June 6, 2010

Courtesy of UC Irvine Athletics

Drew Hillman's home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning proved to be the game-winner as third-seeded UC Irvine eliminated No. 2 seed LSU, 4-3, Sunday in the Los Angeles Regional at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

UCI (39-20) faces top-seeded UCLA tonight at approximately 6:00. Should the `Eaters win that game, the two teams will meet in the regional final Monday at 6:00 p.m.

Hillman's homer gave the `Eaters a 4-1 lead and UCI held off the defending national-champion Tigers (41-22). UCI reliever Nick Hoover entered the game in the eighth inning with two LSU runners aboard and retired three straight batters. In the ninth, after the Tigers' Alex Edward led off with a single, Hoover got Matt Gaudet to hit into a double play and then retired Tyler Hanover on a pop-up to catcher Francis Larson for the save.

UCI starter Evan Brock went six innings, striking out seven and allowing three runs to improve to 6-4 on the season.

Hillman went 3 for 3 for the afternoon and scored two runs. Larson had two hits in four trips to the plate and scored a run.

UCI opened the scoring in the second when Jordan Leyland singled home Jeff Cusick, who started the `Eaters' half of the inning with a single.

Two more UCI runs came in the fourth when Larson scored on a fielders' choice and Hillman came across on a groundout by D.J. Crumlich.

LSU's Blake Dean homered in the fifth to cut the deficit to 3-1 before Hillman's homer in the sixth put UCI up 4-1.
In the seventh, the Tigers' Leon Landry scored on a double by Edward. Hanover then singled home Edward for the final margin of 4-3.