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UCI extends stay

BASEBALL: Petersen delivers game-winner as Anteaters stave off elimination Monday in longest CWS game ever.

June 19, 2007|By Barry Faulkner

OMAHA, Neb. — In a game without precedent in the 61-year history of the College World Series, it was déjà vu that helped UC Irvine extend its baseball season with a 5-4 victory over Cal State Fullerton in an elimination game Monday at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Junior right fielder Bryan Petersen, who doubled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth June 10 to clinch the super regional at Wichita State and propel the Anteaters to their first appearance in the College World Series, lined a walk-off single to center to cap the 13-inning marathon that lasted a record five hours, 40 minutes. By the time it was over, only about 8,000 holdovers remained from a crowd announced at 16,451.

Petersen's single was the biggest of a handful of clutch hits that allowed the No. 4-ranked Anteaters (46-16-1) to eliminate the Titans (38-25) and move to today's elimination game against No. 3-ranked Arizona State (49-14) at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.

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The winner of today's game will need two more victories over defending national champion Oregon State (46-18) to advance to the best-of-three championship series against the winner of the other four-team bracket.

"It definitely helped having been in that situation before," Petersen said of stepping to the plate after Taylor Holiday was thrown out trying to score from second on a single to left by Matt Morris.

"I was definitely more nervous for that at-bat in Wichita," said Petersen, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Florida Marlins on June 7, the first of eight Anteaters to be selected.

Fullerton, with four national titles in 15 appearances in Omaha, took the lead three times in an attempt to avoid leaving Rosenblatt without at least one victory for the first time in its last nine trips.

Matt Wallach, who went three for three with a homer and drove in four runs April 6 in his first encounter with UCI starter Wes Etheridge, his battery mate as a catcher at Cypress College last season, opened the second inning with a homer to right field to put the designated visitors on top.

UCI pulled even when Morris singled to open the fourth, advanced on a walk and a Sean Madigan single, then scored from third when Aaron Lowenstein was hit by a pitch, the first of a record six hit batsmen in the game for the 'Eaters.

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