The UC Irvine baseball team appears to be running on all cylinders after Friday (7-3), Saturday (5-3) and Sunday (11-7) night’s home victories over Utah.
In the series opener on Friday, eight of the nine starters in the lineup collected a hit for UCI, while the bullpen shutout the Utes after relieving freshman pitcher Scott Gorgen in the sixth inning to preserve the 7-3 win.
For the first three innings, UCI couldn’t seem to muster anything on offense. Utah starting pitcher Chad Cullers surrendered just one harmless single through the first three innings while the Utes jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.
However, the only remedy for keeping the Anteaters off the scoreboard was to keep them off the base paths all together. The second time through UCI’s lineup, Utah ran out of luck.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, senior second baseman Cody Cipriano singled to center and immediately stole second base. Junior right fielder Bryan Petersen then followed by lacing a single into right field, scoring Cipriano. But Petersen didn’t waste much time at first base; he stole his eighth bag of the season before senior first baseman Zach Robinson singled him to third. With runners on first and third and the Anteaters trailing 2-1, the hottest hitter in the Big West, senior center fielder Matt Morris stepped up.
Morris entered the game hitting .562 along with an astronomical .875 slugging percentage. Nevertheless, Head Coach Dave Serrano stuck with the approach that has given his team success all season