April 25, 2010

UC Irvine Sweeps UC Davis Behind Strong Pitching, Offense

April 25, 2010

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. --- UC Irvine capped the weekend with a sweep of UC Davis, handing the Aggies a 10-4 defeat Sunday at Dobbins Stadium. The win lifted UCI to 24-13 overall and 8-4 in league play while the Aggies dropped to 2-7 (16-19 overall) in the Big West.

Jeff Cusick, Brian Hernandez and Ronnie Shaeffer combined for eight of the team's 10 RBI with Cusick leading the trio with four. The senior first baseman went 2 for 4 while Hernandez drove in two runs on 1 for 3 hitting, scoring twice. Shaeffer drove in a pair of late runs in the on one hit and D.J. Crumlich contributed a run batted in while going 2 for 3 at the plate.

Starter Eric Pettis pitched eight strong innings, holding UC Davis to three runs on eight hits and striking out five to climb to 6-2 on the season. Closer Kyle Necke yielded a run on three hits in the Aggie ninth to close out the game.

UC Irvine continued to be opportunistic in the series finale. After UC Davis starter Scott Lyman hit Sean Madigan with the pitch, Casey Stevenson doubled Madigan to third, who would then score on a grounder to second by Hernandez.

In the UCI second, Jordan Leyland hit a one-out single up the middle and stole second before coming around to score on a double by Matt Summers. Crumlich followed with a single to left to drive in Summers and after sandwiching a strikeout with a pair of base on balls, Lyman gave up a two-run single to Cusick as UCI took a 5-0 lead.

Cusick struck again in the fourth, belting a two-run home run to highlight a three-run inning and staking the Anteaters to an 8-0 advantage.

The Aggies broke a string of 14 shutout innings with two runs in the fourth. Pettis issued a walk to Scott Heylman. A one-out double by David Popkins put runners on first and third and UC Davis then loaded the bases on a walk issued to Kyle Mihaylo. Eric Johnson hit a hard bouncer to Stevenson, who was able to knock it down but could only get the lead runner on the fielder's choice, with Heylman scoring on the play. Paul Politi then followed with a sharp single to the left-center gap, scoring Popkins but Pettis struck out Sean Batty to end the inning.

UC Davis shaved the lead five on Heylman's first home run of the season, a solo round-tripper to left to lead off the frame in the eighth.

However, UCI tacked on two runs in the ninth, loading the bases against the Aggie bullpen for Shaeffer, who lined a 2-1 pitch from Matthew Lewis into right to score Stevenson and Hernandez to cap the scoring for the Anteaters.

Lyman fell to 2-5 after giving up eight runs on seven hits in four innings.