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Baseball

USD 7, UCI 3

Last Wednesday night at Anteater Ballpark, the UC Irvine baseball team lost 7-3 to the University of San Diego.

“We made a few plays on defense, we had some tough outs … we just lost,” Coach Mike Gillespie said. “I don’t trivialize this loss. It’s important.”

Starting pitcher Kyle Hooper took the mound for the ’Eaters, pitching just 1.2 innings while allowing eight hits to fall to 1-3 on the season.

Hooper got off to a promising start, striking out Torero Kris Bryant, the national home run leader, but he was unable to keep up the momentum as he then allowed back-to-back singles to put runners on first and third. After a double steal, San Diego took a 2-0 lead with another base hit followed by a wild pitch. Back-to-back RBI singles put San Diego up 4-0 in the top of the first.

UCI answered in the bottom of the first as freshman Taylor Sparks knocked a base hit to center field to drive in Chris Rabago.

The Anteaters got back on the board in the seventh on Mikey Duarte’s RBI groundout to first, scoring senior Jeff Stephens, who had reached base on the Anteaters’ lone extra base hit: a double to left.

The Toreros answered with two runs in the top of the eighth. After stranding three runners in the bottom half of the inning, freshman Elliot Surrey stayed in the game in the ninth.

“[It was] already 7-2, so you don’t want to fall behind on the hitters,” Surrey said. “[I tried] to go out there and get ahead of hitters; trust whatever the [coaches] are calling [and] trust the defense behind me.”

UCI scored an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth to make it 7-3.

In preparation for the weekend series against Fullerton, Gillespie said, “I do believe that everyone knows what we’re capable of [beating Fullerton]. It ought to be a dog fight.”

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