IRVINE, Calif. --- Senior Nick Hoover, making his first start on the mound since his sophomore season, dealt a one-hit gem to lead UC Irvine to a 6-0 shutout over Washington State Wednesday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
The right-hander pitched a career-high 7.2 innings, struck out five and walked three to earn his second win (2-0) on the year. Hoover's longest stint previously was a 5.1 inning relief effort against Cal State Northridge last season.
Hoover faced the bases-loaded with two outs in the first following an error and a pair of walks but induced Tommy Richards to bounce into a fielder's choice the end the threat. In the third, the Cougars put runners on first and second with one out but Hoover set down Derek Jones and got Adam Nelubowich to fly out to center to end the inning unscathed. Hoover would cruise the rest of the way, facing the minimum before handing the ball off to Mark Trentacosta with two outs in the eighth. Ian Sagdal singled for WSU's lone hit against Hoover in the fourth but catcher Chris Rabago connected with second baseman Tommy Reyes in time to catch Sagdal on the base-paths.
Trentacosta took care of the final batter in the frame and struck out the first two in the ninth before yielding a clean single to Nelubowich. However, the southpaw posted his third strikeout and retired pinch-hitter Jordan Copeland to preserve the shutout.
The Anteaters loaded the bases in the second against starter Joe Pistorese and Christian Ramirez put UCI on the board with a sacrifice fly to center to score Stephens. UCI loaded the bases again in the fourth and with Spencer Connor running on the pitch, Taylor Sparks dropped a bunt up the third-base line to score Spencer for a 2-0 lead.
UCI tacked on single runs in the fifth and seventh before capping the scoring with two runs in the eighth.
The Anteaters continue action Thursday at Nevada with first pitch slated for 6:00 p.m.