'Eaters top Roadrunners

IRVINE — The UC Irvine baseball team stuck with senior starting pitcher Crosby Slaught and the offense eventually rewarded him in a 15-6 nonconference victory over visiting Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday.

Slaught, who gave up three runs in the first inning, posted zeros over the next five innings to earn the win and improve to 7-6 this season. Slaught, a fifth-year senior, is 23-9 in his career. He is tied for No. 8 in career wins at UCI.

The Anteaters (30-22) tied a season high with 20 hits as seven players had at least two hits against the Roadrunners (21-29).

UCI, which is in fourth place heading into its final Big West Conference series of the season, beginning Friday at UC Davis, won the three-game series with Bakersfield, two games to one.

The Anteaters, who have posted nine straight seasons of at least 30 wins, meet No. 9 ranked UCLA on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in their final home game. The 'Eaters will miss the postseason for the first time in seven years.

Junior left fielder Jeff Stephens led the offensive outburst Sunday, senior day for the Anteaters, who will say goodbye to regulars Jordan Fox, Tommy Reyes, D.J. Crumlich, Slaught, and Christian Ramirez, as well as pitcher Nick Hoover. Stephens went four for five with three runs batted in and three runs for the winners, who led, 8-5, until breaking it open with a seven-run eighth inning.

Freshman third baseman Taylor Sparks was four for five with a triple and a double. He drove in one run and scored two.

Reyes was three for three with two RBIs, two runs and two walks, while freshman designated hitter Chris Rabago was two for four with three RBIs.

Freshman catcher Jerry McClanahan was two for four with two RBIs and two runs and Fox was two for five with three runs and one RBI.

Crumlich rounded out the Anteaters who had multiple hits, going two for four with one RBI and one run.

UCI scored three in the fourth to overcome a 3-0 deficit and went ahead with two in the fifth and one in the sixth.

After Bakersfield rallied for two in the seventh, UCI regained its three-run lead in the seventh.

UCI, for which junior Race Parmenter contributed 11/3 scoreless and hitless relief innings, used half of the game's 10 pitchers.

The win gives Coach Mike Gillespie a 199-64 record in five seasons at the helm. He has 962 career victories in Division I, having spent 20 seasons as coach at USC.

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