UC Irvine Falls to Nevada In Series Opener

Jeff Stephens had an RBI on two hits
Jeff Stephens had an RBI on two hits

RENO, Nev. --- UC Irvine opened the series against Nevada with an 8-3 loss Thursday at Peccole Park to drop to 9-8 on the year.

Kyle Hooper suffered his first loss (3-1) after pitching 4.2 innings and striking out three while giving up three runs, marking the first time the right-hander has allowed more than one earned run this season. Hooper did not walk a batter and scattered six hits before leaving in the Nevada fifth.  

Jay Anderson kicked off the first inning with a flare to left-center field and took second on the sacrifice bunt by Kyle Hunt before rounding third to score on a pop-up double just inside the left-field line to put the Wolf Pack on the board. Austin Byler followed with an infield single at the 5-6 hole that was backhanded nicely by D.J. Crumlich but the shortstop's throw to first was wide, putting runners on second and third. Brooks Klein's groundball to second would plate Jones for the 2-0 edge.  

Nevada starter Braden Shipley opened the door for the Anteaters in the fourth. Jordan Fox was hit by the pitch and with two outs catcher Carlos Escobar Jr. was unable to locate Shipley's wild pitch, allowing Fox to take third. Jeff Stephens rolled a full-count pitch up the third-base line for an infield single to score Fox, trimming the lead to 2-1.

Nevada struck again in the fifth as Joe Kohan hit a solo home run with one out in the fifth for a 3-1 lead. After striking out Anderson, Hooper left the game, giving way to reliever Jimmy Litchfield, who walked a batter and gave up a pair of hits, including an RBI single to Byler.

The Wolf Pack widened the margin in the sixth, loading the bases for Anderson who lined a two-run single to left off Evan Brock and Escobar doubled in a pair of runs in the seventh to cap the scoring for the Wolf Pack.

Crumlich's sacrifice fly in the ninth would score Jerry McClanahan, who doubled to lead off the frame. Tommy Reyes and Jeff Stephens both went 2 for 4 with an RBI for UCI.

The series is scheduled to continue Friday at noon.


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