Upset in Irvine
April 8, 2006
Irvine, Calif. - A sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth by UC Irvine's Zach Robinson was all the Anteaters would need at they upset No. 1 Cal State Fullerton in a Big West Conference baseball game Saturday night, 2-0, ending the Titans' eight-game winning streak.
Fullerton, now 25-8, lost for just the second time in the last 17 games and dropped its first game in conference play (4-1). Saturday night's game saw the Titans lose just their second game to an unranked team, the first coming to this same UCI team back on Feb. 19 at Goodwin Field. Irvine picks up its first conference win of the season (1-4), improving its overall record to 19-14.
The Anteater pitching staff held the Titan lineup at bay, led by winning pitcher Scott Gorgen (4-2). The right-hander struck out seven, surrendering just five hits, all singles, to help the Anteater snap their four-game losing skid.
Middle-man Glenn Swanson retired the three Titans he faced before handing the ball to Irvine's closer Blair Erickson. Erickson came into the game with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and was met by two sharp singles By Brett Pill and Bryan Harris, bringing up the go-ahead run in John Curtis. Before Curtis got a chance to swing the bat, Erickson caught Harris on the "fake-to-third-throw-to-first" move ultimately ending in Pill being thrown out at the plate to end any threat.
Erickson went on to strike out the side in the ninth to record his 10th save of the season.
Fullerton's Lauren Gagnier would pick up the loss dropping his season record to 7-3. The junior right-hander lasted 5 1/3 inning surrendering just four Irvine hits, but also the two runs that would eventually be enough to beat the Titans. Despite a lack of timely hitting by the Titan offense, Gagnier was also unable to help himself defensively as an error on the righty set up the games first run.
Anteater Taylor Holiday led off the fourth inning with a swinging bunt that the Titan pitcher thought he had a play on. An accurate throw by Gagnier would likely not have beat the speedy Holiday, and instead went wide of Titan first baseman Brett Pill, allowing Holiday to advance all the way around to third base with nobody out. The single and the error set up opportunities for the next two UCI hitters, with Robinson coming through with the fly ball to right.
The second Irvine run came in the bottom half of the sixth when a hit batter and two consecutive singles would drive in the game's last run. Robinson, would again be the hero at the plate as he took the Gagnier offering to right for an RBI single, knocking Gagnier from the game.
If there was a bright spot on Saturday night for the Titans it was reliever Ryan Paul who struck out three of the four hitters he faced before giving way to Justin Klipp. Klip pitched the final 1 1/3 innings.
Offensively the Titans left four men in scoring position on the night, going 0-for-6 in that situation. Highlighting the Titan offense were the No. 1 and 2 hitters, Justin Turner and Blake Davis who combined for four hits in eight plate appearances.
The rubber-game of the three-game set will happen Sunday at Anteater Ballpark. Dustin Miller (6-1) will take on the Anteaters who have yet to announce a Sunday starter. First Pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.