IRVINE, Calif. --- UC Irvine needed ninth-inning heroics to score a come-from-behind, 8-7 win against Portland in game two of the double-header.
UCI built a 3-0 lead through five but Portland answered with seven runs in the final four innings to take a 7-4 edge into the bottom of the ninth.
In the inning, reliever Chad Kjemhus walked Kris Paulino to open the frame and was lifted for closer Billy Sahlinger (1-1), who issued a free pass to Chris Rabago and put runners on first and second. Jordan Morrison, pinch-hitting for Grant Palmer, singled through the right side to drive in Paulino and trim the lead to two. Ryan Cooper's sacrifice up the first base line was dropped by Sahlinger, loading the bases for Jeff Stephens, who doubled to the left-centerfield wall, tying the score at 7-7. With the infield in, Dominique Taylor drove a 1-2 pitch over left-fielder Scott Kramer's head to give UCI the win.
Stephens led UCI with three hits, including two doubles, to go along with two RBI. Taylor was 2 for 4 with two runs batted in.
Freshman Elliot Surrey picked up the win in relief after retiring two of three batters he faced in the Portland ninth to improve to 1-0.
Kyle Hooper held Portland scoreless through the first five innings, yielding just three hits and walking two. However, with two outs in the sixth, the Pilots strung together five consecutive hits to score four runs to take a 4-3 lead. Hooper allowed four runs on six hits in 5.2 innings in the no decision.
The series concludes Sunday at noon.