Cavaliers end Anteaters’ season

UCI can’t overcome Virgina’s pitching and falls after it had defeated San Diego State, 14-3, earlier.

June 01, 2009|By Barry Faulkner

IRVINE — As its revered senior shortstop, Ben Orloff, said when it had ended, the top-ranked UC Irvine baseball team “emptied the tank” in the first home regional in the program’s suddenly storied history.

But it was No. 7–ranked Virginia that just kept pouring it on.

The Cavaliers opened the four-team regional by beating what many consider the best pitcher in the history of the college game, San Diego State’s future multi-millionaire Stephen Strasburg.

All they did next was twice outduel the Anteaters (45-15), who, for the first time in three seasons, will be watching from the sidelines in June.


A 4-1 Cavaliers’ victory Sunday night, before 1,500 at Anteater Ballpark, proved to be last call this season for UCI and its fans, who have come to expect extended postseason performance.

And this one was no fluke.

Virginia (46-12-1), the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament champion, which extended its winning streak to eight, merely pitched better, played better defense and hit better than the rest of a field that comprised what was generally considered to be the toughest of the 16 NCAA Regionals.

“This was a very, very good college baseball game,” UCI Coach Mike Gillespie said of the finale. “There was very little margin for error and I don’t remember Virginia making any.”

The team known colloquially as the Wahoos, left West Coast fans wondering “Who are those guys?” after displaying a level of play that no team could match over the weekend.

“It’s not going to get any tougher than this,” Virginia Coach Brian O’Connor said, when asked about the potential Super Regional matchup against either Mississippi or Western Kentucky. “We beat the No. 1 team in America two times and the greatest pitcher, from what I read all the time, in college history. I can tell you that [Strasburg, who struck out 15 in a 5-1 opening-game loss to the Cavs, his only loss all season] is the best I’ve seen, in my playing days and coaching days. That is an unbelievable accomplishment for this team. We’re going to carry that with us for a day and move on.”

UCI moved on from the afternoon elimination game with a 14-3 trouncing of San Diego State.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles