The veteran core of the UC Irvine baseball team knows what it’s like to get to Omaha and experience the College World Series. Just as importantly, they also know what it’s like to come up tantalizingly short of their game’s ultimate destination.
“Three outs away” is a mantra that consumed many Anteaters fans in the recent off-season, after UCI took a 7-4 lead into the ninth inning of a would-be-clinching Super Regional game at LSU last season, only to see the Tigers rally for a 9-7 win. LSU then sent the ’Eaters packing with a 21-7 trouncing in the decisive third game to advance to Omaha.
And while they say they did not stew on the bitter juices they were forced to ingest in Baton Rouge, the leaders of this year’s squad, who reside up and down the lineup while also highlighting a talented pitching staff, also say there is a hunger this team brings into the season that begins today at Hawaii.