The UCI Baseball team (31-15, 12-10) took on the University of San Diego Toreros (22-23-1, 15-9) and netted their third win in a row, 10-2, at Fowler Park and Cunningham Field in San Diego on Tuesday, May 9.
The prior two times these teams collided, the ‘Eaters bested the Toreros in February and April, at 3-2 and 14-6 respectively. However, early on in this match, the ‘Eaters played questionably, allowing a commanding lead to the Toreros.
The first inning reflected poorly on the Anteaters, with two walks and a single inconclusive hit by junior catcher Thomas McCaffrey. On the other hand, the Toreros started off strong with back-to-back hits. USD junior utility Angelo Peraza hit a single and a wild pitch thrown by UCI graduate pitcher Andre Antone, advancing to third base. A simple single hit to the left side of the field awarded the Toreros with the first run of the night.
After the run, the ‘Eaters made quick work of the Toreros with a flyball catch and strikeout.
Despite this, UCI was down 1-0 going into the second inning and the batting woes continued. Even when the ‘Eaters were in good position with runners on first and second base, a ground hit by junior infielder Jo Oyama led to a double play. In the end, the ‘Eaters only wielded a single hit that led to a runner on base.
The Toreros also had hitting woes, but were able to score off a single hit. With runners on second and third, San Diego freshman infielder Ian Blazier netted a ground hit towards second that led to a Torero graduate catcher Andrew Semo to score another run, increasing their lead to 2-0.
The ‘Eaters were able to pick up multiple hits for the first time in the third inning. Junior outfielder Caden Kendle and freshman first baseman/catcher Anthony Martinez netted two singles, and a following double from sophomore infielder Dub Gleed helped bring Kendle to home base. Late into the inning, redshirt junior outfielder Luke Spillane was walked with two outs, resulting in all the bases loaded.
Unfortunately, the opportunity fell short as freshman infielder Auggie Gutierrez sent a high ball into right field, commencing the top of the third inning in favor of the Toreros.
The scoreline stood still at 2-1 in the fourth, but in the subsequent innings, the ‘Eaters went on a flurry of hits and runs.
At the top of the fifth inning, Irvine was able to net three hits and two runs. Gutierrez hit a fly ball into center field that led to McCaffrey reaching home, and Oyama hit a single run batted in (RBI) that led to Spillane scoring. In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore pitcher Cooper Robinson came onto the mound to relieve Antone and netted three clean outs: one strike and two ground outs at first base.
By the end of the sixth inning, UCI sophomore outfielder/catcher Chase Call launched a single for Gleed to score at home. The ‘Eaters led two runs, 4-2, and followed with continued efficient pitching.
In the seventh, the score stood still again, but not without ample opportunities to push the lead. The ‘Eaters managed two hits with three runners left on base before Gleed grounded out. However, at the top of the eighth, the ‘Eaters didn’t pass up on any opportunities.
UCI walked four times, managed three hits, forced a pitcher change and exploded for six runs by the end of the inning. RBIs were awarded to the following: Spillane, Gutierrez, UCI redshirt sophomore infielder Will Bermudez and Martinez.
By the end of the eighth, UCI continued to lead and no runs were scored in the ninth settling the score at a 10-2
UCI netted their third win over the Toreros in the season and were set to face CSUN at Matador Field on Friday, May 12. Unfortunately the ‘Eaters fell short 10-15.
The ‘Eaters will next face UC Riverside at the Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark from May 25-27.
Jason Garcia Escobar is a Sports Staff Writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.