Anteaters Extend Streak To 10 Behind Brock's Fourth Victory
IRVINE, Calif. --- Evan Brock gave UC Irvine seven strong innings of one-run baseball to lead the Anteaters to their 10th consecutive victory with a 3-1 win in the series finale against Gonzaga Monday. The 10-game winning streak is the longest in the program's Division I history, passing the previous mark of nine consecutive wins posted in 2008 and 1990.
Brock improved to 4-0 after holding the 'Zags to one run on six hits. The right-hander set down the first eight batters before giving up three straight singles in the third with Beau Bozett giving Gonzaga a 1-0 lead on a run-scoring single to left. After the third, Brock faced just two over the minimum and handed the ball to lefty Jimmy Litchfield, who made his 97th career appearance to tie Bo Kent (1983-86) for the third spot in the UCI record books. Litchfield set down the first two batters he faced before issuing a walk. Sam Moore entered in relief to retire the final batter of the frame. In the Gonzaga ninth, Moore gave up a one-out single but left the runner stranded after striking out one and handling a bouncer back to the mound for his Big West-leading eighth save.
The Big West Player of the Week, Taylor Sparks, doubled to lead off the Anteater fourth and scored on a clutch single from Connor Spencer, tying the game at a run apiece. Sparks figured again in the fifth, drawing a bases-loaded walk to push across the go-ahead run in Jonathan Munoz, who had walked to lead off the frame.
The Anteaters tacked on a run in the bottom of the eighth. After putting runners on first and second on hits from Spencer and Evan Cassolato, Jerry McClanahan was intentionally walked to load the bases. Munoz gave the team an insurance run, delivering a sacrifice to left to drive in Spencer for the final run of the game.
Spencer, McClanahan and Chris Rabago each had two hits apiece for the Anteaters.
Gonzaga starter Andrew Sopko was handed his first loss (1-1) after giving up two runs on six hits in seven innings.
UCI continues action Tuesday at No. 24 UCLA at 6:00 p.m.