March 25, 2008
IRVINE, Calif. --- Sophomore Francis Larson hit his first collegiate grand slam to lead third-ranked UC Irvine to a 5-2 win over Harvard in a non-conference game Tuesday at Anteater Ballpark. The win lifted the Anteaters to 17-2 overall while Harvard dropped to 1-12.
The Anteaters loaded the bases on two hit batsmen and a base on balls, setting the scene for Larson, who belted a 2-2 pitch from Jon Strangio over the left-field fence to give UCI a 4-0 lead.
Harvard rallied in the seventh with two runs in the seventh. The Crimson threatened in the eighth with runners on first and third with two outs but reliever Matt Dufour struck out Tom Stack-Babich to end the inning.
Harvard rallied again in the ninth as Taylor Meehan and Matt Rogers led off the inning with back-to-back singles off closer Eric Pettis. However, Matt Vance popped up to Cusick and Harry Douglas hit into a game-ending double-play as Pettis recorded his sixth save of the season.
UCI starter Christian Bergman improved to 4-0 after holding Harvard to five hits in four scoreless innings while striking out three. Noel Avison and Kyle Necke each tossed a scoreless inning while Tom Calahan struck out one and yielded two unearned runs. Crosby Slaught and Dufour combined for a scoreless eighth before handing the ball off to Pettis.
Strangio fell to 0-3 after giving up four runs on one hit. Reliever Max Warren limited UCI to a run on seven hits and struck out six in 7.2 innings of work.
UC Irvine opens Big West action this weekend at Cal Poly.