IRVINE, Calif. — Jeremy Rodriguez extended his hit streak to 17 consecutive games and Mickey Jannis surrendered just five hits, but the No. 29 UC Irvine Anteaters were able to prevail 3-2 over the CSUB baseball team Friday night at Anteater Ballpark.
The Roadrunners (18-21) looked ready to compete against the nationally-ranked Anteaters and All-American pitcher Daniel Bibona. Brandon Boren led off the top of the first with a double to the left field walk and Rodriguez singled through the right side, moving Boren to third. But Bibona got back-to-back strikeouts and a ground out to leave the Roadrunners scoreless.
Designated hitter Jordan Leyland put the Anteaters up 2-0 in the second when he sent a two-out single to right field. Casey Stevenson and Brian Hernandez scored after reaching on a single and hit by pitch, respectively.
Bakersfield cut the lead in half in the top of the third on a lead off home run by designated hitter Mick Gaston. It was Gaston’s third long ball of the season.
In the home half of the third, Stevenson led off with a triple to center and scored on a Hernandez ground out to second.
After a scoreless fourth, Brandon Boren led off the fifth with a triple to center and scored two batters later on a passed ball, making it a 3-2 ballgame in favor of UC Irvine.
Neither team would score after that, however, as the teams’ pitching staffs and defense locked in for the remainder of the game.
Bibona (8-2) struck out 10 batters and scattered nine hits for one earned run in seven innings. After giving up a leadoff single to Martin Medina in the eighth, he was replaced by Kyle Necke. Jason Kudlock reached on a fielder’s choice off the right-handed reliever and Kevin Younger was hit by pitch, but Necke recorded back-to-back strikeouts, leaving two Roadrunners stranded on the basepath.
Anteater closer Eric Pettis finished off the ninth inning, striking out the side to earn his fourth save of the season.
Jannis (4-3) recorded just one strikeout, but kept the Anteater offense in check, allowing just five hits and one walk in an eight-inning complete game. The senior recorded nine consecutive outs in the sixth through eighth innings.
The Roadrunners and Anteaters continue their three-game series Saturday at 1 p.m. Play concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. at Anteater Ballpark.
Score by Innings R H E
CSU Bakersfield..... 010 010 000 - 2 9 1
UC Irvine........... 201 000 00X - 3 5 0
Win - Bibona (8-2). Loss - Jannis (4-3). Save - Pettis (4).
E - Medina(7). LOB - CSUB 8; UCI 4. 2B - Boren(12). 3B - Boren(1);
Stevenson(4). HR - Gaston(3). HBP - Younger; Madigan; Hernandez. CS -