LOS ANGELES — The walk-off hero, Ronnie Shaeffer, said he sneaked his game-winning single by UCLA first baseman Dean Espy in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Anteaters a 4-3 win in the NCAA Los Angeles baseball regional Sunday at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Some would say UCI (42-16) also sneaked by the top-seeded Bruins (35-24) without having to face their two best starting pitchers, Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, to claim the program's third regional crown in five seasons.
Cole, selected No.1 in the major league draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, and Bauer, the Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year who went No. 3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, were deemed perhaps the two best pitchers in UCLA history by Bruins Coach and former UCI head man John Savage. But when San Francisco upset Cole in the opening round Friday, Bauer and the Bruins were relegated to outdueling Fresno State in Saturday's elimination round.