IRVINE, Calif. --- Kris Paulino drove in a personal-best three runs on three hits to lead UC Irvine to a 6-4 win over USC Tuesday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
Trailing the Trojans 3-0, UCI struck in the fourth. The Anteaters loaded the bases, working three consecutive one-out base on balls and Paulino delivered with a two-run double that just dropped inside the left-field line to drive in Jerry McClanahan and Ryan Cooper. Chris Rabago followed by flicking an 0-2 offering from reliever Jeff Paschke to right for an RBI hit that drove in Mikey Duarte and knotted the score at 3-3. Taylor Sparks' fly ball to right was deep enough to allow Paulino to score the go-ahead run and Connor Spencer continued the offense with a clean single through the right side, giving UCI a 5-3 advantage.
It was Paulino again in the fifth, lacing a clutch two-out hit to score McClanahan, who had singled to right and taken second on Justin Castro's pinch-hit single.
The Trojans, who got on the board with a two-run home run from Jeremy Martinez in the first, cut UCI's three-run lead to two in the seventh. Garrett Stubbs doubled off reliever Jimmy Litchfield and came around to score on a two-out single to right-center from Kevin Swick, who was 3 for 4 with an RBI. However, Swick was left stranded after Litchfield struck out AJ Ramirez to end the inning.
Sam Moore, tied for the national lead in saves, earned his sixth of the year after setting down the Trojans in order in the eighth and ninth frames.
Kyle Davis improved to 2-0 after entering the fourth with a runner on and giving the Anteaters 2.1 innings of shutout relief. Evan Manarino allowed three runs on five hits in the start for UCI but came away with a no-decision. McClanahan was 2 for 3 with two runs scored while Rabago, Sparks and Spencer each drove in one run on one hit.
Brent Wheatley pitched 3.1 innings in the start for the Trojans and allowed two runs while Paschke fell to 1-2 after allowing three runs on three hits in 1/3 innings.