Baseball Caps Another Winning Campaign in 2016

Baseball Caps Another Winning Campaign in 2016

Game Notes

UC IRVINE ANTEATERS

Record:            31-25
Big West:         11-13
Top 25:             2-4
Home:              18-11
Away:               13-14
Scoring:            5.1
Team AVG:        .282
Team ERA:          4.27

DRAFT SYNOPSIS 

Elliot Surrey - LHP
26th round (777)
Seattle Mariners

John Brontsema - 3B
26th round (793)
Kansas City Royals

ANT-ALYTICS

Head Coach Mike Gillespie became UCI's all-time winningest coach with a 5-1 LMU win on March 1. He currently has 338 career wins at UC Irvine.

The 'Eaters hold a .566 career win percentage with a record of 1,183-907

UCI finished the season with 31 wins, the 13th straight season reaching the 30-mark

The 11-13 record in Big West play marks the first time since 2005 that the Anteaters drew a losing conference record.

The 'Eaters put up 10 runs in the 1st inning at Hawai'i on April 3rd setting a program high for runs in a single inning

WINNING OUT

+ The 'Eaters bookended their season with dramatic victories coming from behind in the ninth inning on the season's final day to win, 7-6, on a walk-off single from senior Wyatt Castro.

+ UCI finishes with an 11-13 record in Big West play landing in a tie for seventh place.

+ The overall record of 31-25 gives the program a 13th straight season with 30+ wins. It also matches the 2012 and 2005 squads for the second-lowest win totals since the return of the program

+ UCI completed its non-conference schedule with a 20-12 in non-record, the fifth time under Coach Gillespie the squad has won 20 non-conference games. The team has had a winning non-conference record for the last 13 years as well.

+ On weekend series, the 'Eaters went 6-7-1, and they were never swept, but swept their opponents twice (Nevada, Seattle). They were 8-5 in midweek games, and won seven game each on Saturdays and Sundays.

+ UCI went 18-11 in Anteater Ballpark and 13-14 on the road.

GETTING RECOGNIZED

+ Four Anteaters received All-Big West recognition with Adam Alcantara and Cole Kreuter making the first team, Elliot Surrey gracing the second team, and honorable mention status fitted for Mitchell Holland, the only to make a second appearance.

+ Three Anteaters secured Big West Player of the Week honors during the season. Keston Hiura started things off on March 21 where he batted .467 with a double, four RBI, four stolen bases, and Elliot Surreyred in a four-win week over Maryland and Seattle. Elliot Surrey was branded as Big West Pitcher of the Week following his complete game shutout of Cal State Fullerton in late April for his first honor, and the first for a UCI pitcher since 2013 when Andrew Morales, Andrew Thurman, and Matt Whitehouse each were honored a total of four times. Adam Alcantara completed the awards in the season's final weekend where he drove home six RBI including an inside-the-park-home run in the final game which helped boost his hit streak to 16 games.

+ Hiura was also been named to the Golden Spikes Award midseason and preseason watch lists named as one of the top 60 players in the country. Additionally, Hiura was named a Preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), D1Baseball.com, and Perfect Game.

+ Off the field, senior Jonathan Muñoz was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team for District VIII. The criminology, law, and society major was one of 12 named to the regional list with national honors to be named later in the month. He and fellow senior Matt LoCoco of Hawai'i were the only Big West members.

TEAM TALLIES

+ The Anteater offense finished with a .282 batting average, just one point lower than the 2015 squad, and also led the conference in batting overall by 11 points as well as slugging at .376 and on-base at .364.

+ The offense hit over 100 doubles for the second straight year. Its 103 doubles are the most since 2010.

+ The running game more than doubled its stolen base output with 49, the highest total since 2008.

+ The 43 sacrifice hits were an uncharacteristic low, and last in the Big West, only the third time since 2002 that the total fell below 50 and first time since 2004.

+ The nine saves out of the bullpen were the lowest total since seven in 2003. The bullpen as a unit went 17-3 with a 3.91 ERA.

+ The pitching staff had multiple games of 14+ strikeouts in the same season for the first time since 2009, and they came four games a part (May 22 vs. UCSB and May 28 vs. CSUN).

+ The offense set a single-game record with 12 walks in the 10-inning win over Nevada on February 27.

HIURAS ARE MADE

Keston Hiura finished the season hitting .358 - that is the lowest his average had been at any point during the entire season. 

+ He finished one point shy of the Big West batting title, but did claim the slugging title by 30 points and finished third in OBP.

+ Hiura produced a 52-game on-base streak that began last in the 2015 season, and it stood as the longest in the nation in 2016.  He also stretched a pair of 14-game hitting streaks alongside strings of nine in a row with an RBI and six straight with a run scored.

+ Hiura started off the UCLA series with a five-hit game, the first of his career and 22nd in program history. This came on the heels of a three-hit day at UNLV putting him 8 for his last 10 following Friday.

+ Hiura produced another statistical anomaly Sunday in Hawai'i. The Anteaters had 19 hits with eight starters going for multiple hits, however, Hiura was not one of them. He did score twice.

+ He reached base in all five plate appearances in a Saturday night win over UTSA with two singles, a walk, and two hit by pitch. This was right on the heels of his performance against Nevada when he reached on all seven plate appearances: single, double, triple, two-out bunt single in the ninth, and three walks. He also scored three times and drove home a run to help UCI erase a five-run deficit entering the eighth inning and win, 8-7, in 10 innings.

+ Hiura homered in the first and sixth innings at LMU on March 1 for his first career 2-HR game. It was the 26th 2-HR game in program history and gave him four HRs in four games.

+ The sophomore landed on four freshman All-American lists including the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association (NCBWA, D1Baseball.com, Baseball America, and Collegiate Baseball.

+ Hiura was named Big West Freshman Field Player of the Year, a first for the program, and made the All-West Region team, the third straight season an Anteater has made it.

+ Hiura landed near the top of many Anteater records including second in doubles (18), hits (75), and at-bats (227) while setting new marks with seven home runs and 52 RBIs.

PLAYER PERFORMANCE

Grant Palmer finished his career with 191 games played, 11th-most in program history.

+ Palmer finishes with 144 hits and a .273 average iElliot Surrey 70 runs scored, 59 driven in, 18 doubles, three triples, one HR, 53 walks, and 23 sacrifice hits.

+ Elliot Surrey finished all over the all-time rankings notable tied for 5th with 49 starts, seventh with 320.2 innings pitched, tied for 16th with 19 wins, 17th wiKeston HiuraA, and seventh with 239 strikeouts.

+ Keston Hiura recorded six sacrifice flies for the second straight season, third-highest single-season total, and the only player to ever reach that mark twice.

+ Hiura also put up the 22nd five-hit game and 32nd multi-homer game in team history.

Mitchell Holland completes his two-year stay with the 'Eaters batting .312 busting 126 hits in 107 games. He added 29 doubles including a team-high 15 this season, scored 58 runs, drove home 67, and homered seven times.

+ Johnathan Muñoz was a quiet leader on the field playing 143 games including a sophomore season where he was named all-conference and All-West Region. He blasted two homers, drove home 40 runs, and doubled 19 times of his 99 hits helping him bat .265.

Andrew Martinez is moving on as a redshirt junior after 78 games with the program. He broke out in 2015 with eight home runs and 23 RBI. Half of his 32 hits went for extra bases helping him slug .439.

Wyatt Castro culminated his two seasons at UCI with a memorable walk-off single to win the final game of the 2016 season. He had 43 hits in 82 games to help him bat .250 which included 12 doubles and 19 runs batted in.

John Brontsema will also be moving on after signing with the Royals following his selection in the MLB First Year Player Draft. He gradually grew into a starting role taking over at SS for the injured Mikey Duarte to hit .289 this season and lead the team in triples and stolen bases. Over his three seasons, he hit .253 with 91 hits over 126 games putting up 12 doubles, six triples, three HR, and 40 RBI.

UPPER MANAGEMENT

+ Head Coach Mike Gillespie finished his ninth season with the Anteaters and 29th overall at the collegiate level now with a record of 338-192 at UCI, 1,102-663-2 overall.

+ On Tuesday, March 1, Gillespie surpassed Mike Gerakos as the program's all-time winningest coach.  Gerakos won 312 games from 1981 to 1992.

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