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UCI bound for Omaha

BASEBALL: Petersen's walk-off double in the ninth inning propels Anteaters past Wichita State to the College World Series.

June 11, 2007|By Barry Faulkner

Etheridge retired 17 straight after Andy Dirks led off the game with a single and Dirks was the only Shocker to reach second base until the eighth. He finished with 17 ground-ball outs and no Shocker hit a ball beyond the artificial infield surface until a single with two outs in the sixth.

Etheridge, who pitched eight shutout innings in a 13-0 regional-opening win over Wake Forest, then closed the regional with a save against Texas, allowed five hits and two runs, both unearned, in 8 1/3 Sunday. He struck out four and walked none.

Etheridge left two runners on in the seventh, when Morris made a diving catch of a drive to left-center field. Morris and center fielder Ollie Linton collided while diving for the ball, but Morris hung on and both escaped injury.

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Musgrave was nearly as good as Etheridge, allowing one earned run and five hits in 8 1/3 . He fanned five and walked none.

"What we just accomplished at the Round Rock Regional [beating No. 4 national seed Texas twice] and at the Super Regional in Wichita, playing these two high-caliber programs, is something I might never do again in my career," said Serrano, in his third year at the UCI helm. "So, I'm just enjoying it as it's happening. Winning these two regionals, when you've never won a [Division I postseason] game in the history of the program, is pretty amazing for this group of young men. It didn't matter that they hadn't won a national championship; it didn't matter that they'd never won a regional game. There was nothing that could have taken away their dream."

Holiday, who extended his hitting streak to 22 games, summed it up for his teammates.

"It's an unbelievable thing, first of all, for every guy on this team," Holiday said. "Then, for the program, we're going [to Omaha] and some people may not know who we are. But we're putting a baseball team that's pretty special on the map."


BARRY FAULKNER may be reached at (714) 966-4615 or at barry.faulkner@latimes.com.NCAA Super Regional

UC Irvine 3,

Wichita State 2

Score by Innings

Wichita 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 - 2 6 1

UCI 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 - 3 7 1

Etheridge, Calahan (9), Axelrod (9) and Lowenstein; Musgrave, Capra (9) and Weber. W -- Axelrod, 5-4. L -- Capra, 7-1. 2B -- Holiday (UCI), Morris (UCI), Petersen (UCI).

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