Jeff Cusick delivered the game-winning RBI single to score Ollie Linton in the top of the 10th inning at Jackie Robinson Stadium to defeat UCLA 6-5 on Tuesday.
The Anteaters were in control early on as Tony Asaro put UC Irvine on the board with a solo home run in the top of the third, his second of the season, and Ben Orloff laid down a bunt single to score Aaron Lowenstein, giving them a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth, UCI increased its lead to 5-0 after Josh Tavelli ripped a two-run triple and Asaro drove in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly.
The Bruin offense emerged in the sixth, however. Shortstop Brandon Crawford and first-baseman Casey Haerther hit back-to-back home runs off reliever Noel Avison, cutting UCI’s lead to 5-3.
UCLA tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run single by Alden Carrithers. Tom Calahan ended the threat by striking out Crawford with a runner on second to end the threat.
Cusick’s game-winning single in the 10th gave Eric Pettis the win as he improved to 3-0 on the season. Cusick is currently the leading hitter in the Big West with a .407 batting average and a .495 on base percentage.
Friday: UCI 10 LBSU 5
In a match-up between the top two pitchers in the Big West, it was the explosive Anteater offense that proved to be the story of the game.
UCI ace Scott Gorgen faced off against Long Beach’s frontline starter, Andrew Liebel, in Friday night’s series opener at Blair Field. However, the game was anything but a pitcher’s duel.
The Anteaters bombarded the 49ers with a season-high 21 hits in their 10-5 victory; although the game was closer than the final score indicated
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