May 8, 2011

Slaught, Thurman Hold Off Cal Poly as No. 17 UC Irvine Wins Series

May 8, 2011

Box Score

IRVINE, Calif. --- Pitchers Crosby Slaught and Andrew Thurman combined to hold Cal Poly to two runs as UC Irvine came away with a 3-2 decision to win the series Sunday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark. With the win, the Anteaters improve to 31-13 overall and 10-5 in the Big West while the Mustangs drop to 21-21 (10-8 Big West) overall.

Cal Poly took a 1-0 lead in the second on a solo home run by Mitch Haniger but Slaught would go on to hold the Mustangs scoreless through the seventh, hurling his longest outing of seven innings this season. Slaught, who did not walk a batter and struck out five, improves to 5-1 on the year.

UCI took the 2-1 lead in the third as Jordan Fox hit a two-out single up the middle and was waved home on a double to left-center by Sean Madigan, knotting the score at 1-1. Brian Hernandez then followed with a double to left to score Madigan for the one-run lead.

The Anteaters tacked on a run in the fifth as Drew Hillman doubled off reliever Joey Wagman and came around to score on a hard single up the middle by Jordan Leyland, who was 2 for 4 on the day.

It would prove to be a crucial run as Cal Poly opened the ninth against Thurman with back-to-back singles to put runners on first and third with no outs. Thurman, who had retired the side in order in the eighth, struck out Matt Jensen for the first out. Haniger, on first via a single to left, jumped off first in an effort to draw the throw from Thurman. Thurman ran Haniger back towards first and J.J. Thompson scored on the play to cut Cal Poly's lead to 3-2 but Thurman with the heads-up play, flipped the ball to Jordan Fox in time to get Haniger diving back towards the bag for the second out. Thurman then proceeded to collect his first save by striking out Elliot Stewart to end the inning.

Thurman, who pitched two innings of one-run, two-hit baseball, also did not walk a batter and struck out three.

Cal Poly starter Chase Johnson fell to 1-5 with the loss after pitching 3.1 innings and giving up two runs on five hits. The Mustangs were paced offensively by Haniger, who was 3 for 4 with an RBI.