FULLERTON — The UC Irvine baseball program made history while making a statement Friday night.
The Anteaters, ranked No. 16 in the USA Today/ESPN poll, hammered perennial Big West Conference bully Cal State Fullerton, ranked No. 12 by Baseball America, 15-3, in the conference opener in front of 1,987 at the Titans' Goodwin Field.
It was UCI's most lopsided win in the history of the series, which dates back to 1970 and spans 107 games. It extends the 'Eaters' winning streak to six, while halting the Titans' nine-game winning streak. The biggest winning margin previously achieved by UCI against Fullerton was a 12-6 triumph posted in 2007.
UCI lashed 16 hits — tying the most against Fullerton by an opponent this season — and scored five runs in the third and fourth innings to seize control on its way to gaining outright command of first place in conference.
UCI is 20-6, 4-0 in the Big West, while Fullerton falls to 21-9, 3-1.
The Anteaters had 14 hits before Fullerton managed its first against junior starter Matt Summers, who saw his no-hit bid end with one out in the fifth.
Summers allowed four hits and two runs in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out eight, walked two and hit a batter.
"Everything kind of clicked tonight," Summers said. "My arm felt great and my body felt great. It was a good day."
Junior center fielder Christian Ramirez maintained his recent hot hitting for UCI. He went three for five with a walk and three runs batted in. He also reached on a wild pitch after striking out. And he capped the third-inning rally by stealing home following his two-run triple. Ramirez is now 11 for his last 21, after opening the season five for 31.
Senior right fielder Sean Madigan, the only Anteater to have played for former UCI Coach Dave Serrano, who is in his fourth year guiding the Titans, went three for six with four RBIs.
Junior shortstop D.J. Crumlich went three for six and scored three times, upping his team-leading total to 32 runs.
Junior catcher Ronnie Shaeffer was one for four with two walks and two RBIs. He has 11 RBIs in his last five games.
Senior third baseman Brian Hernandez was two for five with an RBI and two runs. He also made two sparkling defensive plays. He dived to his left to snare a line drive in the second and ended the eighth by sprawling to his left to snatch a one-hopper, throwing out the runner at first.
Senior designated hitter Jon Hurst was one for three with two RBIs. The UCI production came without the presence of junior first baseman Jordan Fox, who is out for the series with a shoulder injury. Fox came in leading the team in hitting (.354) and hits (34).
Fullerton starter Jake Floethe, who came in with a 1.52 earned-run average, allowed seven hits and eight runs, four earned, in 3 1/3 innings. The Titans came in with a staff ERA of 2.40.
The Titans got a solo home run from Nick Ramirez in the sixth and scored two in the eighth.
Big West Conference
UC Irvine 15, Cal State Fullerton 3
SCORE BY INNINGS
UCI 005 520 003 – 15 16 0
CSF 000 001 200 – 3 6 3
Summers, Ferragamo (8), Litchfield (8), Sandler (9) and Shaeffer; Floethe,
Hurlbut (4), Ackland (5) , Coronado (7) and Deacon, O'Laughlin (7). W – Summers,
4-2. L – Floethe, 3-2, Summers, 3-3. 2B – Crumlich (UCI), Lorenzen (CSF), Orloff
(CSF), Madigan (UCI). 3B – Ramirez (UCI) . HR – Ramirez (CSF).Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times