IRVINE, Calif. --- No. 21 UC Irvine's offense jumped on California in the first inning with seven runs en route to a 9-1 victory Sunday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
Cal starter Michael Theofanopoulos walked the first two UCI batters he faced and Taylor Sparks jumped on a 2-1 pitch that got past right-fielder Jacob Wark for a two-run triple. Sparks plated the third run on a grounder to short by Ronnie Shaeffer. The third walk of the inning led to a pitching change for Cal as Keaton Siomkin inherited a 2-0 count against Jerry McClanahan. McClanahan doubled down the left-field line and was followed by a pair of run-scoring singles from Scott Gottschling and Chris Rabago. Mikey Duarte's sacrifice scored Gottschling and Stephens, making his second appearance of the inning, drove in Rabago for the seven-run lead.
Sparks, who had a career-day batting 4 for 5 with three runs batted in, posted his third RBI in the third inning with a hit to center to plate Dominique Taylor. Shaeffer would cap the UCI scoring in the fifth with a sacrifice fly, driving in Taylor for his second RBI of the day.
Starter Andrew Morales silenced the Cal offense, pitching 6.1 innings and striking out three while walking one to improve to 3-0 and collect his second win of the weekend. Morales left in the top of the seventh with runners on first and second with one out and handed the ball to Phillip Ferragamo. The right-hander yielded an RBI single to Alex Egber but struck out the final two batters of the inning. Southpaws Jimmy Litchfield and Andy Lines combined for two shutout innings.
Jeff Stephens and Rabago each drove in a run on two hits in the win.
Theofanopoulos fell to 0-1 after giving up five runs on two hits in 1/3 innings.