IRVINE, Calif. --- UC Irvine rallied to trim a four-run deficit to one but fell short, losing to No. 21 San Diego, 4-3 Tuesday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
An error led to a Torero run in the first and handed starter Crosby Slaught the loss despite holding San Diego to one hit and striking out two in two innings.
Connor Joe capitalized for San Diego in the fourth with a run-scoring hit to drive in Andrew Daniel, who had tripled to lead off the inning. Daniel struck in the fifth with a two-out, run-scoring double to score Kris Bryant from second. Joe, who was 2 for 4 with two RBI, singled in his second run with a hard hit up the middle.
The Anteaters threatened early, putting runners on second and third with two outs in the first but were unable to push a run across as starter Michael Wagner induced a groundball to first to end the inning.
After leaving runners in scoring position in the fourth, UCI broke through in the fifth. D.J. Crumlich posted his team-leading 14th double to lead off the inning and took third on a bunt attempt by Christian Ramirez. Connor Spencer hit a fly-ball to center for the sacrifice to put the Anteaters on the board.
UCI continued to chip away in the sixth as Dillon Moyer hit a sacrifice fly to right to drive in Jeff Stephens. Tommy Reyes kicked off the seventh with a single and eventually scored on a groundball out to short by Spencer to close the gap to one.
Crumlich and Ramirez led UCI with two hits apiece while Spencer and Moyer each drove in a run.
Michael Wagner improved to 4-1 after pitching four shutout innings while James Pazos locked up his fourth save following a 3.1 inning relief effort in which he struck out three and gave up a run on two hits. Daniel paced USD with three hits.