No. 17 UC Irvine Falls in Late Innings as Cal Poly Evens Series
May 7, 2011
IRVINE, Calif. --- UC Irvine was unable to stop the rallying Mustangs as Cal Poly scored five runs in the ninth to defeat the Anteaters 7-3 Saturday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
UC Irvine (30-12, 9-5 Big West) received another strong start on the mound as starting pitcher Matt Whitehouse, held the Mustangs scoreless through six and went on to pitch 7.2 innings of two-run baseball. Whitehouse, who did not figure in the decision, struck out eight and did not issue a walk in the outing.
After chipping away at UCI's 3-0 lead with single runs in the seventh and eighth, the Mustangs brought 10 batters to the plate in the ninth. Mitch Hanniger was issued a leadoff walk and Cal Poly strung together three consecutive singles off reliever Brian Hernandez to take a 4-3 lead. Chris Hoo's sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out. Evan Busby's sacrifice bunt on the squeeze play was handled by reliever Jimmy Litchfield but Gentile was called safe at home on the play. A second sacrifice bunt plated the Mustang's sixth run and Chavez drove in Busby to cap the scoring.
The Anteaters gave Whitehouse a three-run lead, breaking the scoreless tie in the fourth. Hernandez and Drew Hillman kicked off the inning with back-to-back singles and Jordan Leyland worked a one-out walk to load the bases. Ronnie Shaeffer jumped on a 2-2 pitch from starter Steven Fischback to drive in two runs and Shaeffer would score on Tommy Reyes' single to right.
Hernandez, who was 2 for 4 with a run scored, fell to 3-1 with the loss after giving up four runs in 2/3 innings. Shaeffer led UCI with two RBI while Tommy Reyes drove in a run while going 2 for 4 at the plate.
Fischback improved to 5-2 with the win after pitching eight innings and giving up three runs on nine hits. Frankie Reed pitched a scoreless ninth.
The series concludes Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and will be aired live on ESPNU.