Tenth-ranked Anteaters’ Bats Catch Fire

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UCI 17 UW 13

After winning the weekend series against Nevada at the end of finals week, the 10th-ranked UC Irvine baseball team traveled to Seattle to take on the University of Washington in a pair of mid-week games.

The Anteaters arrived in Washington and made their names known as they recorded a season-high 17 runs in a 17-13 win at Husky Ballpark.

The high-scoring affair saw the two teams combine for five wild pitches, four hit batsmen and three passed balls.

After being a triple shy of hitting for the cycle on Sunday against Nevada, freshman Ronnie Shaeffer was once again a triple shy for hitting the cycle against the Huskies. He was four hits with three runs and an RBI. Casey Stevenson was three hits with two RBIs and two runs scored. Senior Brock Bardeen blasted his fifth and sixth home runs of the season to cap the highlight performances for the Anteaters.

The game saw four lead changes and one tie, which came in the eighth inning. Kyle Conley tied the game for “The Dub” on a three-base error by UCI and then crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly.

UCI responded in the top of the ninth. UCI loaded the bases with one out for DJ Crumlich, whose sacrifice fly scored Bardeen. Then a clutch pinch hit double by Dillon Bell scored two, and an RBI single from Ben Orloff broke the game open for the 17-13 UCI win.

UW 13 UCI 12

The offensive barrage continued the following day, but UCI was on the losing end in a 13-12 loss to Washington in the second of two midweek games against the Huskies.

The Anteaters staged a valiant comeback in the ninth inning, but were a run short of tying the game. The ninth inning rally began when the Anteaters were down 13-8. Freshman Jordan Leyland jumped on the first pitch from Husky reliever Andrew Kittredge for a two-run home run to cut the lead to three. Dillon Bell received a four-pitch walk and advanced to third on a double by Casey Stevenson. However, Stevenson was ruled out after failing to touch the bag at first base. Corey Olsen then singled in Bell, and Orloff reached second on an error from a bunt-single that scored Olsen. Kittredge halted the bleeding by striking out the powerful bat of Bardeen to end the game.

Ryan Fisher had one hit with a home run and four RBIs, Leyland finished the game with one hit, the two-run homer, and Eric Deragisch had two hits with two RBIs. Orloff and Francis Larson recorded three hits each.

UCI 5 Cal Poly 2

One thing that is guaranteed of the UC Irvine baseball team is its best against the best competition. That is what UCI gave in the 5-2 win over 19th-ranked Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in their Big West opener.

Ace Daniel Bibona pitched a masterful seven innings and struck out eight, walking just one and only allowing two hits against a potent Cal Poly offense. Bibona improved to 4-1 on the season and shrunk his earned run average to an impressive 2.77. Preseason All-American closer Eric Pettis struck out one and yielded two hits in the final two innings to earn his sixth save of the season.

Bibona gave up his only two runs in the first inning on a solo home run from Bobby Crocker and a Luke Yoder single that scored Wes Dorrell.

UCI cut the lead to one on an RBI double from DJ Crumlich in the second. The Anteaters then took the lead in the third, capitalizing on a Mustang error and a RBI groundout from Larson.

Shaeffer tacked on another run in the fifth inning on an RBI groundout, and Orloff singled in
Larson.

Orloff, Larson, and Deragish all went two for four on the contest.

UCI 11 Cal Poly 3

For those of you who thought that Bibona and Pettis were going to be the only two starters in this Anteater lineup, look again. Christian Bergman is making a name for himself. Bergman pitched eight shutout innings in UCI’s 11-3 win Saturday against Cal Poly. With the win, he lowered his ERA to 2.79, which is good for second on the team behind Bibona’s 2.77.

Bergman pitched a perfect first three innings, and only allowed one extra base over the next five innings while striking out four and walking none.

As Bergman shut out the potent Mustang offense, the UCI offense recorded its third double-digit total in four games this week with 11.

UCI broke out to a 3-0 lead on a two-run double by Tony Asaro and an RBI single by Orloff in the second.

UCI added on five more runs in the fifth inning and three in the sixth.

Shaeffer went had two hits with three RBIs and three runs. Orloff finished with three hits, an RBI and two runs scored. Asaro capped off the night 1 for 3 with two RBIs and a run.

UCI’s shut-out effort was spoiled in the ninth as Cal Poly mustered up three runs off reliever Matt Dufour.

UCI 7 Cal Poly 6

UCI completed its first weekend series sweep of the season and it came in an unlikely manner. Eric Deragish’s two-run home run in the fourth inning proved to be the deciding factor in UCI’s 7-6 win over Cal Poly at home Sunday.

Deragish finished the game a perfect four for four with three runs and two RBIs. His home run was his first of the season and only the second of his career as an Anteater.

Cal Poly out hit UCI 17-10, but poor hitting with runners in scoring position gave UCI the advantage. Brock Bardeen picked up his fourth win of the season in relief, and Eric Pettis recorded his seventh save on two innings of work.

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