The UCI Baseball team (30-21, 14-11) won the first of a three-game series against Big West Rivals Cal State Bakersfield (17-30, 10-15) at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark in Irvine on Friday, May 20.
The Roadrunners set the tone early on in the game, scoring three runs against UCI right-handed ace starting pitcher redshirt sophomore Nick Pinto. By the end of the second inning, the Roadrunners were out in front 3-0.
The lead for the Roadrunners would continue into the sixth inning. Although the ‘Eaters were able to capitalize on redshirt junior infielder Justin Torres’ fourth inning double that scored two runs, they found themselves still trailing by one run. Redshirt junior outfielder Nathan Church led the ‘Eaters off in the bottom of the sixth inning with a single. He was later able to make his way around the bases to third and score the game-tying run on a throwing error down to second base by CSUB redshirt sophomore catcher Angel Saldivar. Immediately following the game tying run, UCI sophomore catcher Thomas McCaffrey was able to knock in an RBI single, which gave the ‘Eaters the lead 4-3.
Offensively speaking, the ‘Eaters dominated the rest of the game. They tacked on three more runs by the end of the game, and the ‘Eaters pitching kept CSUB off the board after their initial three runs to start the game. Despite giving up three runs to start the game, Pinto was able to clean up his start, recording five strikeouts in five innings pitched. The UCI bullpen also pulled their weight keeping CSUB bats at bay with right-handed redshirt junior pitcher Tanner Brooks contributing two scoreless innings of pitching, and graduate right-handed pitcher Gordon Ingebritson and right-handed redshirt sophomore Troy Taylor contributing one inning of scoreless pitching each respectively.
It was an impressive team win overall for the Anteaters after falling behind 3-0 early. After an initial funk, Pinto was able to regain his usual dominance, while the Anteater offense was able to tack on runs behind him, and the bullpen sealed the 7-3 win.
Kira Dort is a Sports Intern for the spring 2022 quarter. She can be reached at email@example.com.