IRVINE, Calif. --- The Anteaters tied a season-high with 20 hits to cruise past Cal State Bakersfield and win the series with a 15-6 decision Sunday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark. The win gave UCI its 30th victory to improve to 30-22 and post its ninth straight season of 30 or more wins.
Three Anteaters logged career-highs with Jeff Stephens and Taylor Sparks both recording a personal-best four hits apiece. Stephens had a career-high three RBI as did catcher Chris Rabago, who had three runs batted in on a double and a single. Jerry McClanahan chipped in two RBI on two hits while Tommy Reyes drove in a pair of runs, batting 3 for 3 with two walks. D.J. Crumlich and Jordan Fox combined for two runs batted in on four hits.
Starter Crosby Slaught faced eight batters in the top of the first, giving up three runs on a bases-loaded walk and a two-run single from DC Legg. However, the senior went on to shut the door on CSUB, facing one over the minimum through the next five innings to improve to 7-6.
Trailing 3-0 after the first, UCI tied the game in the fourth. Back-to-back singles put Reyes and Fox on first and second but starter Jeff McKenzie induced a double-play groundball back to the mound. McClanahan worked a four-pitch walk and Stephens put the Anteaters on the board with a single through the left side to drive in Reyes. Rabago followed with a double to right-center as UCI caught the Roadrunners at 3-3.
The Anteaters claimed the lead for good in the fifth. Sparks belted a leadoff triple and scored on a sacrifice fly from Crumlich. Fox was hit by the pitch and doubled in by Reyes as UCI took a two-run advantage at 5-3.
Stephens scored a run in the sixth, widening the margin to three runs but CSUB answered with two runs in the seventh. Legg singled up the middle against reliever Mitch Merten to spark a rally in the seventh and Jordie Hein was walked. Following a sacrifice bunt, Oscar Sanay's grounder to third scored Legg and Kevin Younger hit a run-scoring single to left off reliever Mark Trentacosta, shaving UCI's lead to one. Race Parmenter was called out of the bullpen and induced a fly-ball to center to end the inning and preserve the one-run lead.
UCI punched back on RBI hits from McClanahan and Stephens in the seventh and then broke the game open with seven runs in the eighth. The Anteaters reeled off nine straight one-out hits to highlight the frame.
Parmenter worked a scoreless eighth inning and handed the ball off to Nick Hoover, who yielded a run on two hits in the ninth. Slaught struck out six and walked three while scattering six hits.
McKenzie fell to 5-5 after giving up six runs on seven hits. Younger paced CSUB with two RBI on four hits.