LOS ANGELES, Calif. --- No. 27 UC Irvine received a stellar effort from its pitching staff as the Anteaters handed USC a 3-1 loss to snap a three-game losing streak Tuesday at Dedeaux Field.
Evan Brock pitched four innings of three-hit, one-run baseball in the start for the 'Eaters. The right-hander did not walk a batter and struck out three but did not figure in the decision after leaving the game with a runner on second in the fifth.
Sam Moore entered in relief and retired the first batter he faced before issuing a walk and an RBI single to cut UCI's lead to one. Moore induced a fly-ball out for the second out of the inning and then handed the ball over to Mitch Merten, who ended the inning with a fly-ball out to right.
Merten retired seven of the next eight batters he faced, logging 3.1 innings and striking out three and yielding a single hit to earn his first win of the year (1-1). Race Parmenter dealt a perfect ninth to record his fourth save.
Scott Gottschling led off the second with a double deep to right-field and took third on a sacrifice bunt from Chris Rabago before scoring on the sac fly to left from Kris Paulino as UCI took a 1-0 lead.
The Anteaters struck again in the third. Ronnie Shaeffer worked a full-count walk with one out and took second on a wild pitch by starter Nigel Nootbaar. With two outs, Jerry McClanahan scorched a 1-2 pitch up the middle to drive in Shaeffer and give UCI a 2-0 advantage.
USC jumped on the board in the fifth on Timmy Robinson's run-scoring single to plate Garrett Stubbs, who led off the inning with a double.
Dominique Taylor widened the margin in the seventh with a two-out double to left as Chris Rabago trotted in from third after reaching third on a base on balls, wild pitch and sacrifice bunt from Jonathan Herkins.
Taylor led UCI with an RBI on two hits while Paulino and McClanahan each posted an RBI.
USC starter Nigel Nootbaar lasted three innings and gave up two runs on two hits to fall to 1-3. Garrett Stubbs paced the Trojans offense with three hits.