No. 21 Anteaters Shut Out Aztecs To Even Series
IRVINE, Calif. --- The second game of the series featured another pitchers' duel but this time UC Irvine came out the winner, defeating San Diego State 3-0 Saturday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
Elliot Surrey pitched a four-hitter and struck out five while walking one to improve to 6-2 on the year. Matt Fielding retired one batter and then gave way to Sam Moore, who struck out the final batter of the eighth inning to leave a runner stranded on third. He then gave up a leadoff single in the ninth but retired the next three he faced to post his 16th save.
SDSU's Bubba Derby was also solid on the mound, pitching 7.1 innings and striking out seven but gave up three runs (two earned) on 10 hits to fall to 5-2.
Evan Cassolato sparked the UCI third with a one-out bunt single but was erased at second on the fielder's choice by Kris Paulino. Derby's failed pickoff at first allowed Paulino to reach second and Chris Rabago drew a walk to put two runners on for Connor Spencer, who came up clutch with a single to left-center to drive in the eventual game-winning run.
Another Aztec error figured in the fourth inning. Jonathan Munoz and Grant Palmer hit consecutive one-out singles and Evan Cassolato beat out grounder to first for an infield hit. Steve Pallares' throw to Derby was behind the pitcher and allowed Munoz to score on the play.
Derby settled down and proceeded to strike out five straight Anteater hitters and held off UCI until the eighth inning. Spencer, who was 2 for 3 with an RBI, was hit by the pitch to lead off the frame and Taylor Sparks belted a double to left. Derby popped up Jerry McClanahan and then intentionally walked Munoz, who was 2 for 3 to face Mikey Duarte. Duarte's executed the bunt for a suicide squeeze. The ball was fielded by Derby but it slipped out of his hand on the throw as Spencer plated the final run of the game.
Cassolato joined Spencer and Munoz with a multiple-hit game by batting 2 for 3 while Spencer and Duarte each had an RBI.
The rubber game is set for Saturday at 1:00 p.m.