Corey Shimada had three hits Friday night.
Feb. 23, 2007
IRVINE, Calif. - The University of Utah baseball team held an early 2-0 lead over UC Irvine at Anteater Ballpark Friday night. But the Utes couldn't hold the lead and dropped their fifth straight, falling to the Anteaters 7-3.
Utah (2-9) scored single runs in the first and third innings to grab the two-run advantage. Center fielder Nate Burnham led off the game with a double to right field. He later scored on an infield hit by shortstop Corey Shimada. In the third, Shimada left off the frame with a double to right. He later scored on an RBI single off the bat of designated hitter Dustin Hennis.
Meanwhile, Ute starter Chad Cullers was cruising in the early going. He allowed just one hit in the first three frames. But UC Irvine (8-2-1) finally got to him in the fourth. The Anteaters scored two runs in the fourth on three singles and a pair of stolen bases, tying the game at 2-2.
UC Irvine added three more in the bottom of the fifth, knocking Cullers from the contest in the process. Before Utah reliever Stephen Fife could get Utah out of the inning, the Anteaters had grabbed a 5-2 advantage. UCI put together five hits in the inning.
Utah had a chance to steal momentum back right away in the next frame. The Utes loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the sixth. Catcher Jesse Shriner drove in Hennis, who had doubled to lead off the inning, with a sacrifice fly to center. That pulled Utah within two runs, 5-3. But second baseman Mike Mitchell grounded into a double play to end the inning.
UC Irvine added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. The Anteaters got a leadoff double from Tyler Vaughn and also took advantage of one of Utah's four errors to go on top 7-3.
Cullers (0-4) suffered the loss for Utah. He worked 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits. He struck out four and did not issue a walk. Scott Gorgen (2-0) tossed 5 1/3 innings for UC Irvine to take the win. He allowed three runs on seven hits.
Shimada was 3-for-5 at the plate for the Utes, tallying one-third of Utah's nine hits. He also had a run scored and an RBI. Hennis and Shriner also each tallied two hits and an RBI apiece for the Utes. Eight of the nine UC Irvine starting position players had at least one hit, while six different Anteaters recorded an RBI. UCI rapped out 13 hits in the contest.
The Utes and Anteaters will play game two of the three-game set Saturday at 7 p.m. MST at Anteater Ballpark.