April 21, 2011

No. 18 UC Irvine Squeezes Past UC Davis To Open Series

April 21, 2011

Box Score

IRVINE, Calif. --- Tommy Reyes's bunt on a squeeze play with one out in the eighth drove in the eventual game-winning run in a narrow 3-2 victory for UC Irvine Thursday at Cicerone Field Anteater Ballpark. The win lifts UCI to 7-3 in the Big West (25-9 overall) while UC Davis drops to 8-23 overall and 2-5 in league play.

With the score deadlocked at 2-2, Jordan Leyland began the Anteater rally in the eighth with a leadoff double to center. A failed pickoff throw by reliever Ryan Lucas put Leyland on third. Left-fielder David Popkins came on in relief and induced a pop-fly to third to secure the first out. The Aggies intentionally walked centerfielder Scott Gottschling and pitcher Matt Summers to set the scene for Reyes, who bunted the ball up the first-base line. Pitcher Tom Briner, who was called in to pitch to Reyes, jumped on the ball but would be too late to make a play at the plate.

UCI took a 2-0 lead on a pair of singles in the fifth. With Jon Hurst on third via a leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt and a single by D.J. Crumlich, Sean Madigan drove in Hurst for the first run of the game with a single through the right side. Crumlich was cut down at third on the double steal for the second out but Madigan took third on a wild pitch before Brian Hernandez hit a line-drive hit off the glove of starter Dayne Quist for a run-scoring single.

The Aggies rallied, cutting the lead to one in the sixth on Scott Heylman's two-out hit to right-field to drive in Brett Morgan from second. UC Davis then evened the game a two runs apiece in the seventh with Daniel Cepin delivering the two-out clutch hit to score Scott Lyman.

UC Davis had runners on first and second with two outs in the eighth but Summers induced a grounder to third to end the threat.

Hernandez pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two to pick up his eighth save of the season.

Summers collected his sixth victory (6-2) after tying a career-high eight innings and holding UC Davis to two runs on six hits. Summers held the Aggies scoreless through five innings and faced the minimum through 3.2 innings.

Offensively Hernandez went 4 for 4 with an RBI to lead UCI while Leyland and Shaeffer each batted 2 for 4. Madigan and Reyes both totaled a RBI on one hit.

Quist left the game with the score tied at 2-2, pitching 6.1 innings and striking out three while giving up two runs on nine hits. Lucas suffered the loss, falling to 0-3.

The series continues Friday at 6:30 p.m.