SALT LAKE CITY — The UC Irvine baseball team suffered its first loss since becoming the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, falling at Utah, 7-3, in the finale of a three-game nonconference series Saturday.
The loss ended a seven-game winning streak for the Anteaters (30-11), who fell behind 3-0 after two innings and never recovered.
Junior Kyle Necke making his first start in 55 career appearances, surrendered three runs on five hits, including two home runs, to absorb the loss and fall to 1-3.
Noel Avison was the only one of five UCI pitchers not to allow at least one run. He worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Junior first baseman Jeff Cusick was two for four with one run batted in and freshman Matt Summers, who started in center field, was one for three with two RBIs.
Senior third baseman Eric Deragisch and freshman designated hitter Ronnie Shaeffer both went two for four, but UCI was outhit, 15-8.
All nine spots in the Utah lineup produced at least one hit and Jordan Whatcott worked seven strong innings to improve to 3-1.
The Utes improved to 15-24.
UCI plays host to USC Tuesday at 6 p.m., before returning to Big West Conference action with a three-game home series against Cal State Northridge, beginning Friday at 6 p.m.
Utah 7, UC Irvine 3
SCORE BY INNINGS
Necke, Bardeen (3), Dufour (5), Avison (6), Pettis (8) and Larson; Whatcott, Krause (8), Streich (9) and Cron. W – Whatcott, 3-1. L – Necke, 1-3. 2B – Cusick (UCI), Kuroczko (U). 3B – Beltran (U). HR – Kuroczko (U), Blanc (U).