College baseball: UC Irvine downs No. 1 TCU behind 8-run first inning
UC Irvine greeted the top-ranked team in the land rudely with eight runs in the first inning and never looked back snagging a big 11-2 victory Friday night over TCU in Anteater Ballpark.
UCI (8-4) loaded the bases with one out in the first inning and then went on a tear with six straight hits highlighted by a three-run triple from freshman Christian Koss to knock out Horned Frog starter Brian Howard an out into the game. Altogether, it was an eight-run, nine-hit barrage setting the tone for the evening.
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Anteater starter Louis Raymond matched his offense's performance working around a hiccup in the fourth inning allowing a pair of runs to stifle the TCU (11-2) bats to the tune of three hits over 6.2 innings.
UCI stepped on the gas right as the Horned Frogs began to inch closer adding a run in the fifth and two in the sixth including a monster solo big fly from Keston Hiura to complete the 11-2 win.
Raymond's quality start came on 107 pitches as the patiently TCU squad walked four times and were struck out twice. Sean Sparling nailed down the win retiring all seven batters he faced.
Everyone contributed on the offensive end with each starter recording a hit and a run scored. Cole Kretuer led the charge with three hits and three RBI. Koss matched him in RBI, and four other 'Eaters had multi-hit nights.
The first inning is the best in Anteater Ballpark since 2007 when the 'Eaters dropped nine in the first in a win against UC Davis. Hiura snuck in his fifth home run of the season and 19th of his career putting him third in the Anteater record books.
The win marks the fifth all-time time against a No. 1-ranked opponent, first since 2011 at Virginia, and first at home since the 'Eaters took the series against Cal State Fullerton in 2006. It also sets up a pivotal game on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. to either even up the series or lock down a huge series win for the Anteaters.
Prior to the game, UCI will honor its 2007 College World Series squad with a ceremony beginning at 1:45 p.m.