IRVINE, Calif. --- UC Irvine came up with two runs in the eighth to erase a three-run UNLV lead but fell short, falling to the Rebels, 3-2, Monday at Anteater Ballpark.
The Anteaters (3-1) got offensive production from Jordan Fox (3 for 4) and Ronnie Shaeffer (2 for 4) but left runners stranded in six of nine frames, including the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh.
UNLV worked a run across in the third to break the scoreless tie. A one-out walk issued to Joe Swanner opened the door for the Rebels and Scott Dysinger's double to right field scored the first run of the game. UNLV then took a two-run lead in the fifth pushing across a single run on a walk, a sacrifice bunt and an Anteater error.
Trent Cook extended UNLV's lead in the seventh with a two-out single to drive in Dysinger.
In the bottom of the eighth, Anteater shortstop D.J. Crumlich (1 for 3) coaxed a full-count walk from reliever Zack Hartman. Fox doubled to left field to score Crumlich and then took third on a wild pitch. Shaeffer delivered a clutch single to right, cutting the lead to one. However, after Kris Paulino's sacrifice bunt to put Shaeffer on second, UNLV outfielder Mark Shannon took the mound in relief and retired the next two batters to end the threat. Shannon then faced the minimum in the ninth to pick up his first save.
UCI starter Crosby Slaught fell to 0-1 after pitching 4.2 innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on two hits and striking out four. Phillip Ferragamo yielded a run on three hits in 2.1 innings and Mitch Merten hurled two shutout innings to end the game.
UNLV's Erick Fedde pitched six innings, holding UCI to five hits while striking out three to collect his first victory.
UCI hosts Washington in a three-game series this weekend (Feb. 24-26) at Anteater Ballpark.