No. 21 UC Irvine Cruises Past Portland In Series Finale
IRVINE, Calif. --- A five-run second inning by 21st-ranked UC Irvine jump-started a 10-run effort as the Anteaters (10-2) defeated Portland 10-1 Sunday in the series finale at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
UCI opened the second by loading the bases for Ryan Cooper, who drove in two runs with a double down the right-field line. Mikey Duarte slapped a single to left and was followed by Jeff Stephens, who chased starter Kody Watts from the game with a run-scoring single. Dominique Taylor greeted reliever Jackson Lockwood with a hit to left to cap the scoring in the inning.
Connor Spencer tacked on two more runs in the fourth with sacrifice bunt that scored two runners on the play.
Taylor, who led UCI at the plate batting 3 for 4, singled in his second run of the day in the sixth inning and the Anteaters would chip in two more runs in the seventh.
Starter Andrew Morales blanked the Pilots through six innings, striking out five and scattering four hits to improve to 4-0. Portland loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh against Morales, who handed the ball off to reliever Evan Brock. Brock walked Kramer Scott to force across Caleb Whalen but struck out Brian Frattali to end the inning. Brock pitched 1.1 innings of no-hit baseball and Race Parmenter allowed one hit in a shutout ninth inning.
Watts fell to 0-2 after giving up five runs on six hits in an inning.
UCI hosts Cal State Bakersfield Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.