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Bruins stifle 'Eaters

UCI gets one unearned run and four hits in a nonconference setback, thanks to UCLA's stellar pitching staff.

April 26, 2011|By Barry Faulkner, barry.faulkner@latimes.com

LOS ANGELES — UC Irvine quickly cashed in about the only mistake made by host UCLA in Tuesday's nonconference baseball game at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

From then on, some less-than-marquee members of one of the best pitching staffs in the nation relegated the Anteaters' hitters to nothing more than spare change in a 6-1 Bruins victory.

After an infield error allowed UCI leadoff man D.J. Crumlich to reach in the first inning, he went to second on a hit-and-run single by senior Sean Madigan.

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Crumlich then scored when senior Brian Hernandez hit into a double play.

A Drew Hillman hit and a walk extended the inning but freshman starter Zack Weiss wriggled out of the jam, then proceeded to take command.

Weiss, a product of Irvine's Northwood High, faced only one more than the minimum the next six innings on his way to his fourth victory in five decisions.

He allowed three hits, struck out four and walked one.

"He's a talented freshman who has had some good starts, but that was his best start of the year," UCLA Coach John Savage, the head man at UCI from 2002-04, said of the right-hander.

Weiss, who had help from two relievers to finish off the seventh game this season in which UCI has scored one or fewer runs (all losses), lowered his earned-run average from 2.78 to 2.29.

The staff ERA for No. 24-ranked UCLA (22-14) is now 2.85 and Bruins hurlers have now struck out 364 in 325 innings.

UCI (26-11), which lost for the first time in seven Tuesday games, finished with four hits, all singles. And Crumlich was the lone visitor to get past second base.

Madigan paced the UCI offense, going two for four.

"We're capable offensively, but we are really a hit-and-run team," UCI Coach Mike Gillespie said. "We got so far behind and we had so few base runners, we didn't get a chance to do much. We were out of the game in about 10 minutes."

But while UCI hitters were struggling to find chances to shine, Anteaters pitchers were providing those opportunities for the hosts.

UCLA's two-run first inning began with a leadoff walk by starter Andy Lines.

And, a three-run rally in the UCLA second inning was sparked when Andrew Thurman hit a batter with one out.

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