BAKERSFIELD, Calif. --- Jerry McClanahan drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th and Mitch Merten registered a save in his first appearance of the year to lead No. 21 UC Irvine to a 5-4 win at CSU Bakersfield Tuesday.
UCI led early, building a 4-1 lead after 5 ½ innings but saw the Roadrunners chip at the deficit with single runs in the fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth to tie it at 4-4.
In the top of the 10th, Connor Spencer was issued a four-pitch walk from reliever Hayden Carter and took second on the sacrifice bunt from Ronnie Shaeffer. A passed ball by catcher Frank Martinez allowed Spencer to take third and McClanahan hit a shot off the foot of reliever Dylan Christensen to drive in Spencer and give UCI the one-run lead.
Mitch Merten, picking up for Race Parmenter, opened the bottom of the frame and quickly retired Cael Brockmeyer on a groundball to short. However, the Roadrunners battled back with a single and a double to put runners on second and third with one out. The Anteaters stuck with Merten, who popped up Oscar Sanay in foul territory and struck out Garett Pierce to preserve the win.
Jon Herkins, making his collegiate debut, put the 'Eaters on the board by muscling an 0-1 pitch to center for a two-out RBI in the UCI second.
Taylor Sparks' sacrifice fly to fight in the third plated Spencer to widen the margin to 2-0.
Starter Evan Brock found himself in a jam in the fourth after giving up a walk and a single but he induced a double-play grounder to second to put two outs on the board. He looked to be out of the inning as Martinez swung at a ball in the dirt. McClanahan made the easy throw to first but the ball popped out of first baseman Ronnie Shaeffer's glove for an error, allowing Brockmeyer to score the unearned run and cut the lead in half at 2-1.
Mikey Duarte added to the UCI lead in the sixth with a sailing RBI triple to right-centerfield and then stole home as UCI took the 4-1 advantage.
CSUB answered again in the bottom of the sixth on Sanay's two-out triple to cash in Tyler's Shryock's leadoff double as the Roadrunners cut the lead in half again at 4-2.
CSUB shaved the lead to one, scoring a run without a hit in the seventh. Jordie Hein worked a base on balls against Kyle Hooper and stole second before taking third and scoring on a pair of wild pitches.
Bakersfield threatened again in the eighth with runners on first and second, but Jimmy Litchfield handed the ball to Race Parmenter, who got the Anteaters out of the jam by setting down two straight after issuing an intentional walk to Sanay.
However, a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth hurt the Anteaters as Hein singled, advanced to second on the wild pitch and took third on a bunt before scoring on a sacrifice fly from Kevin Younger to tie the score.
Parmenter collected the win, improving to 1-1 after 1.2 innings of one-run, one-hit relief. Brock gave UCI another solid start, pitching four innings and striking out five while holding the Roadrunners to an unearned run on four hits but did not factor in the decision.
Spencer led the way, batting 2 for 3 with two runs scored while Sparks, McClanahan, Duarte and Herkins each registered a run batted in.
Carter took the loss for the 'Runners, falling to 0-1 after giving up an unearned run in three innings. Mylz Jones paced the team with four hits.