The UC Irvine baseball home opener was not so welcoming as the fifth-ranked Anteaters were upset by Loyola Marymount University 11-3 on Wednesday behind 16 hits at Anteater Ballpark.
UCI’s bullpen deficiencies were exposed again as three pitchers combined for nine earned runs in 3.2 innings of relief. The UCI offense was also held in check for most of the night.
LMU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on a sacrifice-fly by Trevor Gee, which would be the only run Anteater starting pitcher Corey Hamilton allowed in his four innings pitched. He finished with one unearned run with no walks and three strikeouts.
UCI responded in the third inning with three runs to take the 3-1 lead. Tony Asaro led off the inning with a monster triple to deep center, and then scored on a single by Casey Stevenson. Ben Orloff then stole second after his single drove Stevenson in for the score. Francis Larson completed the Anteater scoring for the night by singling in Orloff.
As the offense went cold, so did the arms. Nick Hoover would give up three earned runs on five hits in the fifth inning. Hoover was followed by Brock Bardeen, who gave up six runs, five earned, over two innings.
UCI 13 UAB 5
After the offense was kept in check against LMU, UC Irvine fired on all cylinders on Friday on the road in the QTI Baylor Classic in Waco, TX against the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
After giving up six runs in relief against LMU with his arm, senior Brock Bardeen unloaded with his bat and set a tournament record with seven RBIs of the night.
The designated hitter belted two home runs in his first two at bats to record his first round-trippers of the year. Bardeen’s first shot came in the first inning as he belted a three-run homer over the right field.
The Anteaters struck again in the second inning. After DJ Crumlich drove in Tommy Reyes, who had recorded his first collegiate hit, Ben Orloff singled. Ryan Fisher and Tony Asaro then induced consecutive walks to load the bases. Bardeen then stepped to the plate and fired the first pitch over the center-field wall for a grand slam.
Catcher Francis Larson also homered in the contest, which came in the ninth inning and was a two-run shot.
Starter Daniel Bibona got the win (2-0) after pitching 6.1 innings. He allowed three earned runs on nine hits and struck out five. Matt Dufour closed the game out by pitching 2.2 innings, giving up a run and striking out one in the effort.
It was the second most hits the ‘Eaters have recorded this season with 12.
Baylor 4 UCI 3
The fifth-ranked Anteaters knew they would have their hands full against the sixth-ranked Baylor Bears on Saturday at Baylor Ballpark. The game was not decided until Baylor’s Dustin Dickerson completed his 5-5 night with a walk-off single to lead the 9-2 Bears to a 4-3 victory.
Corey Hamilton struck out the first two batters he faced in the ninth inning before Brooks Pinckard recorded an infield single. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Hamilton then walked the next batter on four pitches to put runners on first and second.
Dickerson stepped to the plate and punched a 1-2 pitch through the right side for his third RBI and the upset victory.
UC Irvine starter Christian Bergman pitched 6.1 masterful innings. He allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out four. Noel Avison pitched a shutout inning before handing the ball to Hamilton.
Baylor tacked on an early score in the first inning to go up 1-0, but Ryan Fisher knotted the score at one with his first homer run of the season in the second inning.
Baylor scored in the second, and then recorded an unearned run in the third to take the 3-1 advantage. In the fourth inning, the hot bat of Brock Bardeen delivered another home run – this time a solo shot. It was his third home run in two days, and eighth RBI of the tournament.
In the seventh inning, Eric Deragish converted a clutch double to score Fisher and tie the score at three.
However, Baylor reliever Logan Verret held the Anteaters scoreless over the last 2.2 innings to collect the win.
The ‘Eaters are now 1-2 against ranked opponents this year.
UCI 6 USA 5
After losing in dramatic fashion the night before, the UC Irvine baseball team (7-4) won 6-5 on a walk-off single by 2B Casey Stevenson to defeat the University of South Alabama in each team’s final game at the QTI Baylor Classic in Waco, TX.
With the score tied at five in the bottom of the ninth, catcher Francis Larson stepped up to the plate and delivered a single. A base hit by Dillon Bell put runners on first and third. Ryan Fisher, who is hitting .462 with runners in scoring position, was intentionally walked to load the bases.
With the count at 2-2, Stevenson drove a single past diving Baylor shortstop Adam Heisler to send Larson home for the winning run.
Larson was also the first run on the board for the Anteaters as he hit his third home run of the season, a solo shot in the second inning. Corey Olsen later singled in Eric Deragisch for the 2-0 lead.
South Alabama tied the score at two in the third inning. They scored on an error on a botched run down and a run-scoring single by Heisler.
South Alabama took the lead in the fifth inning as Heidler hit a bunt single to score against Derek O’Reilly. South Alabama went up 3-2.
The Jaguars extended the lead 5-2 in the sixth
UCI returned the favor in the seventh as pinch hitter Jordan Fox played DJ Crumlich, and Bell plated Ben Orloff. The Anteaters eventually knotted the game at on a hit by Tony Asaro that scored Olsen.
Crosby Slaught got the start for the ‘Eaters and went 4.2 innings, struck out four and allowed three runs. However, Eric Pettis retired the final six batters and got his first win of the season.
UCI takes on USC next on Tuesday on the road.
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