April 29, 2012

Rabago Wins It For UC Irvine In 11th Inning

IRVINE, Calif. --- Pinch-hitter Chris Rabago drove a 2-1 pitch up the middle in the bottom of the 11th inning to drive in Christian Ramirez and give UC Irvine a 6-5, walk-off win over UC Riverside Sunday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.

Rabago, batting for third baseman Taylor Sparks, drove in his fourth run of the season and lifted the Anteaters to a game above .500 at 8-7 (23-17) in Big West play.

The Anteaters jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third on an error by starting pitcher Frank Trevor and a two-out RBI single from Connor Spencer, who drove in D.J. Crumlich from second.

The Highlanders led off the fourth with a single and back-to-back, run-scoring doubles from Vince Gonzalez and David Andriese to knot the score at 2-2.

Jerry McClanahan gave UCI the 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run shot over the left-field wall for his second round-tripper of the year. The lead widened to three at 5-2 as McClanahan continued the offensive show in the sixth with a clutch, two-out hit up the middle to drive in Jeff Stephens, whose one-out double started the Anteater rally.

However, UCR rallied in the seventh, loading the bases with two outs for Kyle Boudreau, who hit a bases-clearing double off reliever Mitch Merten to tie the game again at five runs apiece. After an intentional walk issued to Gonzalez, UCI brought in reliever Jimmy Litchfield and the lefty popped up Andriese to leave two Highlanders stranded.

UCR loaded the bases again in the top of the ninth on a pair of singles and a second intentional walk to Gonzalez but Andriese grounded out to Jordan Fox for the third out.

Race Parmenter entered in the 10th and held UC Riverside hitless through two innings while striking out three and walking two to earn his first win of the year (1-1). Starter Phillip Ferragamo struck out six in 6.1 innings and walked just one while giving up four runs on four hits in the no-decision. Litchfield dealt 2.1 innings of two-hit shutout relief.

McClanahan drove in a career-high three RBI while batting 3 for 5 with a run scored. Spencer chipped in an RBI on two hits and Crumlich, Stephens and Christian Ramirez each posted a pair of hits for the Anteaters.

Frank pitched six innings and allowed five runs on eight hits in the no-decision. Boudreau drove in three runs while going 3 for 5 to lead UCR.

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