Sports in Brief
Baseball Dominates Last Series, Sweeps Long Beach State
With a post-season appearance probable but not absolutely guaranteed, UC Irvine went out and finished the season on a strong note, sweeping Long Beach State this past weekend.
Christian Bergman kept up his highly impressive stint as temporary No. 1 starter, pitching a complete game shut-out over the Dirtbags. The right-hander’s second complete-game shutout on the season also extended his scoreless streak to 24.1 innings, as the ’Eaters easily prevailed 6-0.
Under the radar contributors Jonathan Hurst and Drew Hillman led the ’Eater offense, combining for five hits and three RBI’s. Centerfielder Sean Madigan and shortstop D.J. Crumlich both added two hits each as well.
On Saturday, freshman Evan Brock had one of the best outings of his young UCI career by firing eight innings and only giving up one run on six hits while striking out eight. The Anteaters cemented the Black and Blue season series with the 6-1 win, locking up the year’s count at 23-20.
Meanwhile, Casey Stevenson also had a career night by going 5 for 5 with three RBI’s and two runs scored. Hillman added three hits, while Brian Hernandez went 2 for 4.
Long Beach State actually led briefly after scoring a run in the bottom of the first, but UCI quickly answered by getting a sacrifice fly from Ryan Fisher in the top of the second. The Anteaters then took the lead in the third, and never looked back.
Brock retired 15 straight Long Beach batters at one point, lowering his season era to a sparkling 2.96 on the season.
On Sunday, Eric Pettis kept up the strong Anteater pitching by giving up only two unearned runs in a complete game effort as UCI won 4-2, completing the sweep of the Dirtbags.
Pettis finished the season with a 9-3 record and a stellar 3.37 era. Jordan Fox, Jeff Cusick and Ronnie Shaeffer led the Anteater offense with two hits a piece.
The strong play helped make up for an earlier 8-1 Tuesday loss to USC in Los Angeles, a game where nothing got rolling for UCI.
With a final record of 37-19, 17-7 in the Big West good for second place overall, the No. 23 Anteaters now await an at-large bid to the NCAA Baseball Tournament regionals.
New Head Coach Russell Turner Meets Students
On Wednesday, May 26, the new Sports Business Association at UCI hosted “An Evening with New Men’s Basketball Head Coach Russell Turner” at the student center.
Turner’s first formal opportunity to meet the UCI student body was mainly geared towards his journey in the sports industry, and also a Q&A session from a crowd of about 30 UCI students.
Turner attested to his incredible luck throughout his coaching career, saying that it was like hitting the lottery three times.
Also of interest is the fact that his wife will be coming to the UCI Medical Center as the new director of Intensive Care Unit.
Other general messages that Turner got across was his desire to reach out to the UCI student body, his promise of raising the level of expectations of the team, and that coaching college and NBA basketball are as different as “coaching baseball and football.”
Jock Breaks Record Yet Again, Advances to Nationals
Charles Jock continues to dazzle for UCI. Jock broke his own school record in the 800 in the NCAA West Quarterfinals with a time of 1:46.67, beating his previous record of 1:46.93.
Jock’s performance in Austin, Texas, qualifies him for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. Jock’s time was the second-fastest overall at the meet, with only 2008 Olympian Andrew Wheating beating Jock with a time of 1:46.44.
Track afficianados, mark your calendars for June 9-12, when the championships will take place.