April 13, 2010

Cusick With Clutch Hit as UC Irvine Edges San Diego in 12 Innings

April 13, 2010

Box Score

SAN DIEGO, Calif. --- Senior Jeff Cusick delivered the clutch run-scoring double in the 12th and Casey Stevenson came up with the game-ending defensive gem as UC Irvine edged San Diego 4-3 in 12 innings Tuesday at Cunningham Stadium. The win lifted UCI to 19-11 overall while San Diego dropped to 17-15.

Forced into extra innings following a three-run eighth by the Toreros, UCI's Jordan Fox led off the 12th with a walk and then was pushed to second on the hit-and-run groundout by Brian Hernandez. Cusick then hit a 2-2 pitch off Sam Wolff to left field to drive in the eventual game-winning run.

San Diego, facing Christian Bergman in the bottom of the frame tried to answer, putting a runner on via a one-out walk. However, on catcher Nick McCoy's grounder up the middle, Stevenson made the diving stop near the second-base bag and flipped to Tommy Reyes, who connected with Fox for the game-ending double play.

UCI squandered a stellar starting effort by freshman Evan Brock, who hurled a career-high six innings in his first collegiate start. Brock was dealing a perfect game through 4.1 innings before giving up a one-out walk in the bottom of the fifth. The Toreros followed with an infield single and then loaded the bases with a walk but Brock rallied to strike out Dillon Checkal to end the only threat he would face. Brock then retired the sixth in order before handing the ball off to the UCI bullpen.

UCI chased San Diego starter Darrin Campbell in the first. After Stevenson reached first on a leadoff walk, Campbell hit Fox with the pitch. Brian Hernandez drove in Stevenson with a hard single to right-center to put the Anteaters on the board. A base on balls to Cusick loaded the bases and Ronnie Shaeffer bounced into a run-scoring fielder's choice to give UCI to a 2-0 lead. That prompted the Toreros to give the ball to reliever Chris Jensen, who induced an inning-ending double play.

Dillon Bell extended UCI's lead with a two-out single to center in the top of the eighth, scoring Cusick from second base.

In the San Diego eighth, first baseman Victor Sanchez tagged reliever Matt Summers for a two-run home run to slice the lead to one at 3-2. The Toreros then tied the score as Kevin Muno continued the rally with a one-out double off reliever Kyle Necke and then crossed the plate on a hard single by Chris Engell.

Anteater reliever Nick Hoover set down six straight Torero batters, striking out four and did not issue a walk to earn the win and collect his first win (1-0) of the season. Bergman earned his first save of the season after facing the minimum in the USD 12th. Fox and Cusick led UCI with two hits apiece.

Wolff fell to 1-1 after walking two and giving up the go-ahead run in 1.1 innings.