IRVINE, Calif. --- After being held to seven hits in the first two games, UCI doubled that number Saturday, scoring nine runs on 14 hits in a 9-2 win over BYU at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
D.J. Crumlich, who had gone 0 for 8 in the first two games against Cougars, broke out for a three-hit, two-RBI day to lead the team. Jeff Stephens batted 2 for 4 with two RBI and Jordan Fox, who was also limited to one hit in the last four games, started at second base and had an RBI on three hits. Taylor Sparks hit his first home run of the season with a solo shot over the left-field wall in the fifth.
Crosby Slaught delivered on the mound to pick up his second win (2-2). The right-hander retired 10 straight batters before yielding a single to Jaycob Brugman with one out in the fourth. Slaught went on to pitch six shutout innings, struck out five and walked one while giving up one earned run.
In the bottom of the first, Tommy Reyes' one-out walk was followed by Fox, who lined a single to left-center, scoring Reyes from first base. The scoring continued in the second as Crumlich came up with a clutch, two-out double to score Stephens and Sparks, both of whom had reached safely on walks by starter Adam Miller.
Nine Anteater batters came to the plate in the fourth against reliever Cameron Keysor. Crumlich sparked UCI with a two-out double and Reyes, Fox and Ramirez followed with hard singles. Keysor was lifted for Marc Oslund and Connor Spencer dropped a 2-2 pitch to left-center for a run-scoring single as UCI broke the game open at 7-0. Following Sparks' home run in the fifth, Stephens capped the scoring for UCI with a single to score pinch-hitter Ryan Cooper in the eighth.
BYU marred the shutout effort in the seventh as Dillon Robinson singled to right to drive in Alex Wolfe. The Cougars loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth for Bret Lopez, who hit a single through the left side to plate Brock Whitney. That would be all for BYU as Race Parmenter struck out Stephens Wells to end the game.
The Anteaters play Pepperdine at Dodger Stadium Tuesday (Mar. 13) at 2:00 p.m.