May 16, 2010
IRVINE, Calif. --- UC Irvine's ninth-inning rally came up as short as the Anteaters dropped the series finale to UC Santa Barbara Sunday, 2-1, at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark. With the loss, UCI falls to 32-17 overall and 12-6 in the Big West while the Gauchos avoided the sweep and climbed to 21-25 overall (7-11 Big West).
Anteater starter Eric Pettis (7-3) was solid on the mound, retiring 13 straight before giving up a two-run, two-out hit to Matt Valaika in the top of the fourth, giving UCSB a 2-0 lead. Pettis hurled 8.1 innings, tying a career-high seven strikeouts while walking none.
UCSB Jesse Meaux was equally impressive, scattering eight hits and striking out two while walking two to improve to 8-3.
The Anteaters, who had runners reach safely in all but two of the nine innings, led off the ninth with a double by Brian Hernandez. Jeff Cusick's grounder to short advanced Hernandez to third, who then scored on a pinch-hit single off the glove of third baseman Brett Fick. However, Meaux collected his second complete-game of the season by inducing a game-ending, double-play grounder to third.
Derek Eligio led the Gauchos with two hits while Jonathan Hurst went 2 for 4 to pace the Anteaters.