May 22, 2010
IRVINE, Calif. --- UC Irvine rallied from behind three times but came away with a 15-12, 12-inning loss to UC Riverside Saturday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark. The loss split the series at 1-1 as the Anteaters dropped to 33-18 overall and 13-7 in the Big West. UC Riverside climbed to 29-20 (11-9 Big West) on the season.
The Anteaters exhausted nearly their entire roster in the season-high 4-hour, 35 minute game - the longest regular-season game since 2007 when UCI played Loyola Marymount to a 15-15 tie in 4 hours and 45 minutes.
After trailing UC Riverside 4-0 after the second inning, UCI mounted a four-run rally in the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out in the frame, Casey Stevenson cleared the bases with a booming double to center to put the team on the board. Jeff Cusick then delivered the game-tying hit with a two-out single to left.
The Highlanders struck back in the sixth, getting a two-RBI hit from Eddie Young. UCR would tack on a run in the seventh as Justin Shults belted a run-scoring double to left-center as the visitors took a 7-4 lead.
UCI batted around in the seventh to take a 10-7 lead. With runners on first and third and one out, Jonathan Hurst drove a 1-0 pitch from reliever Eddie Orozco to left, driving in Brian Hernandez from third. Pinch hitter Jordan Fox followed with a sacrifice fly to score Cusick and Matt Summers drove in the game-tying and go-ahead runs with a double to right field. Tommy Reyes worked a walk to extend the inning and Sean Madigan staked the team to a 10-7 lead with a two-out, two-run single to right.
However the Anteaters could not keep UCR at bay. Following a run-scoring sacrifice fly by Trevor Hairgrove, Joey Gonzales hit a two-run home run to right off reliever Kyle Necke to tie the score at 10 runs apiece.
The Highlanders reclaimed the lead again in the ninth as Tony Nix doubled to right-centerfield, reached third on a wild pitch and then scored on a passed ball.
UCR took the lead for good in the top of the 12th inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, Michael Hur laced a single through the left-side to drive in the go-ahead run. Gonzales would score on a wild pitch and Robert Brantly smacked a two-run home run to right for the 15-11 advantage.
Mitch Patito earned the win for UCR after holding UCI to one run on one hit in four innings, improving to 2-0. Starter Dustin Emmons allowed four runs in six innings in the no-decision. Nix had four hits, all for extra bases and drove in two runs to pace the Highlanders.
Necke dropped to 1-4 with the loss after giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 4.1 innings. Stevenson led UCI with three RBI, going 2 for 7 while Summers was 2 for 5 with two RBI. Madigan also had a pair of runs batted in on one hit. Cusick topped the team in hits with four (4 for 7) while Larson added three hits and an RBI.
The series concludes Sunday at 1:00 p.m.