Scott Gorgen—The junior All-American quite simply had the best year of any UC Irvine pitcher ever. Gorgen finished the regular season with an unforgiving 1.90 ERA while batters hit a combined .161 against the right-hander. When his changeup is at its best, it’s literally un-hittable, and his fierce competitiveness is second to none. He’s been a blessing to the program in his three years at UCI.
Ollie Linton—UCI’s center fielder proved why he’s the most dynamic player in the conference. In less than two full seasons, Linton set the UCI single season and career record for stolen bases. But don’t label him as just a speedster. Linton is tied for second on the team with four home runs. As for his defense, there’s nobody better. With Linton, UCI could cover the entire outfield with just two outfielders.
Ben Orloff—The Anteaters defensive wizard and team leader in batting average (.355), Orloff was named to the All-Big West Conference team as he anchored the UCI defense and top of the lineup all season. He enjoyed two four-hit games, but perhaps his finest moment was when he delivered the game-winning walk-off hit to defeat Cal State Fullerton. An amazing player, Orloff is an even more amazing person.
Francis Larson—UCI’s power supply provided plenty of pop for the Anteaters. Larson led the squad in long-balls with seven, slugging (.519) and RBI (39). Aside from his extraordinary bat-speed, Larson might always be outsmarting pitchers because he sports the most impressive grade-point-average amongst his peers. Larson was named to the ESPN the Magazine District All-Academic first team.
Tim Hutten—The stud senior led the Anteaters water polo squad in scoring in 12 of their 25 games this year. His accolades were endless: All-American First Team, MVP of the MPSF Tournament and MPSF Player of the Year. His most impressive game had to be his effort on Nov. 7 versus UC San Diego where he netted a career-high nine goals. Hutten is currently training to be on the Olympic water polo team.
Becky Bernhard—UCI’s tennis star dominated once again this year. Bernhard earned All-Big West First Team honors for the third-straight year. She was sensational in the April, collecting the Big West Player of the Week award in each week of the month. Bernhard has won the award 13 times in her UCI career—more than any UCI athlete in school history—and tied for the most in Big West history.
Dayne Comrie—Comrie was undoubtedly the best track athlete UCI has had in many years. The senior provided a huge boost to the program with his uncanny speed. In the Big West Championships, Comrie won the 400 meters with a time of 46.28, third best in school history. Unfortunately, a knee injury prevented him from competing in the NCAA’s, but he enjoyed an illustrious track career at UCI nevertheless.
Selanee Henderson—Henderson was a stroke of brilliance for UCI all year. The senior was a model of consistency in her memorable collegiate golf career. She’s just the third player in Big West history to be named to the All-Big West first team all four years. On March 3, she won the Spartan Invitational for the second straight year, a feat nobody else has accomplished. She finished third in the Conference Championships.
Kim Lorenzana—She won her first collegiate tournament in the most important one of her life. The star senior was the individual champion at the Big West Conference Championships on April 22. Her victory helped affirm UCI as the most prominent women’s golf program in the Big West. Lorenzana, along with Henderson, was an All-Big West selection after her sensational senior season.
John Chin—The center piece to UCI’s conference champion men’s golf team, Chin earned himself Big West Player of the Year honors when he shot a nine-under to notch UCI’s second straight Big West title. He helped the team advance to the NCAA Championships where the top 30 teams in the nation competed. Just a sophomore, Chin’s incredible raw talent should translate into national success.
Eddie Erazo—Erazo is flat out the best swimmer at UCI. The Anteater torpedo was the 2008 UCI Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year and is a four-time UCI scholar-athlete. He holds three school records and is a member of two record-holding relay teams. Erazo dominated the Big West in his four years. He was an 11-time Conference Champion and was All-Big West in 15 events during his UCI career.
Patrick Sanders—The First Team All-Big West power forward was the Anteaters spark on offense and UCI’s “Mr. Clutch.” On Feb. 28, Sanders scored 23 points in a 64-57 win over Long Beach State as he netted UCI’s final 11 points after the Anteaters trailed 55-53 with just over four minutes left. The 6-foot-6 inch senior led UCI in scoring at 15.8 points per game and looks to continue his career overseas.
Darren Fells—Another All-Big West selection from the men’s basketball team, Fells led the conference in field goal percentage at .566 and rebounds per game with 2.79. He anchored the Anteaters in their late-season surge that nearly crowned them Big West Champions. Fells was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 16.3 points and 9.8 rebounds in their four games. Zack Atkinson has big shoes to fill.
Jon Steller—Following the seemingly debilitating injury to Taylor Wilson, the men’s volleyball team lacked a premiere rifle arm in the attack—until Steller established his dominance. The junior pounded 20 or more kills six times this year, including a career-high 29 kills against Hawaii. He didn’t even start until the 12th game of the season and was still named second Team All-American. Expect a stellar senior year.
Kari Pestolesi—Quite possibly the most impressive name in this group, Pestolesi was also the best freshman at UCI this year. Her performance this season was perhaps the most sensational of any UCI women’s volleyball player in school history. Rejected by several programs for being undersized, the freshman phenom was seldomly overmatched at the net. Thank goodness we have this force for three more years.