) was the tough-luck loser for UC Davis, which fell to 4-6 on the seasons.
UW improved to 5-4-1 on the season, despite being outhit 7-4.
Will Ballowe threw three innings of stellar relief to earn his first career win. The sophomore allowed just one hit and struck out two.
For the second-straight game UC Davis was able to get on the board first and once again, it came with two outs. Tino Lipson reached in the third inning on a fielder’s choice, stole second and came around to score on a single to left by Steve Patterson off Huskies’ starter Jeff Brigham. Patterson was thrown out at second on the play, but not before Lipson scored to make it 1-0.
The Huskies tied it in the fourth inning when Brian Wolfe deposited a 2-0 pitch from Aggies’ starter Spencer Koopmans over the right field fence. It was Wolfe’s first home run this season – the fourth of his career – and gave Washington its Pac-12 leading seventh long ball of the year.
UC Davis threatened in the sixth inning, but stellar defense from Wolfe kept the game tied at 1-1. With Patterson on third with two outs after a lead-off double, Austin March sent a seed to left that looked like it was going to go over Wolfe’s head for extra bases. But, the Huskies’ lone fifth-year senior dove to his right and fully extended his right hand to snag the ball right before it landed on the turf.
UW starter Brigham threw six solid innings, giving up just one run for a third-straight start, but did not figure in the decision. He allowed six hits, walked two and struck out one.
UC Davis starter Koopmans matched Brigham’s effort on the mound. He also lasted 6 innings, gave up just one run, allowing four hits, walking four and striking out four.
Washington and UC Davis play again tonight at 5:05 p.m. and conclude the series on Sunday at Cheney Stadium with a 1:00 p.m. contest.
Washington 2, UC Davis 1
UCD 001 000 000 –- 1 7 1
WASH 000 100 001 –- 2 4 0
Spencer Koopmans, Orlando Razo (7), Zach Stone (9) and Spencer Brann. Jeff Brigham, Will Ballowe (7) and Parker Guinn, Austin Rei (7). W – Ballowe (1-0). L – Razo (1-1). Sv – none. HR – Brian Wolfe (1). 2B – UCD, Steven Patterson. UW, Robert Pehl. Time – 2:40. Attendance – 200.