LOS ANGELES, Calif. --- UC Irvine put it all together with crooked numbers in four different innings to earn a season split with the Trojans Tuesday night, 14-3, at Dedeaux Field.
Keston Hiura set the tone with a monstrous, two-run blast to right field in the first inning for the early 2-0 lead. USC (18-17) crept back in with single runs in the first and second to tie things up, 2-2, but Jordan Bocko limited the damage stranding runners to keep it an even contest.
The 'Eaters put the bats to work again in the fifth inning with two outs. Parker Coss singled home Mikey Duarte to gain the lead, 3-2, and Cole Kreuter would hurt a ball out to LF for his fourth HR of the year and extend the lead to 5-2.
It all came unglued for USC in the sixth as the first six hitters would reach scoring three more runs. USC got an unconventional double play off a sac fly to slow things for the moment, but another HBP and walk allowed Adrian Damla to rope a two-run double for runs 10 and 11 before Ryan Johnston was thrown out at the plate trying for a third RBI for Damla.
UCI added two more runs in the seventh and a final tally in the ninth to close out the blowout, 14-3 victory.
Cole Kreuter enjoyed a three-hit game on the night as did Dailin Lee. Kreuter also had three RBI and a homer much like Keston Hiura. Mikey Duarte, Evan Cassolato, and Adrian Damla each drove in a pair on top of it, and Duarte scored three times to lead all players.
UCI (14-20) got serviceable pitching from their starter Jordan Bocko allowing two earned over three innings. Andre Pallante scored his team-leading fourth victory on two scoreless innings of work, and Cole Spear helped keep things in check allowing just one run over his three innings.
USC pitching threw a total of 212 pitches on the night led by 95 from starter Solomon Bates who allowed five earned on eight hits over 4.2 innings to register the loss. Matthew Acosta had two hits and a run while Lars Nootbaar added a hit and RBI.
The Anteaters will get a couple days to prepare for the Black and Blue Rivalry Series coming to Anteater Ballpark this weekend. The series with Long Beach State begins Friday at 6:30 p.m.