March 2, 2012

Hooper Supported, Goes the Distance In Complete-Game Shutout

WACO, TEX. --- UC Irvine scored early and often and Kyle Hooper took care of the rest in a complete-game shutout as the Anteaters cruised past Lamar University in a 17-0 win Friday at Baylor Ballpark.

UCI scored in all but three innings and were led by Jordan Fox, who drove in a career-high six RBI on four hits while Christian Ramirez tied a personal-best with four RBI on a pair of hits. D.J. Crumlich was 3 for 6 with three runs scored and an RBI as the team's leadoff hitter and Spencer Connor also posted a three-hit day while driving in two.

The complete-game effort by Hooper was a first for the junior, whose previous high was a six-inning outing against Bethune-Cookman in 2011. The hard-throwing right-hander struck out a career-high 10 batters, walked just one and at one point retired 16 consecutive batters. Just one Cardinal batter, Jeff Abt, advanced past first base, on a leadoff triple in the bottom of the fourth. However, Abt found himself stranded after Hooper retired the next three batters to keep Lamar off the board. Hooper extended his scoreless streak to 17 innings.

Catcher Ronnie Shaeffer was 2 for 3 with two runs scored and drove in what would be the game-winning run in the UCI second. Following a leadoff single from Spencer, Kris Paulino hit a high chopper over the glove of first baseman Brad Picha to push Spencer to third. Shaeffer then grounded to short to score Spencer.

The Anteaters broke the game open in the middle innings, scoring four runs in the fourth, five in the fifth and twice in the sixth.

Lamar starter Eric Harrington fell to 0-2 after giving up seven runs on 11 hits in four innings.

UCI takes on No. 25 Baylor in the nightcap, expected to start at 4:00 p.m. (PT)