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Huskies blank 'Eaters

College Baseball

UCI limited to four hits and has one runner reach second base against visiting Washington.

February 24, 2012|By Barry Faulkner

IRVINE — On a night the UC Irvine baseball program celebrated its four no-hitters, it was the Anteaters offense that showed how little fun life can be on the other side of some mound mastery.

UCI, ranked No. 21 by the National College Baseball Writers Assn. mustered just four hits, all singles, against visiting Washington. The Huskies (3-2) used three hurlers to complete a 3-0 victory in the opener of a three-game nonconference series Friday at Anteater Ballpark.

The Anteaters (3-2) used a pregame ceremony to recognize former pitchers Matt Summers, Glenn Swanson, Dave Wollos and Tad Davis, who authored no-hitters in 2011, 2006, 1974 and 1970, respectively.

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But it was Huskies junior starter Aaron West who shined most brightly from the bump once play began. West, who was 1-8 last season and 1-9 the last two years, produced 10 outs before surrendering his first hit: a Jordan Fox single with one out in the fourth inning.

Fox and D.J. Crumlich lashed back-to-back singles with two outs in the sixth, making Crumlich the only Anteater to reach second base. But West induced a groundout to retire the side and finish off his scoreless six innings. He struck out two and walked one.

UCI freshman right fielder Kris Paulino had a one-out single in the seventh off reliever Tyler Davis, but the next eight UCI hitters were retired in order, the final three by Joshua Fredendall, who posted his second save.

Fox went two for four for the hosts, who fell to 0-2 at home. UCI won its first 16 home games a year ago. It was the first time UCI was shut out this season, but the third time in 12 games, dating back to last season.

Fox retained his team-leading .500 batting average, but UCI saw its team average this season fall from .244 to .221.

"As a team, we're not swinging it well at all and it just put a little strain on our pitching today," Fox said. "[UCI pitchers] can't go out and give up any runs the way we're swinging it now. We're not worried. We know the bats will come around, but it's tough right now."

UCI starter Matt Whitehouse, a junior left-hander, allowed three earned runs on eight hits over five innings to absorb the loss, his first decision of the season. He struck out six and walked one.

Junior Kyle Hooper fanned six while blanking the Huskies on two hits over the final four innings.

"I liked Hooper ," UCI Coach Mike Gillespie said. "I think he did a really good job. And I think [senior catcher] Ronnie Shaeffer was a warrior behind the plate blocking pitches in the dirt. But that's about where we run out of compliments."

Gillespie did praise West, whom he said overmatched UCI hitters with stuff good enough to impress major league scouts.

But Gillespie said his team's inability to avoid hitting the ball in the air (Washington recorded 12 outs on fly balls), was his major reason for concern.

The two teams meet again Saturday at 1 p.m.

barry.faulkner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BarryFaulkner5

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Nonconference

Washington 3, UC Irvine 0

SCORE BY INNINGS

Wash. 021 000 000 – 3 10 0

UCI 000 000 000 – 0 4 2

West, Davis (7), Fredendall (9) and Santy; Whitehouse, Hooper (6) and Shaeffer. W – West, 1-0. L – Whitehouse, 0-1. Sv – Fredendall (2). 2B – Ray (W), Pehl, Comporeale (W).

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