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UC Irvine still six outs away

BASEBALL: 'Eaters lead Texas, 6-5, but storm forces game suspension in bottom of the seventh.

June 04, 2007|By Barry Faulkner

ROUND ROCK, Texas — Postseason for the UC Irvine baseball team was extended Sunday night, but not exactly the way the Anteaters had in mind.

Game 6 of the NCAA Regional at Dell Diamond was suspended after an 84-minute rain delay with the Anteaters leading, 6-5, in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The game will be resumed from that point, today at 11 a.m.

If the Anteaters win, they will advance to the Super Regional against either Wichita State or Arizona, the only two teams left competing in the Wichita Regional.

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Should Texas rally and win, Game 7 of the regional would be played one hour after the conclusion of the Texas victory. The winner of Game 7 would then capture the regional crown and advance.

The extension of the series would appear to help Texas (46-16) more than UCI (42-15-1), since the Longhorns, the No. 4 national seed that fell, 3-1, to Irvine Saturday night, endured more stress on its pitching staff. Texas had to win a 12-inning elimination game earlier Sunday against Wake Forest.

Texas senior reliever Joseph Krebs, making his fourth appearance in four regional games over three days, was on the mound for the Longhorns when umpires, with advisement from NCAA officials, elected to stop the game with rain and lightning closing in on the ballpark at 6:22 p.m.

Krebs, who threw five innings Sunday against Wake Forest, got the final two outs of the Irvine sixth. Krebs has thrown 10 1/3 innings in the regional, during which he has allowed three runs and seven hits, while striking out 13.

Texas closer Randy Boone was also likely happy about an extra 15-plus hours of rest for his pitching arm. He had appeared in his team's first three regional games, striking out seven and allowing only one run in five innings.

UCI was on its third pitcher Sunday, as freshman Eric Pettis worked into the sixth, before senior Dylan Axelrod took over. Axelrod gave up a two-run double that allowed the Longhorns to take a 5-3 lead, but struck out Travis Tucker to end the inning.

Axelrod recorded the first two outs of the seventh, before giving up a single and exiting in favor of freshman Tom Calahan.

Axelrod, however, became the pitcher record when UCI scored three in the sixth to regain the lead.

Calahan walked the first hitter he faced, but ended the Texas seventh inning on a pop to third baseman Tyler Vaughn.

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