Though the rivalry could never be completely dampened, rain washed out the schedule opener of a three-game Big West Conference baseball series between UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton on Friday night.
The two teams plan to resume their rivalry Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at Anteater Ballpark. The second game, scheduled for approximately 4:30 p.m. will honor tickets for Friday’s game.
The park will be cleared after Saturday’s first game, so separate admissions will be charged.
The series finale is scheduled Sunday at 2 p.m. and will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
UCI (17-12, 3-3 in conference) is coming off its first Big West Conference sweep since 2006, as three losses to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo dropped the Anteaters from first place to fifth place.
No. 12-ranked Cal State Fullerton (21-10, 5-1) is alone atop the Big West after sweeping UC Davis last week.
The Titans, where Rick Vanderhook has replaced Dave Serrano (a former UCI coach now at Tennessee), have won two of three from the Anteaters the last two seasons.
Sophomore Andrew Thurman (2-2 with a 4.39 earned-run average) is expected to start Game 1 against Dylan Floro (5-2, 2.35).
Senior Crosby Slaught (3-3, 3.07) is slated to start Game 2 against left-hander Kenny Matthews (3-0, 3.18).
UCI is led, offensively, by freshman designated hitter Spencer Connor (.405 with 14 runs batted in), as well as seniors Jordan Fox (.333 with 21 RBIs) and D.J. Crumlich (.325, 12 RBIs and a team-best 19 runs and 39 hits).
The Titans, the defending conference champions who were picked to repeat in a preseason poll, are paced by sophomore center fielder Michael Lorenzen (.347 with 43 hits and 20 RBIs). He is also the team’s closer with 11 saves and an 0.75 ERA.