Miserable Weekend in Myrtle Beach

N.C. State 7, UCI 4

Relief pitching was the big question for the Anteaters this weekend. After that unit put up a solid performance last week against Loyola Marymount University, the North Carolina State Wolfpack chased closer Kyle Necke for five runs in the bottom of the 10th inning en route to a 7-4 victory over the Anteaters.

It was the first loss of the season for the Anteaters, who flew out to Myrtle Beach, SC to participate in the Coastal Carolina Tournament.

Christian Bergman, who otherwise pitches on Saturdays, got the Friday nod and did not factor in the decision for the Anteaters. He did, however, bounce back from a poor performance against LMU to pitch six solid innings only allowing two runs and recording five strikeouts and two walks. Matt Summers and Andy Lines combined to pitch three shutout innings before Necke let the lead slip away in the 10th.

With one out in the 10th inning, Danny Canela tied the score at four with a hit down the right field wall. After intentionally walking Drew Poulk, Russell Wilson hit a three-run walk-off home run to left-centerfield to end the game.

UCI got the 4-2 lead in the 10th on a triple by Casey Stevenson, who then scored on a pinch-hit double from Ryan Fisher.

Coastal Carolina 7, UCI 3

In the premier match of the weekend, 12th ranked Coastal Carolina’s ace, Cody Wheeler, went head to head with fourth-ranked UC Irvine ace, Danny Bibona, on Saturday.

The home team got the best of the weekend as they cruised easily to a 7-3 win.

Bibona’s night was uncharacteristic from the start as he issued a walk to the first batter of the game. He only lasted 5.1 innings and allowed six earned runs, while only striking out two batters. Bibona isn’t one to make excuses, but the 9 a.m. EST start time might have thrown the Anteaters off their routine.

Wheeler, on the other hand, felt right at home as he threw 7.2 innings striking out five and allowing three earned runs.

Francis Larson led the Anteaters with two hits and two RBIs. Jeff Cusick and Ryan Fisher were the only other Anteaters with multiple hits with three and two.

Nick Hoover allowed an earned run in the sixth, but Ruben Orozco and Andrew Bynum combined for 2.2 innings of scoreless relief.

CC 13,  UCI 6

UC Irvine looked to avenge their previous loss to   the Chanticleers with a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning during Saturday’s matchup. But with two outs, Matt Summers’ third-strike pitch got away from catcher Francis Larson putting runners on first and third with two outs. A pair of walks allowed a run to score, and then Daniel Bowman’s single scored two runs to put Coastal Carolina on top.

The Anteaters gave up an additional six unearned runs in the eighth inning after Bowman’s single.

Reconverted starter Eric Pettis went 6.2 innings allowing four earned runs, three of which came in the first inning, and struck out four while walking two. Summers was handed the loss.

UCI scored two runs in the fourth on an RBI walk by Sean Madigan and on an RBI hit by Brian Hernandez, who made his UCI debut this weekend. The Anteaters then took a 6-3 lead in the third, scoring four runs, highlighted by two-RBI single from DJ Crumlich.

UCI 15, James Madison 9

Determined not to leave the East Coast without a single win, UCI busted out the bats against James Madison University.

UCI scored six runs in the bottom of the eight to break a 9-9 tie to secure their fourth win of the season. Senior Dillion Bell singled to rght field to drive in Jordan Fox for the game-winning RBI.

Freshman Evan Brock was able to pick up his first collegiate win after pitching 4.1 innings and held he Bulldogs to one run.
UC Irvine will next take on Pepperdine in Los Angeles on March 2. They will then take on Saint Mary’s at Anteater Ballpark on March 5-7.