April 25, 2010
DAVIS, Calif. - Sophomore lefty Nathan Slater held UC Irvine to only two earned runs on one hit in 4.2 relief innings and the UC Davis baseball team sparked a small rally late in the game, but UC Irvine held off the Aggies for a 10-4 win Sunday at Dobbins Stadium.
It was UC Davis' fifth straight loss and marked the second series sweep against the Aggies who now stand at 16-19 overall and 2-7 in Big West Conference play. UC Irvine improves to 24-13 on the year and 8-4 in league action.
Slater entered the game in the top of the fifth inning, replacing sophomore righthander Scott Lyman. Lyman pitched four innings and gave up eight earned runs on seven hits while striking out two and walking three to move to 2-5 on the year.
Upon entering the game, Slater immediately retired the side by striking out UC Irvine's Ryan Fisher, then forcing two ground outs to end the inning. Slater gave up a single in the top of the sixth, but would go on to retire the next ten straight batters.
UC Irvine jumped to a 1-0 lead after the Anteaters' first batter of the game, Sean Madigan, took base after being hit by a pitch. Casey Stevenson followed that with a double to center field and Madigan would come around to score after Brian Hernandez grounded out to second base.
In the second inning, Jordan Leyland reached base on a single up the middle, then stole second before scoring off a double down the left field line by Matt Summers. Summers would score off an RBI single by D.J. Crumlich. With two outs and the bases loaded, Jeff Cusick's base hit to left field brought home Crumlich and Madigan to give UC Irvine a 5-0 advantage.
The Anteaters would score three more in the fourth, but UC Davis came back with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning.
Scott Heylman reached base after being walked, then advanced to third on a double by David Popkins. Heylman would come around to score after UC Irvine botched a double play attempt for the Aggies' first run of the game. Paul Politi's RBI single to center field brought home Popkins to bring the score to 8-2 in favor of UC Irvine.
Heylman gave UC Davis another run in the eighth with a towering home run down the left field line. It was the junior's first career home run.
The Aggies seemed to get a small rally going in the bottom of the ninth. Eric Johnson started the inning with a single up the middle, which was followed by a single by Politi. With both men on and no outs, Seth Batty would fly out to right field for the first out of the inning and Scott Kalush would strike out for the second out. Daniel Cepin's RBI single up the middle brought home Johnson, but Heylman lined out to centerfield for the final out of the game.
Heylman was 2-for-4 on the day with two runs and one RBI while Johnson and Politi also each went 2-for-4.
For UC Irvine, Cusick was 2-for-4 with four RBI while Ronnie Shaeffer and Hernandez both knocked in two RBI.
Senior Eric Pettis moved to 6-2 on the year after throwing eight innings and giving up three earned runs on eight hits while striking out five.
UC Davis returns to action Tuesday for a nonconference matchup with Cal starting at 2:30 p.m. at Dobbins Stadium. The Aggies will continue Big West play with a three-game series at Cal State Northridge beginning Friday, Apr. 30.