UCI Baseball Outshine UCLA in 12-3 Blowout Victory

Photo provided by UCI Athletics

The UCI Baseball team (28-13, 10-8) defeated the UCLA Bruins (24-16-1, 10-9-1) in a 12-3 dominant victory at Anteater Ballpark on Tuesday, May 2.

Impressively, the Anteaters were able to score at least one run in every inning of the game, which landed them on top at the end. The ‘Eaters also outhit their opponent 18-11 as an extra cherry on top.

Starting on the mound for the Anteaters was graduate student right-handed pitcher Andre Antone, while the Bruins started senior left-handed pitcher Josh Hahn, who would also hit for himself in the Bruins lineup as they continue to battle injuries. 

The Anteaters struck first in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI (runs-batted-in) single by freshman first baseman Anthony Martinez, driving home a runner to make it 1-0. An RBI double by sophomore outfielder Chase Call later in the inning put another run on the board to bring Martinez to home plate, making it 2-0. UCLA had one hit, but made no run progress in the top of the first.

UCLA went down in 1-2-3 fashion in the top of the second opening a door for UCI.

Junior third baseman/infielder Jo Oyama lined a sacrifice hit to second base in the bottom of the second inning, which led another runner home, extending the UCI lead to 3-0. However, this would spell the end of the game for Oyama as he re-injured his ankle on the swing. 

Call connected with a big homer down the left field line in the bottom of the third inning, waking up the tired college crowd and granting UCI another edge to make it 4-0.

The Bruins finally began scoring some runs on the board in the top of the fourth inning with an RBI single to center field by freshman outfielder Jarrod Hocking. UCLA added one more run off of Hahn to decrease the run deficit to two.

In the bottom of the fourth, UCI kept their run consistency going and added another two runs to the scoreboard thanks to sophomore shortstop Dub Gleed’s two run RBI single to center field. With their persistent hitting barrage UCI grew their lead to 6-2.

In the bottom of the fifth, UCI showed an outstanding ability to manufacture runs. Freshman infielder Auggie Gutierrez led the inning off with a walk, advancing to second on a great ball in dirt read. This set the table for junior outfielder Caden Kendle who sent a frozen rope up the middle, allowing Gutierrez to score from second and adding another run to UCI’s total, 7-2.

Gleed and Call each singled in the bottom of the sixth to put runners on first and third for sophomore outfielder Myles Smith. Smith rolled over to the shortstop; however, his burner wheels allowed him to beat out the double play, scoring the run on a fielder’s choice as UCI managed to score in their sixth consecutive inning.

Even up 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh, UCI still looked to grow their lead. A Kendle single followed by a Martinez double put UCI in prime position as they had runners on second and third with Gleed coming to the plate. Gleed plated both runs as he slashed a high fastball into the right field corner for a triple. Gleed made the 90 foot journey home just moments later, thanks to an infield single from Smith. When the dust settled, UCI threw three more runs into the mix, growing their lead to 11-2.

Despite the game rolling into its fourth hour, UCI showed no signs of slowing down as they loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, courtesy of three singles off the bats of Gutierrez, Kendle and Martinez. UCLA was able to avoid the big inning but UCI did not leave completely empty handed as they were able to score one more run leaving the score at 12-3. 

The final score remained at 12-3 as UCI freshman pitcher Elliot Joslin slammed the door out of the bullpen, striking out the side in the top of the ninth. This win secured the season sweep of the Bruins for UCI and improved UCI’s record to 8-0 versus its Pac-12 opponents of the year. 

The ‘Eaters moved up in the Big West standings and tooke on the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa from May 5-7 in a huge weekend series at Anteater Ballpark. 

Zeke Bellino is a Sports Staff Writer. He can be reached at zbellino@uci.edu.
Phillip Lemus is a Sports Apprentice. They can be reached at plemus1@uci.edu.