Cal Poly Falls to No. 23 UC Irvine in Series Opener, 6-2
IRVINE, Calif. – Triples by Brian Hernandez and Christian Ramirez in a four-run seventh-inning rally broke open the game as No. 23 UC Irvine defeated Cal Poly 6-2 in a Big West Conference baseball game Friday night at Anteater Ballpark.
Cal Poly, which led briefly 1-0 in the fourth inning, allowed a run in the bottom of the fourth, another in the sixth and four in the seventh, falling to 20-20 on the year and 9-7 in Big West games.
UC Irvine improved to 30-12 and 9-4, winning at home for the 19th time in 20 home games.
Senior designated hitter DJ Gentile doubled down the left-field line to drive in the Cal Poly run in the fourth inning.
Ronnie Shaeffer singled to drive in a run and tie the game in the bottom of the fourth and the Anteaters snapped the 1-1 deadlock in the sixth on Jordan Leyland's RBI single.
Hernandez tripled with two outs and the bases empty in the seventh, scored on an RBI single by Drew Hillman and, after a hit batsman, Ramirez tripled to right to drive home two more. UC Irvine scored the final run in the inning on a double steal.
Junior right-hander Mason Radeke (7-2) had a seven-game winning streak snapped as he allowed six runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
Winning pitcher Matt Summers (7-2) did not allow a walk and struck out 10, giving up just one run and six hits in eight innings.
Sophomore right fielder Mitch Haniger greeted Anteater reliever Jimmy Litchfield with a solo home run to left field in the ninth inning. It was Haniger's second home run of the season and the 10th of the year for Cal Poly.
Junior center fielder Bobby Crocker had two of Cal Poly's seven hits.
UC Irvine's eight hits were collected by each of the top eight hitters in the Anteater batting order.
Second game of the series will be played Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock with senior right-hander Steven Fischback (4-2, 3.67 ERA) on the mound for Cal Poly against UC Irvine sophomore southpaw Matt Whitehouse (3-0, 1.54 ERA).