Using a small-game approach, the Anteaters broke open a close 1-0 game with six runs on six hits in the eighth to take a seven-run lead. Ben Orlaff led off the rally with a one-out, two-strike bunt single to third base. A single through the right side of the
Aaron Lowenstein followed with fielder’s choice sac-bunt back to pitcher David Coulon. The left-hander fielded the ball, and attempted to throw out the homeward bound Orlaff on the play, but his throw missed the mark for an error, allowing the run to score and Lowenstein to reach second and Lundahl to advance to third.
Gary Dudrey came up with UCI’s second bunt single in the inning, a roller down the first base line that Stephen Pearson fielded cleanly, but he missed the tag on the play and then saw his throw arrive too late to load the bases.
Taylor Holiday followed with a single up the middle that careened off diving second baseman Richard Stout’s glove and scored two more runs to extend UCI’s lead to 4-0. A
Coulon struck out Cody Cipriano for the second out in the frame, but Jaime Martinez added two more runs with a single to center in the next at-bat to cap off the scoring.
Trailing 1-0 for much of the contest, the Wildcats had numerous opportunities to pull even and away in the game. Posting seven of the nine hits it collected in the game in the first seven innings,
UCI closer Blair Erickson picked up his ninth save of the season after working the final three innings for the Anteaters.
UA’s Brad Mills (2-1) was charged with his first loss of the year despite limiting UCI to one run on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. The junior southpaw struck out five and walked two on the day.