Thurman Goes The Distance To Win Series Opener Against No. 22 Cal Poly
IRVINE, Calif. --- Andrew Thurman dealt his second complete game of the year, holding No. 22 Cal Poly to a run on four hits to lead No. 23 UC Irvine to a 7-1 win Friday night at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
In a key conference match-up, Thurman out-dueled Cal Poly starter Joey Wagman, striking out seven and holding the Mustangs to a run on four hits to improve to 5-3. After giving up the lone run in the third, Thurman held Cal Poly to two hits and faced the minimum through the final five frames.
The Anteaters (30-15, 12-7) supported Thurman with an early lead. Chris Rabago led off the first with a double that landed just inside the left-field line and scored on a one-out grounder to short from Connor Spencer. Taylor Sparks then went after the first pitch from Wagman and skied the ball over the left-field fence for his ninth home run of the year.
Cal Poly (32-15, 11-8) struck back quickly, getting consecutive one-out doubles from Jimmy Allen and David Armendariz to put the Mustangs on the board and cut the 'Eater lead to one.
The duo of Rabago and Spencer delivered again as Rabago led off the third with a single and eventually scored on Spencer's sacrifice fly.
UCI added to the lead in the fourth as Jeff Stephens stole home, getting in just under the tag by catcher Chris Hoo.
Scott Gottschling, who carried the UCI offense last week, opened the game in the seventh by slapping a bases-loaded, two-run single down the third-base line. The hit extended UCI's lead to five (6-1) and chased Wagman from the game.
Sparks capped the scoring in the eighth with a two-out, booming triple to center off reliever Chase Johnson to drive in Spencer, who reached on a two-out single.
Sparks led UCI with three hits and drove in a pair of runs while Spencer and Gottschling each had two RBI. Eight of nine Anteaters posted just at least one hit in the winning effort.
Wagman suffered his third loss of the year to fall to 10-3 after giving up six runs on 12 hits in 6.1 innings. Torres led the Mustangs, batting 2 for 3.
The series continues Saturday at 1:00 p.m.