Summers to start opener

College Baseball

UCI ace will face Fresno State to open Los Angeles Regional on Friday at UCLA.

May 31, 2011|By Barry Faulkner,
(Courtesy of UC Irvine )

UC Irvine All-American candidate Matt Summers will be the starting pitcher when the Anteaters open NCAA Regional play Friday against Fresno State at 2 p.m., UCI Coach Mike Gillespie said Tuesday.

Gillespie said determining who would start subsequent games in the four-team, double-elimination Los Angeles Regional that also includes UCLA and San Francisco, would be decided later, based upon the opponent.

Summers, a junior right-hander who threw a no-hitter in his final regular-season start, was named Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year on Monday. He was 8-0 in his eight conference starts to complete the regular season 10-2. His earned-run average of 1.74 ranks No. 17 in the country.

Summers could face Fresno State senior right-hander Greg Gonzalez, who is 11-0 in 15 starts this season with a 1.43 ERA that ranks No. 7 nationally. The 5-foot- 11 Gonzalez, who was 8-2 as a junior after transferring from Skyline Community College, has allowed just 64 hits in 100 2/3 innings as a senior. He has 121 strikeouts and has walked 26 in 2011. Gonzales threw a no-hitter during his junior season.


As of Tuesday afternoon, Fresno State Coach Mike Batesole had not named a starter for Friday.

Summers has won his last four starts, during which he has allowed just 16 hits in 33 innings and posted an ERA of 0.82. He threw a two-hitter at UC Riverside on May 20 and has faced three over the combined minimum without allowing a runner to reach second base in consecutive complete games to close the regular season.

Gillespie said Fresno State's strong offensive reputation helped him elect to start Summers Friday, rather than save him for a potential meeting Saturday with UCLA.

Fresno State (40-14) shared the Western Athletic Conference regular-season title with Hawaii, then won the conference tournament to claim the WAC's automatic bid. Coach Mike Batesole's Bulldogs won the program's first NCAA title in 2008, but were eliminated in the Irvine regional in 2009, including an opening-round loss to UCI.

Junior outfielder Dusty Robinson leads a potent Fresno State offense with 16 home runs and 54 RBIs. He has 47 home runs in three collegiate seasons and is hitting .318 with 10 stolen bases in 2011.

Senior first baseman Jordan Ribera has eight home runs and 44 RBIs this season. He has 44 home runs in his college career, including a nation-leading 27 in 2010.

Senior infielder Danny Muno is another catalyst. He is hitting .340 with three homers, 49 RBIs and 13 steals.

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