UCI dominance goes deep

IRVINE — The 17-5 nonconference victory that clinched the UC Irvine baseball team's first three-game series sweep of the season came with a little something extra against visiting Dartmouth on Saturday.

The Anteaters (14-8), who have won a season-best five straight, belted two home runs and added two triples and three doubles to pound the Big Green (2-10). UCI tied its season-best run output and reached double figures for only the second time in 2012.

Freshman catcher Jerry McClanahan cleared the left-field fence with a solo shot in the second inning and freshman right fielder Taylor Sparks capped an eight-run third inning with a two-run blast to left.

Freshman designated hitter Connor Spencer had a bases-loaded triple in that third-inning outburst and senior center fielder Christian Ramirez totaled three runs batted in with his triple and double.

"We had a little juice, definitely," Ramirez said of the power hitting that has been elusive for UCI this season. The two homers Saturday gave the 'Eaters four in four games, after managing just one in the first 18. "It's always good to get those extra-base hits to bring guys in. And it was everyone, not just one or two guys. We were all putting a little juice on our bats."

UCI received hits from 11 players, including freshmen Tyler Krause and Justin Castro, who entered the game late to record their first collegiate hits.

Senior shortstop D.J. Crumlich was three for five and scored twice, while starting a double play with a diving stab of a ball to his right to help limit a three-run eighth inning for Dartmouth. Crumlich was eight for 12 and scored five times in the series.

Spencer and Ramirez were both two for three with three RBIs Saturday, while McClanahan finished two for five with two RBIs. McClanahan also picked a runner off first to help senior starting pitcher Crosby Slaught improve to 3-2.

Slaught, now 19-5 in his career, allowed seven hits and two earned runs while throwing 81 pitches in six innings. He struck out three and did not issue a walk.

"There were a lot of things to like today," said UCI Coach Mike Gillespie, who noted the three wins against left-handed starters represents a reversal of the norm this season.

"We've been horrible against lefties," Gillespie said. "I mean mysteriously unexplainably dominated."

But the Anteaters hit .353 with 14 extra-base hits in the series to lift their team batting average from .262 to .275. Dartmouth, which plays its home opener on Wednesday, left Irvine with a team ERA of 7.12 for the season.

UCI tied its season-best run output and reached double figures for only the second time in 2012.

The Anteaters return to action on Wednesday when USC visits at 6:30 p.m. UCI will play host to Pacific in a three-game Big West Conference series that begins Friday at 6:30 p.m.

"From the beginning of the year to now, so much is different about our team," Ramirez said. "I guess we've all bought in and we all feel like we're on the same page. Everything is coming along and we're ready to roll."


Twitter: @BarryFaulkner5



UC Irvine 17, Dartmouth 5


Dart 000 110 030 – 5 8 3

UCI 016 820 00x – 17 16 0

Frank, Concato (3), Mariscal (5), Langford (5), Olson (6), Dodakian (8) and O'Dowd, Piersma (8); Slaught, Brock (7), Lines (8), Santos (8) and McClanahan. W – Slaught, 3-2. L – Frank, 0-1. 2B – Stephens (UCI), Ramirez (UCI), Crumlich (UCI). 3B – Spencer (UCI), Ramirez (UCI), Carlson (D). HR – McClanahan (UCI), Sparks (UCI).

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