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Thurman remains red hot

College Baseball

Sophomore throws second straight complete game to help UCI handle UC Riverside in Big West series opener.

April 27, 2012|By Barry Faulkner

UCI, which will likely miss the postseason for the first time in seven seasons, scored in five innings to overcome a 2-0 first-inning deficit and snap a three-game losing streak. Senior shortstop D.J. Crumlich was three for four with four runs scored. He also ranged far into foul territory to make a sliding catch of a foul pop near the fence beyond the dugout to produce the hosts' best defensive play.

Freshman third baseman Taylor Sparks was two for three with two runs and junior left fielder Jeff Stephens was two for five with an RBI for the winners.

Freshman Connor Spencer was one for two with two RBIs and Fox had a single and an RBI to contribute to UCI's 13-hit attack.

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Thurman has three Friday starts in conference play remaining to try to make a run at Big West Pitcher of the Year laurels. UCI has produced the conference's last four top pitchers.

"It's the chicken and the egg, right?" Gillespie said. "Success and confidence. As [Thurman] has done better, he has gotten more confidence."

Thurman said he hopes that confidence can carry on through the weekend.

"We need all the wins we can get right now," Thurman said. "We need [Saturday] and we need Sunday, as well. But going out and setting the tone on Friday is good."

The two teams play at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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Big West Conference

UC Irvine 9, UC Riverside 2

SCORE BY INNINGS

UCR 200 000 000 — 2 5 3

UCI 104 102 01x — 9 13 1

Stuart, Mills (5), Varela (7), Sprague (8) and Steponovich; Thurman and McClanahan. W – Thurman, 5-2. L – Stuart, 4-5. 2B – Crumlich (UCI), Reyes (UCI).

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