It's raining hits for UCI

Anteaters pound Nevada once again and Hooper earns first win in his first collegiate start.

February 19, 2011|By Barry Faulkner,
(Kent Treptow / Daily…)

IRVINE — When rain finally prompted umpires to pull the plug on UC Irvine's 15-3 nonconference baseball victory over visiting Nevada on Saturday, the Anteaters' players raced from the dugout to place the white tarpaulin over the infield with just one out in the ninth.

When it was quickly learned that the game would not resume, one might have suggested it was a white flag that was a more fitting display for the Wolf Pack, against whom UCI has amassed 32 runs and 34 hits in the first two games of the season.

Junior first baseman Jordan Fox had a career-high five runs batted in for the winners (2-0), who received three hits apiece from junior shortstop D.J. Crumlich, senior left fielder Drew Hillman and junior catcher Ronnie Shaeffer. Crumlich, who like Hillman drove in a run, scored four times and has seven runs in 2011.

Senior third baseman Brian Hernandez was two for four with two RBIs. He reached base five times and scored twice and has now reached base 10 times in the series, creating plenty of quality time with his younger brother Hugo, Nevada's junior first baseman.


It was a defensive play made by Brian Hernandez in the first inning that may have been the key in sophomore starting pitcher Kyle Hooper's first collegiate victory.

With runners at second and third base with one out, Hernandez fielded a chopper near the bag. Noticing the Nevada runner was still scrambling back toward third, Hernandez reached out and tagged him before throwing to first to complete the double play.

"That was a baseball players' play," UCI Coach Mike Gillespie said.

Hooper worked himself out of a jam in the second, striking out Jamison Rowe looking to leave the bases loaded. Hooper, who had a 7.61 earned-run average in 23 2/3 innings as a freshman, when he allowed 45 hits, gave up seven hits and two earned runs in five innings in his first collegiate start. He struck out five and walked one.

"He did well," Gillespie said of the 6-foot-4, 200-pound right-hander, who threw 50 of his 75 pitches for strikes. "He's a guy who has made a lot of progress and I liked what he did."

UCI relievers Nick Hoover, Andy Lines and Jimmy Litchfield combined for 4 1/3 innings of one-run relief to seal the win.

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