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Reyes helps UCI baseball team to win

Senior second baseman's two-run homer, the second of his career, is the difference against Dartmouth.

March 23, 2012|By Barry Faulkner

IRVINE — Among the myriad fundamentals in which the UC Irvine baseball players are well-versed, home-run trot is not one. Senior second baseman Tommy Reyes, then, could surely be forgiven for pleading ignorance on the finer points of the four-base circuit required to complete a fence-clearing blast.

Reyes had, in fact, compiled 431 collegiate at-bats without a dinger, before jettisoning a pitch over the left-field barrier at Nevada on Saturday. Only nine at-bats later, he produced his second career big fly by launching a 1-2 pitch over the fence in left field for a two-run shot that wound up being the difference in the Anteaters' 5-4 nonconference win over visiting Dartmouth on Friday.

"I'm kind of new at it," said Reyes, who doesn't exactly have anyone to confer with regarding post-homer behavior, since Friday's clout was only the third hit this season by an Anteater in 655 at-bats. "I'm just trying to touch all the bases."

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Reyes' bomb, which like any homer hit in a night game at Anteater Ballpark was no fluke, capped a three-run fifth that put the hosts up, 5-0.

"A couple guys were making fun of me last time [after homering at Nevada], saying the wind helped," said Reyes, who was two for three Friday to lead UCI's seven-hit attack. "This time, I kind of threw it in [his teammates'] face. And [the home run] ended up helping us out, which was nice."

UCI (13-8), in fact, needed every run to hold off the Big Green (2-9), who scored three in the sixth and one in the ninth.

But UCI junior Race Parmenter got the final four outs to preserve the win for sophomore starter Andrew Thurman (now 2-1) and record his team-leading second save.

Sophomore Mitch Merten and junior Mark Trentacosta allowed just one hit and no runs in 1 2/3 combined innings to act as a bridge between Thurman (five hits and three runs in six innings) and Parmenter.

"We pitched, for the most part, real well," UCI Coach Mike Gillespie said. "[The visitors] had the one good inning, but Thurman was good for a long time and all three of those other guys did well."

For the first time in seven games, UCI played errorless defense. And, with only four runners left on base, it was fairly efficient in maximizing its scoring opportunities.

A double by D.J. Crumlich and a throwing error on a bunt single by Reyes opened the scoring in the fourth, when Jeff Stephens later plated Reyes on a squeeze play to double the lead.

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