UCLA 6 UCI 4
As they often do, the Anteaters waited until the last possible moment to put themselves in position to salvage a victory. However, it wasn’t quite enough on Tuesday night, as they left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth against the Bruins.
Trailing 6-3 with one out in the ninth, UCI loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. With the tying run at first base, Ben Orloff sent a sharp ground ball to third base, forcing third baseman Jermaine Curtis to commit his second error of the game. The error brought the Anteaters within two and kept the bases loaded for Francis Larson.
Unfortunately, the rally stagnated from there. Larson struck out on a knee-buckling curveball and Dillon Bell grounded out to first to end the game.
The Bruins put UCI at an early 2-0 deficit in the third inning, but the Anteaters cut into the lead in their bottom half of the frame. With two outs and the bases loaded, Bell drew a four-pitch walk to score Eric Deragisch for the first UCI run of the game. That was all the Anteaters would get however, as Tony Asaro swung at the first pitch, he saw and popped out to end the inning.
UCLA added another run on a solo blast in the fourth, but Tavelli answered with a long ball of his own. The senior crushed a solo shot off the score board in left field to make the score 3-2.
Asaro sought his revenge in the sixth inning when he launched a lead-off triple to deep right-center field. Jeff Cusick later drove him in with an RBI groundout, tying the game at three.
In the seventh, the Bruins benefited from one of UCI’s three errors in the game, this one led to the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly. They tacked on runs in the eighth and ninth innings as well, giving them a 6-3 cushion before the Anteaters threatened in the ninth.
Freshman reliever Crosby Slaught fell to 1-1 with the loss. He pitched 1.2 innings, giving up an unearned run, one hit and walking four.
UCI 18 LMU 1
A day later at Loyola Marymount, the Anteaters utterly annihilated the Lions, setting season highs in runs and hits.
UCI recorded 26 hits in the non-conference match up. Every Anteater recorded at least one, but none had more than Sean Madigan, who enjoyed a career day with five hits. The sophomore went five for six with two RBI and two runs.
Brock Bardeen went three for five, while leading the team with three RBI. Francis Larson added three hits while Ollie Linton and Ben Orloff each posted two RBI on two hits.
Non-UCI starters got plenty of action, as well. Junior Christian Florido singled for his first collegiate hit. Sammy Donabedian was one for two, while Tyler Hoechlin had a pair of hits with an RBI and two runs scored. Ryan Fisher added a pinch hit two-run with a double.
Noel Avison picked up his first Division I win as he recorded a season-high four innings, while striking out three and holding the Lions to just two hits. Starter Matt Dufour allowed a run on one hit in three innings of work and Cole Hathcock and Chris Lopez each pitched a shutout inning for the Anteaters.
The Lions didn’t have an answer for the Anteater pitchers all day, but the score didn’t get really ugly until the eighth inning.
With the score 6-1, Casey Stevenson led of the eighth with a solo home run, his third of the year. It was the first of eleven runs UCI would bring around to score. After putting together four straight singles, Bardeen hit a two-run triple. Hoechlin followed with a single and Donabedian belted a double off the left-field wall. Donabedian’s double was the first of four in the inning as Orloff, Fisher and Madigan did the trick, as well. The Anteaters matched a season-high with six on the day.
UC Davis 3 UCI 1
After enjoying their most impressive offensive barrage of the season, the Anteaters were stifled by UC Davis starter Eddie Gamboa on Friday.
Scott Gorgen faced off with Gamboa in a strong pitcher’s duel until the Aggies broke up the 1-1 tie with a two-run in the eighth. Gorgen enjoyed another quality performance on Friday night, but the offense didn’t have a remedy for Gamboa.
The Anteaters took an early 1-0 lead after Ollie Linton led off with a two-out single, stole second, and scored when Casey Stevenson hit a slow roller toward shortstop Matt Dempsey, who unsuccessfully tried to bare-hand the ball, allowing Linton to come around.
The Aggies manufactured a crucial run in the bottom of the sixth when UCD’s Ryan Royster drew a leadoff walk, and was pushed to third on a hit-and-run single off the bat of Ty Kelly. Royster later scored on a sacrifice fly that just beat the throw of Sean Madigan.
Daniel Bibona came on in the seventh and gave up a pair of one-out singles before Christian Bergman came in and tried to escape with no damage. But Evan Hudson flared a two-out, full-count double to left field, scoring two and sealing the victory for the Aggies.
Gorgen finished the day pitching 6.2 innings, yielding an earned run and striking out two.
UCI 4 UC Davis 3
Eric Deragisch stole the Aggies’ hopes of clinching a series victory when he stole home in the eighth inning, giving the Anteaters their eventual game-winning run. The junior knocked the ball loose from catcher Jake Jeffries on a close play at the plate.
After breaking the scoreless tie on an RBI groundout by Sean Madigan, the Aggies tied it up with three straight singles in the fifth.
Just like Friday, the score was tied at one late in the game. This time however, it was the Anteaters that put came up with two timely runs.
Pinch hitter Brock Bardeen jacked his fourth home run of the year, a two run shot that gave the Anteaters a 3-1 lead.
But the Aggies didn’t go away quietly. They answered UCI’s two runs with an RBI double and a run scoring single.
After Deragisch’s tie-breaking stolen base, Eric Pettis induced consecutive fly outs with runners on first and second in the ninth, earning his fourth win of the season.
UCI 5 UC Davis 3
The Anteaters climbed out to an early 3-0 lead and never looked back as they won the rubber-match against the Aggies.
Brock Bardeen and Eric Deragisch each collected two hits while Sean Madigan stayed red-hot, delivering a key two-run single in the first inning.
Starter Daniel Bibona hurled 6.2 innings, striking out six and walking none while giving up three runs on 12 hits to improve to 7-3.
Closer Eric Pettis notched his conference-leading 14th save striking out one in the ninth.
The Anteaters capitalized on UCD starter Brad Evans’ control issues in the first inning.
Evans plunked Ollie Linton with a pitch to begin the game, walked Casey Stevenson, then issued a one-out walk to Dillon Bell.
Just as he did in Saturday’s contest, Bardeen broke the tie with a single through the right-side before Madigan drove his two-run single up middle to increase the UCI lead to 3-0
The Aggies got on the board on on an RBI double in the third inning but UCI tacked on a crucial insurance run in the fourth on Aaron Lowenstein’s RBI single.
This weekend the Anteaters will conclude their regular season as they host UC Santa Babara for a three-game conference series.