IRVINE, Calif. --- Andrew Thurman dealt 8.2 stellar innings as No. 27 UC Irvine posted a 4-1 win over Hawai'i Friday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark. The win was UCI's first conference victory as the Anteaters improved to 18-8 overall and 1-3 in league play.
Thurman (3-3) fell just short of his second complete-game bid, blanking the Rainbows through eight innings before an unearned run would score against him in the ninth. The right-hander, who struck out eight, faced just one over the minimum through 8.1 innings before giving up a pair of singles. After a fielding error and a run-scoring fielder's choice, Thurman handed the ball to closer Race Parmenter, who deftly fielded a come-backer and flipped the ball to Connor Spencer for the final out at first.
'Bows starter Connor Little (1-4) ran into early trouble, giving up a leadoff double to Chris Rabago in the first inning and a bloop single to Dominique Taylor to put runners on first and third. Connor Spencer flared a 1-2 pitch to left, scoring Rabago and Ronnie Shaeffer staked the Anteaters to a 2-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to right as UCI improved to 6-1 when scoring in the first inning.
Taylor Sparks greeted Little in the fourth, belting the first pitch he saw over the left-field fence for a solo home run, his third round-tripper of the year. Scott Gottschling followed Sparks with a double down the left-field line and came around to score on Ryan Cooper's safety squeeze.
Spencer led UCI with an RBI on two hits while Shaeffer and Sparks each posted a run batted in.
The series continues Saturday at 1:00 p.m.