IRVINE, Calif. --- Matt Whitehouse snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 4-4 on the year after leading UC Irvine to an 8-2 win over UC Davis Saturday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
Whitehouse dealt seven scoreless innings before surrendering two runs in the eighth. The lefty struck out eight and scattered seven hits while walking just one in the win. Whitehouse's last seven-inning stint came in the win against Hawai'i in early April.
The Anteaters chased starter Spencer Koopmans from the game in the fourth, scoring five runs in the inning. Jerry McClanahan started the rally with single down the left-field line. Jeff Stephens, making his first appearance since March due to an injury, was hit by the pitch and Scott Gottschling coaxed a four-pitch walk to load the bases. With Mikey Duarte at the plate, Koopmans threw a pitch in the dirt, allowing McClanahan to score and Duarte would eventually walk on four pitches. The trouble continued for Koopmans, who hit Rabago to force across Stephens and Dominique Taylor followed with an RBI hit to right. Koopmans was lifted for reliever Robert Parucha and Connor Spencer greeted the righty by hitting a single off the glove of second baseman Steven Patterson. Sparks capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to right as UCI built a 6-0 advantage.
Spencer and Sparks delivered again in the sixth with the duo punching a pair of two-out run-scoring hits to extend UCI's lead to eight runs.
UC Davis got on the board in the eighth. Adam Young hit a one-out double and scored on pinch-hitter Austin March's hit to left. Whitehouse struck out pinch-hitter Spencer Brann but Paul Politi extended the inning with a single up the middle to cut the lead to six at 8-2. Whitehouse handed the ball off to Evan Brock, who yielded a hit to Nick Lynch before inducing a fly-ball out to right to end the inning.
Brock tossed 1.1 shutout innings of three-hit relief. Sparks and Spencer combined to drive in five of UCI's eight runs with the pair posting two hits apiece. Rabago and Taylor each drove in a run in the win.
Koopmans fell to 1-6 overall after giving up six runs on five hits in 3.1 innings. Lynch led the Aggie with a run on two hits.
The series finale pits Andrew Morales against Harry Wolf with first pitch slated for 1:00 p.m.