April 19, 2011
IRVINE, Calif. - No. 18 UC Irvine's Drew Hillman hit a walk-off two run homer in the bottom of the 12th-inning to defeat the University of San Diego baseball team Tuesday evening in a non-conference game at Anteater Ballpark.
After the Toreros (10-24) scored one run on a Zach Sullivan run-scoring double, which scored Corey LeVier, to take a 7-6 lead in the top of the 12th inning, the Anteaters (24-9) managed to rally back and score two runs in the bottom of the 12th inning. With two outs, Brian Hernandez hit a single through the left side, and then Hillman hit a two-run homer to end the game and allow the Anteaters to escape with an 8-7 win.
The Toreros got on the scoreboard first, as they snapped Irvine's 31-inning Tuesday shutout streak, scoring one run on two hits in the top of the fourth inning. Kris Bryant got things started with a single and he moved to second on Bryan Haar's single through the left side. After a LeVier sacrifice bunt moved each runner up one base, Sullivan drove in Bryant with an RBI ground out to the shortstop to give USD a 1-0 lead.
After the Anteaters evened the score in the bottom of the fourth inning, San Diego then regained the lead in the top of the sixth inning by scoring a pair of runs. Zack Kometani led off the frame drawing a walk and he moved to second on Bryant's single to centerfield. LeVier then reached on a fielding error by the UCI first baseman to load the bases, and Sullivan made the Anteaters pay for their mistake with a two-run single to centerfield to give USD a 3-1 lead.
San Diego then tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh inning on three hits. The USD runs came on a Kometani run-scoring double, which scored Julian Duran, who had singled, and the final run came when Haar was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to move the Toreros lead to four at 5-1.
Irvine then answered back by scoring five runs on four hits in the bottom of the seventh inning. The UCI runs came on an RBI fielder's choice, a pass ball, a bases-loaded walk and a RBI single to give Irvine its first lead of the game at 6-5.
USD then evened up the score in the top of the eighth inning by scoring one run on two hits. Back-to-back singles by Dillon Checkal and Duran set the table and Tony Strazzara moved both runners up one base on a sacrifice bunt. Kevin Muno then drove in Checkal with a RBI groundout to the shortstop to move the score to 6-6, and force extra innings.
Offensively for the Toreros, Duran led the way as he went 3-for-6, while Bryant, Haar, Sullivan and Checkal recorded two hits apiece and Sullivan had four RBI.
Paul Paez (3-3) was saddled with the loss on the mound for the Toreros, as he allowed two runs on four hits in 2.2 innings of work. Irvine's Hernandez (3-0) picked up the win for the Anteaters as he allowed one run on one hit in 2.0 innings of work.
The Toreros will return to action on Thursday as they return to Cunningham Stadium to begin a three-game West Coast Conference series with the University of Portland. First pitch is schedules for 3 p.m.