March 15, 2009
Irvine, Calif.- Despite Tulane's eighth inning heroics, the Green Wave couldn't pull out the win in Sunday afternoon's rubber match as the Green Wave fell short, 5-4. Evan Mistich's two-out, full count, first collegiate home run in the top of the eighth made things exciting, as Tulane staged a comeback in the late innings but UCI picked up two runs in the bottom of the ninth to secure the win.
The Wave and UCI traded scoreless innings until the bottom of the fifth when Cory Olson got the first run of the game on the board with a solo home run to left field to give the Anteaters the lead. Zeid quickly retired the next to UCI hitters but Ben Orloff found his way on base on an error that put him at second base and with two outs, Zeid faced his last batter of the game in Jeff Cusick, who picked up the base on balls. Aaron Loup entered the contest to face pinch hitter Jordan Leyland. Leyland came up big for UCI, driving it back up the box for an RBI single that scored Orloff, making it 2-0 in favor of UC Irvine before the third out was recorded.
Seth Henry got things going for the Wave in the top of the sixth with a one-out double that bounced off the left field wall, marking the end of the outing for Slaught, as the Anteaters brought in Cory Hamilton to face Sam Honeck. Honeck singled to centerfield but Henry was forced to hold up as Honeck's fly ball was almost caught by the centerfielder Olson, a play that turned out to save a run. Jeremy Schaffer followed Honeck and flew out on a ball that could have scored Henry, had Henry been able to move up to third on Honeck's hit. Hamilton worked his way out of the inning to escape the Wave's attempts to score in the sixth.
Loup faced three batters in the bottom of the frame and with one out and runners at first and second, head coach Rick Jones called on his bullpen and brought in righty Mason Griffin to face Anteaters' pinch hitter Eric Deragisch. Griffin's first pitch found Deragisch's leg to load the bases for DJ Crumlich and a wild pitch moved everybody up a base, scoring Casey Stevenson and extending the Anteater lead 3-0. The Wave picked up the second out of the inning when Crumlich showed bunt but couldn't execute the squeeze play. Schaffer got Olson in a rundown and tagged him out for the second out of the bottom of the sixth. The Wave got out of the inning at the hands of Ryan Doiron, who came in following Griffin and got the last ground ball out of the sixth to send Tulane back into the dugout to work.
The Wave picked up their first run in the top of the seventh when Honeck got a one-out single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Honeck scored when Schaffer knocked a single to the left-centerfield gap, bringing Tulane within two, 3-1. Moritz stepped into the box and ripped a single to left field to move Schaffer into scoring position and with two outs, Evan Mistich stepped in. Mistich worked his count full after a quick 0-2 and took the seventh pitch of the at bat over the left field, giving Tulane the 4-3 lead.
The Anteaters tried to rally in their half of the eighth when Stevenson picked up a base hit to lead off the frame but the Wave defense stepped up when Olson laced a ball back up the middle. Henry flashed some leather, nabbing the ball web gem-style, and made an off-balance toss to Prince covering second, who turned the double play to get the out at first. Deregisch stepped in and laced a single to right field and with two outs Crumlich came up to face Doiron and launched a fly ball to left field. Scott Powell tracked it down at the wall to make the exciting grab for the third out of the inning.
Tulane needed just three more outs as they headed back to the field for the bottom of the ninth, behind reliever Nick Pepitone, who got a quick out when Orloff grounded out to Prince at shortstop. Cusick stepped in and drew a walk, bringing up pinch hitter Maverick Olivares. Sammy Donabedian came in to run for Cusick and with one out, Olivares singled to left field. UCI's Francis Larson followed Olivares with a single up the middle to plate Donabedian, knotting the game at 4-4.
Tulane went to the bullpen, calling on closer Preston Claiborne to face Dillon Bell, who quickly flew out to left field for the second out, bringing up Stevenson. Steven hit a towering fly ball to shallow right-centerfield that landed just past the outstretched Green Wave arms, scoring Olivares and giving the 5-4 victory in the bottom of the ninth.
Tulane will head back home to face Southeastern Louisiana Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6PM at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.