March 19, 2010

No. 15 UC Irvine Opens Series With Win Over Gonzaga

March 19, 2010

Box Score

IRVINE, Calif. --- Starter Daniel Bibona struck out 10 and limited Gonzaga to one run in No. 15 UC Irvine's 6-4 win over Gonzaga Friday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark. With the win, UCI improves to 11-6 while Gonzaga drops to 8-9.

Bibona scattered four hits and walked two in the eight-inning stint to improve to 3-1 on the season. The All-American has now recorded 273 career strikeouts, passing former Anteater Brett Smith, who fanned 270 from 2002-04. All-American Eric Pettis registered his second save after halting a three-run rally in the ninth, striking out the final batter of the game.

Jeff Cusick and Jordan Fox paced the Anteater offense, with each player batting 4 for 4. Casey Stevenson led the team with three RBI, belting a bases-clearing double and finishing 1 for 3 at the plate.

Cusick drove in the first of his two RBI in the bottom of the first with a two-out single to plate Sean Madigan and give UCI a 1-0 advantage.

The Anteaters batted around in the second. Ryan Fisher and Fox began with the rally with back-to-back singles and D.J. Crumlich worked a base on balls to load the bases. Madigan drove a first-pitch offering from Bulldog starter Cody Martin up the middle for a 2-0 lead and set the scene for Stevenson's second double of the season. Cusick capped the inning with a two-out RBI hit to drive in Stevenson.

Gonzaga got on the board in the seventh as Clayton Eslick tripled in Royce Bolinger but Bibona struck out pinch-hitter Tyler Chism to end the inning.

After a shutout eighth, the Anteaters turned to junior Crosby Slaught in the ninth. Andy Hunter reached first on an error by third baseman Tommy Reyes but Slaught sandwiched a pair of outs with a single to Billy Moon. With runners on first and second with two outs, Eslick delivered again with a long double and then would score on Chris Sturdivant's single to drive in the `Zags' final run.

Martin falls to 1-2 after giving up six runs on 10 hits in six innings. Eslick led Gonzaga with two hits and three RBI.

The series continues Saturday at 1:00 p.m.