March 18, 2011
IRVINE, Calif. --- UC Irvine scored three in the first and went on to hold off Loyola Marymount 5-2 Friday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark. The win lifts UCI to 13-1 overall and the two teams continue the series at LMU Saturday and Sunday.
Jordan Leyland and Drew Hillman posted two RBI apiece with Leyland leading the team with a pair of hits. Matt Summers pitched 6.1 innings, striking out five while holding the Lions to two runs (one earned) on four hits to improve to 2-1. Matt Whitehouse delivered with two clutch strikeouts before handing the ball to Nick Hoover who logged a perfect eighth inning. Brian Hernandez retired the side in order in the ninth for his fourth save.
Jordan Fox kicked off the Anteater first with a full-count walk and Hernandez doubled to left-field to put runners on second and third. Drew Hillman followed with a triple down the right-field line to give UCI a 2-0 lead and Leyland sent a 3-2 pitch off the glove of diving shortstop Shon Roe for an RBI hit.
The Lions responded with a run in the second as Zac Fujimoto hit a two-out single through the left side to plate Ryan Hawthorne, who had worked a leadoff walk from Summers.
LMU starter Jason Wheeler ran into trouble in the second, giving up consecutive hits with one out but worked his way out of the jam and then went on to retire nine of the next 10 he faced.
Leyland struck again in the sixth for the Anteaters. Hillman was walked to lead off the inning and Leyland hit a booming triple off the center-field wall for his second RBI. Madigan’s sacrifice fly to right would score Leyland and give the Anteaters a 5-1 lead.
Summers also settled in after the second inning, holding the Lions to just two hits through the next four innings.
However, LMU continued to battle. In the top of the seventh, Hawthorne slapped a single to left but was erased at second on a fielder’s choice by Evan Simonitsch. A catcher’s interference call put runners on first and second with one out and Fujimoto was hit by the pitch to load the bases. Bret Dahlson was issued a walk to push across Simonitsch, trimming UCI’s lead to 5-2. The Anteaters turned to reliever Matt Whitehouse, who struck out consecutive batters, leaving the bases loaded.