Aggies drop pitchers duel in series opener

May 25, 2017

Box Score

IRVINE, Calif. -- Two first-inning runs were all host UC Irvine needed in Thursday night's series opener, as a pair of Anteater pitchers held UC Davis to one run and the host side snuffed out an eighth-inning rally en route to a, 2-1, win at Anteater Ballpark.

The Aggies fell to 20-29 overall and 9-13 in Big West Conference play with the loss, while Irvine improved to 22-32 overall and 8-14 in league action.

Louis Raymond (5-5) and Andre Pallante combined to scatter eight hits on the night, with the former picking up the win after striking out four over seven innings of work. Pallante collected his second save of the season, allowing just one hit over the final two frames.

Junior left-hander Orlando Razo (5-4) pitched well, but suffered the loss, allowing two runs on six hits over seven innings, striking out six before leaving after 123 pitches. Junior Connor Loar came on to pitch a perfect eighth, sandwiching a pair of ground balls around a strikeout to give UC Davis one more chance.

Back-to-back RBI singles by Keston Hiura and Parker Coss in the first staked the host Anteaters to the early lead, but the Aggies eventually wore down Raymond and halved the Irvine advantage with a two-out run right before the stretch.

Alex Aguiar singled to the left for only the fifth hit of the night to bring up Caleb Van Blake, who stroked a double to the gap in left center to score his teammate and make it 2-1. With Van Blake at third thanks to a throwing error on the play, Brad Pluschkell was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners, but Irvine got a fly ball to end the threat and keep it a one run game.

The Aggies, who stranded eight runners on base -- five of those in scoring position -- for the game, had another golden chance to tie or take the lead in the eighth, loading the bases with one out after singles by Mason Novak and Cameron Olson, as well as a four-pitch walk to Ignacio Diaz, but Pallante induced a 1-2-3 double play -- the third of the night turned by the Anteater defense -- to end the threat.

Pallante then set UC Davis down in order in the ninth to lock up the save, striking out a pair.

Olson finished 2-for-3 to pace the Aggies' offense, which saw seven of the nine starters record hits, while Novak's eighth-inning single extended his hitting streak to seven games.

Game two of the series is set for Friday night (May 26) at 6:30 p.m.

UC Irvine 2, UC Davis 1 (May 25, 2017 at Irvine, Calif.)
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UC Davis............ 000 000 100  -  1  8  0      (20-29, 9-13)
UC Irvine........... 200 000 00X  -  2  6  1      (22-32, 8-14)
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Pitchers: UC Davis - Razo, Orlando; Loar, Connor (8) and Diaz, Ignacio. UC Irvine - Raymond, Louis; Pallante, Andre (8) and Guenette.
Win - Raymond (5-5)  Save - Pallante (2)  Loss - Razo, Orlando (5-4)  T-2:44  A-367
Weather: Cloud cover
Raymond faced 1 batter in the 8th.