IRVINE, Calif. --- No. 21 UC Irvine used a three-run fifth to take the lead and scored five runs in the late innings to hand Loyola Marymount a 10-3 loss Tuesday at George C. Page Stadium.
The Anteaters (7-1) drew first blood on Ronnie Shaeffer's second home run of the season, a blast over the left-centerfield fence for a 1-0 lead. Dominique Taylor slapped a two-out single to left in the third to capitalize on Chris Rabago's leadoff double as UCI built a 2-0 edge.
LMU responded by taking a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third. Starter Elliot Surrey ran into trouble after issuing a one-out walk to Brice Savage and then gavet up a single to Cole Trezek to put runners on first and third. Both runners scored on David Edwards' hit up the middle before rounding the bases on an RBI hit from Colton Plaia.
The battle pitched the Anteaters' way in the fifth as UCI got to starter Patrick McGrath. A pair of singles by Kris Paulino and Rabago put two runners on with two outs and Taylor came up clutch again, driving the first pitch off the glove of McGrath to score Paulino. Connor Spencer gave UCI the lead for good with an RBI hit to left. Edwards missed the cut-off man on the play and the ball rolled into the UCI dugout, allowing Sparks to score and give the Anteaters a 5-3 edge.
UCI threatened again in the seventh, loading the bases against reliever Brandon Horth. A wild pitch allowed Spencer to score and Horth was lifted for Michael Silva, who struck out Sparks for the second out. However, Shaeffer extended the inning with a single through the left side to drive in two runs and extend UCI's lead to five at 8-3.
The Anteaters tacked on single runs in the eighth and ninth innings.
Surrey pitched 2.2 innings and allowed three runs on three hits in the no-decision. Reliever Phillip Ferragamo earned his first win after pitching 3.1 innings and striking out five and scattering three hits. Jimmy Litchfield, Kyle Hooper and Race Parmenter each pitched hitless inning.
Shaeffer and Taylor combined for six runs batted in. Spencer and McClanahan added an RBI on two hits while Chris Rabago was 2 for 4 with three runs scored.
UC Irvine hosts Portland in a four-game series this weekend, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.