Surrey, Spencer Lead UC Irvine To Win Over UC Riverside

Connor Spencer had the game-winning RBI in UCI's win
Connor Spencer had the game-winning RBI in UCI's win

IRVINE, Calif. --- Elliot Surrey pitched 6.2 strong innings and Connor Spencer drove in the eventual game-winner as UC Irvine posted a 4-2 win over UC Riverside Saturday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.

Surrey, who dealt a complete-game shutout last week, extended his scoreless inning streak to 12 innings before giving up a pair of unearned runs in the fourth. The lefty scattered six hits and struck out five to earn his third win (3-2) of the year.

Spencer was retired in his first two at-bats but bounced back in the fifth by driving in the go-ahead run with a single to center. Grant Palmer led off the inning with a hit to right and Kris Paulino slashed a single past the third-base bag to set the scene for Spencer, who jumped on the first offering from Zach Varela to drive in Palmer. Taylor Sparks followed with a double to the centerfield wall to give the 'Eaters a 4-2 advantage.

UCI staked Surrey a 1-0 lead in the third as Chris Rabago came up with a clutch, two-out hit to drive in Evan Cassolato, who had singled to lead off the inning.

However, UCR's Francisco Tellez sparked a Highlander rally with one out in the fourth. Reaching safely on a hit up the middle, Tellez took third on Ryan Cooper's error as the Highlanders put runners on second and third with two outs. Thomas Walker slapped a two-run single to center to give UCR a 2-1 edge.

UCI struck back quickly in the bottom of the inning as Jerry McClanahan hit a clean single through the left side to capitalize on a full-count walk issued to Sparks.

Surrey settled in and held UCR to lone singles in the fifth and sixth. He recorded a pair of fly-ball outs in the seventh before Cody Hough doubled to keep the inning alive. Surrey handed the ball off to senior Jimmy Litchfield, who induced the third fly-ball out of the frame. Litchfield handled the first two Highlander hitters in the eighth and then gave way to Sam Moore. The right-hander finished off the eighth and yielded a single in a scoreless ninth to pick up his 11th save of the year.

Varela suffered his first loss of the year, dropping to 3-1 after giving up four runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings of work. Walker led the Highlanders with two RBI on two hits.                


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