April 23, 2009

Courtesy of Utah Utes Athletics

SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah baseball team fell to No. 1 UC Irvine, 8-3, in the first of a three game series at Spring Mobile Ballpark on Thursday evening.

Both teams threatened to score early, leaving runners on base in the first few innings. UC Irvine's Eric Deragisch reached third base but was stranded, while Kevin Hussey hit a two-out triple in the second and could not score.

Irvine got on the board in the third with a three run inning. With the bases loaded, Ronnie Shaeffer was hit by the pitch to send the first run across the plate. Francis Larson had a sacrifice fly to score another run and Casey Stevenson's single to left center gave the Anteaters a 3-0 lead.

Utah got on the board in the fifth to cut the lead to 3-1. Corey Shimada hit a two-out double down the right field line and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He scored with Tyler Yagi's single to left field.

Irvine added a pair of runs in the sixth inning to push the lead to 5-1, as Tommy Reyes hit a ball deep into the gap in right center. The two runners on base scored on the play while Reyes was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple with relay man Shimada gunning him down.

C.J. Cron hit his seventh home run of the year in the bottom of the sixth. UC Irvine added three insurance runs in the top of the seventh behind Larson's triple to left center.

Down 8-2 going into the ninth, the Utes rallied behind pinch hitters JoJo Sharrar and Kyle Myers. Sharrar had a two-out single and was replaced by pinch runner Josh Reed, who moved into scoring position on a wild pitch and before scoring on Myers' single.

Yagi and Cron each went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the contest.

Ute starter Brian Budrow went 5.1 innings, allowing eight hits and five runs. He falls to 4-3 on the season. He was relieved by Tyler Andersen in the sixth, who allowed three hits and one earned run. Robert Chimpky pitched two innings of scoreless ball to close out the game.

The Anteaters were led by Jeff Cusick's 3-for-4 effort with a run scored. Starting pitcher Daniel Bibona pitched seven innings and allowed two runs. He raised his record to 7-1 on the season.

The Utes and Anteaters continue their series on Friday, April 24, at 6:00 p.m. at Spring Mobile Ballpark.