Baseball’s Slump continues with Losses Against Bakersfield and Oregon

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The UC Irvine baseball team cannot seem to pull themselves out of their current slump, and dropped a Tuesday home game to CSU Bakersfield, 14-2, before embarking on a seven-game road trip, starting with Pac-12 power Oregon this weekend.  UCI has struggled to prevent the big inning for the opposition and to put one together for themselves, and the patterns continued over the three-game series.  The Ducks pounced on the ‘Eater starters in the first two games, which ended 10-1, and 6-3 respectively in Oregon’s favor.  The nightmare continued into the third game of the series as UCI could not preserve an early lead and were swept in Eugene, their 11th loss in 12 games.

Friday

UCI fell behind early in Friday’s game, and only managed one run off eight hits against the Ducks’ pitching staff in the 10-1 beatdown at PK Park.

Sophomore starter Jordan Bocko could not settle in and find his groove but managed to hang in for four innings, giving up six runs on seven hits.  The Ducks scored three runs in the first inning, capped off by an RBI triple from sophomore Jacob Bennett who would finish the game a home run short of the cycle.

Junior reliever Michael Martin did not fare much better, as the Ducks hung three on the board in the fifth as well, chasing Martin after two innings.  Sophomore Miles Glazier pitched the final two innings for UCI, and escaped relatively unscathed giving up only one run in two innings of work.

Seniors Evan Cassolato and Mikey Duarte were the only ‘Eaters to notch extra-base hits, as their back-to-back two-out doubles in the third inning produced UCI’s only run of the ballgame.

The rest of the bats failed to string together any hits and were fanned 11 times by junior Oregon starter David Peterson over six innings and struck out 13 times overall.

Junior Keston Hiura was able to continue his streak of games in which he reached base safely to 26 games after an eighth inning single, and freshman Ryan Johnston, who has mostly seen time on the mound for the ‘Eaters, poked his first career hit on a pinch-hit single.

Saturday

Nearly erasing a 4-0 deficit in Saturday’s game, the ‘Eaters left the comeback on the table and eventually fell to Oregon 6-3.

UCI junior starter Louis Raymond contributed a strong outing for the ‘Eaters, allowing only two earned runs in 6.1 innings of work, but an error in the second inning led to two unearned runs and the Ducks secured a 4-0 advantage early.

The score held until the sixth inning, when the ‘Eaters loaded the bases with no outs and looked to vault themselves back into the game.  Hiura delivered an RBI-single and freshman Adrian Damla drew a walk to score a run to force Oregon to go to its bullpen.

Senior Adam Alcantara was able to plate Duarte on a sacrifice fly, but UCI remained behind 4-3 after the extent of the damage.

The Oregon bats added two insurance runs in following inning, and their bullpen continued to pitch lights out as they allowed zero ‘Eater baserunners in their combined four innings pitched.

Hiura continued to produce for the otherwise stagnant UCI offense, as he registered his 13th multi-hit game of the season and added an RBI to his team-leading mark of 22.

Sunday

Sunday’s 7-2 loss marks the fifth in a row for the ‘Eaters, as they depart from Oregon after being swept by the streaking Ducks.

UCI struck first this time with two runs in the top of the first, but the bats promptly shut down and marked the second game in a row where the ‘Eaters could only tally four total hits, and no extra-base hits.  No ‘Eater hitter was able to record an RBI either, as both runs occurred as a result of a throwing error by the Ducks’ shortstop.

After the first inning debacle, Oregon sophomore starter Isaiah Carranza completed six innings of earned run-free ball, as the Ducks offense was able to chip away at the UCI lead.

The lead changed hands in the fifth inning, as ‘Eater junior starter Chris Vargas gave up his third earned run, and exited the game after 4.1 innings on the mound.

Oregon added one run in the sixth, and broke the game open in the eighth scoring three runs off UCI senior Calvin Faucher.  After a dominating start to the season in which he allowed the opposing team to score only once in his first nine outings, Faucher has struggled as of recent and has been tagged for eight earned runs in his last five appearances.

UCI is now 12-16 on the year, and look to clean up the mistakes as they gear up to face San Diego State on Tuesday, before heading up to Santa Barbara to take on the Gauchos in the weekend series.

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