No. 17 UCI scores early to knock out Gauchos

UCSB starter Greg Davis looked very promising on Friday, opening up the game with a one-pitch, one-out, groundball to shortstop Steven Moon, but from there, the struggles began.

After getting UC Irvine’s leadoff man to ground out on the first pitch, Davis then walked Sean Madigan and gave up back-to-back singles to third basemen Brian Hernandez and left fielder Drew Hillman, the latter scoring a run. Jordan Fox added another single and an RBI and a throwing error allowed the Anteaters an early 3-0 lead before the Gauchos even came to the plate.

While UCSB did have nine hits on the day, it could only muster two runs against UCI starter Matt Summers, falling 9-2 in the opener of the three-game series.

No. 17 UCI improves to 32-13 overall and 11-5 in the Big West. The Gauchos fall to 21-22, 6-10.

The Anteaters added two more runs in the top of the second giving them an early 5-0 advantage.

In the bottom half of the second, the Gauchos came back with two hits, including an RBI from shortstop Steven Moon to cut the Anteaters lead to 5-1. The Anteaters added two more runs in the 5th and one more in the 6th.

Senior Mark Haddow had a team-best three hits while Ryan Palermo added a pair, but Summers was too good on Friday. The Irvine right-hander allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out six in seven innings to improve to 8-2 on the season.

Casey Schapper, making just his second collegiate appearance, pitched two solid innings – the only hiccup coming on Madigan’s solo home run in the eighth inning. Beck Wheeler pitched a strong ninth inning for Santa Barbara, striking out a batter.

UCSB will lock horns with the Anteaters again on Saturday and Sunday with each game at 1 p.m.

UC Irvine 9 UCSB 2

UC Irvine 3 2 0 0 2 1 0 1 0– -9 14 0
UC Santa Barbara 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 —2 9 1
Summers, Litchfield(8th),Ferragamo(9); Davis,Brady(6),Whalen(6),Schapper(8),Wheeler(9)
Win – Summers (8-2). Loss – Davis, G (4-5).
2B – Ramirez(7); Haddow, M(9). HR – Madigan(1). HBP – Madigan; Fox. SH – Reyes(8). SB – Madigan(9); Ramirez(5); Wallace, J(12). CS – Wallace, J(7).