UCI's Morales, Sparks earn Big West honors

UC Irvine juniors Andrew Morales and Taylor Sparks were named Big West Conference pitcher and player of the week in baseball after leading the Anteaters to a series win against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Morales, named Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season, improved to 10-0 by striking out a career-high 190 in seven innings of an 11-1 series-clinching win over Cal Poly on Sunday.

Morales registered 10 of his first 12 outs via the strikeout. He allowed four hits and walked one to lower his earned-run average to 1.79.

Sparks, a third baseman, hit .538 in three games against the Mustangs, going seven for 13 with two doubles, a triple and a home run. He belted his ninth home run Friday and was a double shy of the cycle after ending the night with his team-leading fourth triple for his third hit of the game.

He doubled Saturday to put UCI on the board in an eventual one-run loss and capped the weekend by going three for five Sunday with an RBI.

Sparks leads the 'Eaters in hits (70), RBIs (43), home runs (nine) and in triples (four). His .601 slugging percentage tops the conference and he is second with a .363 batting average.

Sparks was also named Big West Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.

— From staff reports

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World