No. 4 UC Irvine Travels to No. 8 Wichita State
June 5, 2007
ANTEATERS HEAD TO WICHITA STATE: Fourth-ranked UC Irvine (43-15-1) makes its first-ever Division I Super Regional appearance this weekend when the Anteaters travel to No. 8 Wichita State to face the Shockers in a best-of-three series Saturday through Monday (June 9-11).
6/9 Sat. vs. Wichita State - 9:00 a.m. (PT) - ESPN2
6/10 Sun. vs. Wichita State - 10:00 a.m. (PT) - ESPN
6/11 Mon. *vs. Wichita State - 9:30 a.m./4:00 p.m. (PT) - ESPN/ESPN2
*if necessary. Time and station will be determined following the completion of Sunday's game
ON THE AIR: The series will be broadcast live on ESPN or ESPN2 with Eric Collins and Phil Nevin calling the action. All Super Regional action will also be aired on KUCI 88.9 FM with Mark Roberts behind the play-by-play.
ANTEATERS REACH HIGHEST-EVER RANKING: UC Irvine has been ranked fourth in the country by Baseball America its highest-ever ranking by any publication in the program's history. Collegiate Baseball jumped the Anteaters from 15th to sixth and Rivals.com tabbed UCI ninth.
UCI GOES 3-0 IN ROUND ROCK: UC Irvine went 3-0 at the Round Rock Regional, defeating Wake Forest 13-0 Friday and then eliminating Texas 3-1 and 9-6 in consecutive games to be crowned regional champions.
SIX NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Junior Taylor Holiday (Dana Point/Arizona State) was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after leading UCI with seven hits, batting .467 (7 for 16) with six runs scored and two stolen bases. Holiday, also named the all-tournament first baseman, was joined by pitchers Scott Gorgen (Concord/Clayton Valley HS), who threw a complete-game against Texas Saturday and Wes Etheridge (Huntington Beach/Cypress CC), who shut out Wake Forest to open the tournament and recorded the save in the final game. Second baseman Cody Cipriano (Agoura/Westlake HS) was also honored after totaling five RBI while hitting 5 for 13 (.385), including two doubles, as was catcher Aaron Lowenstein (Calabasas/HS), who hit 3 for 12 (.250) with a pair of runs batted in. Centerfielder Ollie Linton (Winnetka/Crespi HS) rounded out the list of honorees for UCI after a stellar performance that included two game-changing catches against Texas Saturday. Linton also had two RBI on a pair of hits for the Anteaters.
THE SERRANO FILE: Third-year head coach Dave Serrano holds a 110-64-1 record as the skipper at UC Irvine. The regional championship at Round Rock, Tex. is Serrano's first as a head coach.
ANTEATERS WINNINGEST TEAM IN DIVISION I HISTORY: UC Irvine, winners of 12 of its last 13 games, is 43-15-1 on the season. The 43 victories are the most recorded by an Anteater team since the program moved to Division I in 1977-78. Only the 1974 team has more wins, posting a 48-8 record en route to its second Division II national title. The 1973 team, the first to capture a national championship was 44-12.
GORGEN POSTS THIRD STRAIGHT COMPLETE GAME: Sophomore Scott Gorgen recorded his third straight complete-game, going the distance against then-No. 5 Texas Saturday. Gorgen limited the Longhorns to a run on five hits with two strikeouts and walked three to improve to 11-2 on the season. The right-hander then struck out one in a perfect eighth in the regional championship game Monday, lowering his ERA to 2.88. Gorgen has pitched five complete games this season, striking out 99 in 118.2 innings of work.
ETHERIDGE BLANKS DEMON DEACONS: Right-hander Wes Etheridge also provided a stellar performance on the mound, shutting out Wake Forest 13-0 in the opening game Friday. Etheridge recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts and walked four while scattering just four hits in eight innings to climb to 12-4. Etheridge then recorded the save Monday, securing the final two outs with the bases loaded in the Texas ninth to earn his first career save as an Anteater. The junior holds a 2.67 ERA and has set down 107 batters in 118 innings of work.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Anteaters, who have been away from Anteater Ballpark for six consecutive games, are 19-9-1 on the road and are 3-0 in neutral territory.
UCI IN THE POSTSEASON: This is UC Irvine's first-ever appearance in a Super Regional. Prior to the 2007 season, UC Irvine was 0-4 in two regional appearances. The Anteaters competed in the Notre Dame Regional in 2004 and the Malibu Regional in 2006.
THE SHOCKERS: Wichita State is 53-20 after going 4-1 to win the Wichita Regional. The Shockers followed an opening loss to New Orleans with four straight wins, including two over the Arizona Wildcats. WSU blanked Arizona 3-0 in the second regional championship game Monday to advance to the Super Regionals.
Wichita State, which boasts a 30-11 home record, is led by Damon Sublett, who is batting .364 with a team-high 95 hits on the season. Conor Gillaspie tops the team with 63 RBI while Matt Brown is second with 71 RBI on 86 hits. Tyler Weber is the team's home run leader with 11.
The Shockers are batting .301 as a team with 131 stolen bases while the pitching staff boasts a 2.71 ERA. Travis Banwart and Rob Musgrave lead WSU with 10 wins apiece while Aaron Shafer at 8-2 leads the starters with a 2.43 ERA. Banwart has struck out 111 in 110.2 innings of work while Musgrave has worked 103 innings, striking out 81 and walking just 17.
THE SERIES: Saturday's contest will be the second meeting for the two teams. UC Irvine defeated the Shockers 9-4 in 2005 at the USC Baseball Classic.
WEEKLY WRAPUP: UC Irvine defeated Wake Forest in the opening game of the Round Rock Regional and beat fifth-ranked Texas twice to be crowned regional champions.
Against Wake Forest, the Anteaters put up six runs in the first two innings and went on to blank the Demon Deacons 13-0. Cody Cipriano and freshman Jeff Cusick (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita HS) drove in three runs apiece while Wes Etheridge struck out 10 batters and allowed just four hits to improve to 12-4 on the season, moving the junior into a three-way tie for fourth in the UCI single-season records for most victories. Taylor Holiday went 3 for 5 with three runs scored. Holiday's three hits were a single-game high for UCI in three regional appearances. Outfielder Ollie Linton drove in a pair of runs on 2 for 3 hitting while Tyler Vaughn (Colorado Springs, Colo./Nebraska) also went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored. Freshman Luis Tovar (Yuma, Ariz./Kofa HS) recorded his first collegiate RBI with a pinch-hit single in the eighth while catcher Aaron Lowenstein and shortstop Ben Orloff (Simi Valley/HS) each totaled a run batted in for UCI.
Scott Gorgen led UCI against the Longhorns in the Anteaters' second game of the tournament, pitching his third consecutive complete game. Gorgen held Texas to a run on five hits as UCI captured a 3-1 win. Holiday led the Anteater offense, going 2 for 5, including a double and a triple with an RBI to extend his hitting streak to 19 games, a program-high since the sport was reinstated at UCI in 2002. Catcher Aaron Lowenstein was 2 for 4 while Orloff and Matt Morris (Orange/Santa Ana CC) each drove in a run.
Gorgen and Etheridge delivered again on the mound in the regional championship game that concluded Monday afternoon. Gorgen threw a flawless eighth inning and Etheridge secured the final two outs with the bases loaded in the Texas ninth to record a save in a 9-6 win. Cipriano recorded a pair of doubles and two RBI while Vaughn also drove in two while going 2 for 4. Holiday added two hits and freshman Dillon Bell (Bakersfield/HS) came up with a clutch two-run double in the UCI eighth to give the Anteaters a 9-5 advantage. Dylan Axelrod (Santa Barbara/CC) picked up the win to improve to 4-4 after striking out two in 1.1 innings of two-hit relief.