IRVINE, Calif. --- Scott Gottchling hit a three-run double in the first inning and Kyle Hooper gave UCI another stellar outing on the mound as the Anteaters defeated BYU, 3-1, Thursday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
Hooper, penciled in this morning in place of Matt Whitehouse, pitched six innings of one-run baseball, striking out seven and walking just one. The reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week held BYU scoreless until the fifth. After giving up back-to-back singles, Tanner Chauncey grounded to Taylor Sparks, scoring Adam Law to halt Hooper's streak at 22.2 innings without allowing an earned run. However, that would be all for the Cougars as Hooper retired the final two batters of the inning and faced the minimum in the sixth.
Lefty Mark Trentacosta held BYU to one hit in two innings and struck out four, fanning the side in the eighth. Phillip Ferragamo started the ninth and retired the first two BYU hitters before Austin Hall blooped a single to center and Wes Guenther followed with a comebacker that ricocheted off the foot of Ferragamo for an infield single, putting runners on first and third. Jimmy Litchfield came out of the 'Eater bullpen and popped up pinch-hitter Dillon Robinson to earn the save.
Christian Ramirez sparked the 'Eater rally in the first, hitting a double to left off starter Chris Capper. Connor Spencer drew a two-out walk and Kris Paulino was hit by the pitch to load the bases for Gottschling, who drove a 2-2 pitch to left-centerfield, staking UCI to a three-run lead.
Hooper climbs to 3-0 with the win while Capper falls to 0-3. Ramirez led UCI with two hits while Gottschling was 1 for 4.
The series continues Friday night at 6:30 p.m. The game, originally scheduled to be broadcast on KUCI 88.9 FM, will be an Internet-only broadcast in order due to a conflict with men's basketball action at the Big West Conference Tournament.