No. 24 UC Irvine Holds Off Cal State Northridge to Sweep Series
April 3, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- UC Irvine had to hold off a late-game rally by Cal State Northridge en route to a 7-5 win Saturday at Matador Field to sweep the series. The Anteaters improved to 17-8 overall and 3-0 in Big West action while CSUN dropped to 16-10 (0-3 Big West) overall.
The Anteaters used the long ball to take a 3-0 lead over the Matadors. Ronnie Shaffer belted his third home run of the season to lead off the third and Cory Olson recorded his first home run of the season in the sixth, smacking a 2-2 pitch to left-center field for a two-run shot. Brian Hernandez drove in two runs with a single up the middle in the frame to stake the Anteaters to a 5-0 lead.
UCI tacked on a pair of runs in the seventh on a passed ball and an RBI single by Ryan Fisher.
Starter Eric Pettis held the Matadors scoreless until the seventh when C.J. Belanger delivered a two-out double to drive in Justin DeMarco from first.
CSUN continued its momentum in the eighth. A double by Dominic Piazza was followed by an Anteater error to put runners on first and third. Drew Muren laid down a bunt single to load the bases for Ridge Carpenter who doubled in a pair of runs. Pettis then struck out the next two batters but Justin DeMarco worked a base on balls to extend the inning. Belanger singled off reliever Andy Lines to cut the lead to two and the Anteaters summoned Matt Summers, who induced a grounder to third to end the inning with a 7-5 UCI lead.
After the Anteaters went in order in the ninth, Piazza singled to lead off the bottom half of the inning and CSUN brought in pinch-runner Billy Swanson. Kyle Necke entered in relief and got T.S. Reed to line out to short. Swanson, trying to retreat to first, went down with an injury and was unable to make it back to the bag. Necke then preserved the win with a fly-ball out to center, picking up his fifth save of the season.
Pettis improved to 5-0 after giving up five runs (two earned) on eight hits in 7.2 innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked one in the outing.
Shaeffer went 4 for 5 with three runs scored and an RBI while Hernandez batted 3 for 5 with two runs batted in. Cory Olson drove in two on 1 for 2 hitting while Fisher drove in a run on one hit.
Starter Alex Muren lasted just a 1/3 of an inning, coming out of the game in the first with an injury. Reliever Billy Ott fell to 2-1 after giving up four runs on eight hits in five innings and striking out three.