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HomeSportsBaseballUCI Baseball Loses Final Game of Series vs. Kansas State, 5-3

UCI Baseball Loses Final Game of Series vs. Kansas State, 5-3

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The UC Irvine Baseball team (22-15, 9-6) lost to the Kansas State Wildcats (21-18, 3-9), 5-3, at Frank Myers Field at Tointon Family Stadium on April 24. This match concluded a three-game weekend series against the Big-12 opponent, in which Kansas State won two games and UCI won one. 

Strong fielding defined the first inning as both UCI and KSU failed to score any runs in the nascent moments of the game. Although Kansas State’s junior outfield Dylan Phillips was able to steal second base to put the Wildcats in scoring position, a flyout caught by UCI’s redshirt junior infielder Justin Torres promptly ended the inning.

Torres carried that defensive momentum over to his offense, knocking a ball out to center field for a single and then stealing second to put the Anteaters in scoring position with no outs. Then, UCI played fundamentally to earn the first run of the match-up. Sophomore catcher Thomas McCaffrey hit a single, freshman outfield Myles Smith hit a sacrifice bunt to advance runners, and then a fly out from redshirt sophomore outfield Luke Spillane got Torres home. UCI led 1-0 in the second inning.

UCI’s lead did not last long with KSU’s redshirt freshman infielder Brady Day’s homer to right field to tie it up at one apiece. 

In the third, UCI’s redshirt senior first baseman Ben Fitzgerald hit a home run for an RBI single to take back the lead for UCI, 2-1. Both teams were unable to score the rest of the inning, continuing into the fourth.

However, the Wildcats took complete control of the game in the fifth and sixth innings. KSU’s sophomore infielder Nick Goodwin dinged one home for two runs in the bottom of the fifth to lead 3-2. Then in the sixth, junior outfielder Cole Johnson hit a homer for two more runs to put Kansas State ahead, 5-2. 90 pitches in, UCI head coach Ben Orloff had no choice but to send relief in for starting redshirt sophomore pitcher Cameron Wheeler.

UCI had a chance to tie the game up at the top of the eighth. With two Anteaters on base, sophomore catcher Abraham Garcia-Pacheco hit a single to bring graduate infielder Jacob Castro home. UCI failed to capitalize and ended the inning with two runners on base, trailing 5-3.

The Anteaters could not get on base in the ninth and lost the final game of the weekend, 5-3. In the end, UCI left 10 runners on base compared to KSU’s four.

Looking ahead, UCI will jump from Big-12 to Pac-12 as they take on the UCLA Bruins at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Tuesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. for a single game. 

Angus Wong is a Sports Staff Writer for the spring 2022 quarter. He can be reached at