April 20, 2010
SAN DIEGO, Calif. --- UC Irvine broke away from a close 5-4 game with four runs in the final two innings to defeat San Diego State 9-4 Tuesday at Tony Gwynn Stadium. With the win, UCI climbed to 21-13 overall while the Aztecs dropped to 17-20 on the season.
The Anteaters got another solid performance on the mound from Evan Brock, who pitched four strong innings in relief, giving up a lone hit in the SDSU fifth. Brock started the bottom of the second for starter Matt Summers and went on to strike out five to improve to 3-2 on the season. Brock walked one batter in the third and fourth innings but got some help defensively as Ronnie Shaeffer connected with Casey Stevenson to snuff out a pair of stolen-base attempts.
Shaeffer also contributed offensively, matching a season-high with three RBI on 2 for 4 hitting. The sophomore catcher put UCI on the board in the first, doubling in Drew Hillman with a chopper over the third baseman's head. Left-fielder Jordan Van Hoosier bobbled the ball in left, allowing Brian Hernandez to score and give UCI a 2-0 lead.
The Anteaters then added a run in the second. Ryan Fisher doubled to lead off the frame and took third on a fielder's choice sacrifice by Tommy Reyes. Fisher would then score on a grounder to short by Cory Olson.
Fisher also factored in the fifth, leading off the inning on a two-base throwing error by shortstop Brandon Decker. Hillman came up with the clutch two-out single to left for the 4-0 lead.
Shaeffer struck again in the fifth with his second double of the night, plating Cusick, who singled up the middle and took third on a pair of wild pitches by reliever Kegan Sharp.
Chris Wilson put SDSU on the board with his fifth home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth and the Aztecs continued the rally, tacking on a run in the sixth. Jomel Torres was walked for the third time and took second on a grounder to second. Mitch Blackburn delivered a single up the middle and Torres would come around to score on an Anteater error to shave the lead to 5-2.
In the Aztec seventh, Josh Chasse doubled in Wilson, who worked a one-out walk off reliever Nick Hoover. Torres then hit an RBI single to right-field to cut the lead to one at 5-4.
The Anteaters responded to put the game out of reach. After Sean Madigan belted a two-out double in the top of the eighth to score Reyes, UCI added three runs in the ninth. Hernandez was hit by the pitch to lead off the frame and took third on a hit-and-run single by Cusick. Hernandez would score on Shaeffer's sacrifice fly. Jordan Leyland connected with a 2-2 pitch for a second hit-and-run single to put runners on first and third for Dillon Bell, who dropped a bunt for an RBI hit, scoring Cusick. Reyes capped the scoring with a sacrifice to center to plate Leyland.
UCI's Andy Lines, Kyle Hooper and Ruben Orosco combined for 1.2 shutout innings before the Anteaters turned to Kyle Necke, who entered in the Aztec eighth with a 6-4 lead and a runner on third with two outs. Necke induced a fly-ball out to center to end the threat and after giving up a single to lead off the ninth, retired the next three batters for his sixth save.
Cusick recorded his fifth straight multiple-hit game, going 2 for 3 with two runs scored and Hillman, Madigan and Bell each drove in a run on one hit.
SDSU starter Robert Alcala fell to 0-3 after giving up three runs on four hits in two innings.