The UC Irvine Men’s Baseball team (22-11,16-4) defeated the Cal Poly Mustangs (17-15, 7-9),17-1, at the Baggett Stadium in San Luis Obispo on Sunday, April 18.
The first inning started off exciting for the Anteaters. With two outs, junior outfielder Mike Peabody, freshman outfielder Luke Spillane and junior infielder Taishi Nakawake were able to get on base all with singles. Following, junior catcher Jacob Castro and junior infielder Justin Torres both hit doubles. This made the score, 5-0. The ‘Eaters had an early lead making it difficult for the Mustangs to catch up.
Heading into the second inning, the Anteaters continued to bring in runs to secure another win with their offensive advantage. With players on base, Peabody and junior catcher Dillon Tatum were able to bring them home, enhancing their lead to seven. Additionally, Castro added another run by hitting a double.
With a quick third inning and now the fourth, Tatum took the opportunity to hit a home run to add to the ‘Eater lead; the score was now 9-0. Feeding off the energy created by Tatum, Torres and Nakawake followed suit with two more runs for Irvine. Hit after hit, the runners continued to get to home plate ending the inning at 13-0. It was not until the bottom of the fifth that the Mustangs were able to get a run scored by redshirt freshman first baseman Joe Yorke.
Despite their evident lead, it did not stop the Anteaters from having an ultimate showdown in the sixth quarter. With bases loaded, it was Peabody who took everyone home with a home run. This led to four runs, extending the lead for the Anteaters to 16 against the Mustangs. By the seventh inning, it was all over and the Anteaters triumphed with a score of 17-1.
After the game, head coach Ben Orloff gave his thoughts on the Anteaters’ performance.
“We couldn’t wait to get to the field today because even yesterday winning the second game, that was about as out of character as we’ve played the entire year,” Orloff said. “So I think we’re excited and motivated to get out here today and show off those winning habits and play more in character.”
Orloff also credited Tatum for his performance and contribution to the team tonight which aided in their victory against the Mustangs.
“One of the big takeaways is Dillon Tatum had a huge weekend. He keeps getting better and not just the home runs,” Orloff said. “He continues to get better and his extra-base hits to at-bat numbers are a joke.”
The Anteaters will play against Oregon State in Irvine on Friday, April 23 at 3 p.m.
Malia Nazario is a Staff Writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.