Corey Shimada drove in all three Utah runs Saturday.
Feb. 24, 2007
IRVINE, Calif. - The University of Utah baseball team dropped another close one Saturday night at Anteater Ballpark, falling 5-3 to UC Irvine. With the game tied 3-3, the Utes allowed two runs in the bottom of the eighth, giving the Anteaters the victory. Utah is now 0-5 in games decided by two runs or less.
UC Irvine (9-2-1) scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first to go on top 1-0. Utah (2-10) answered with a single run in the top of the third. First baseman Erich Kemp reached on an infield hit, moved to second when shortstop Nick Lowery scored and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from center fielder Nate Burnham. Kemp then crossed the plate to tie the game at 1-1 on a sacrifice fly from second baseman Corey Shimada.
UC Irvine scored another unearned run off Utah starter Lucas Trinnaman in the bottom of the third to regain the lead, 2-1. The Anteaters added another single tally in the fourth on a base hit, a hit batsman, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly. That run gave UCI a 3-1 edge.
In the top of the fifth, Shimada drove another run in for the Utes. Lowery reached on a single through the left side and later came around on Shimada's single to center, pulling Utah back within one run, 3-2.
The Utes tied the contest in the top of the seventh. Lowery led off the frame with a double to left and moved to third on a bunt single from Burnham. Shimada then drove in his third run of the game, tying the game at 3-3 and pushing Lowery across the plate, when he reached on a fielder's choice.
But all the work to get back into the contest went for naught in the eighth. With one on and two out, in the bottom of the eighth, Utah reliever John James started to run into some trouble. James walked Brock Bardeen to put two runners on. When James ran up a 3-1 count against Tyler Vaughn, he was replaced by Brett Bruneel. Vaughn greeted Bruneel with an RBI single to center, breaking the tie. Taylor Holiday gave the Anteaters a little insurance with another RBI single to center, putting UCI on top 5-3.
Trinnaman went six innings, allowing just one earned run. He struck out five and walked one. James (0-1) was the losing pitcher, being charged with both runs in the eighth inning. Thomas Calahan (1-0) worked 1 1/3 innings of relief to take the win for UC Irvine. Blair Erickson pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his fifth save for the Anteaters.
Lowery was 2-for-3 with two runs scored for Utah. Shimada drove in all three Ute runs, but was 1-for-4 at the plate. Bryan Peterson drove in two runs for UC Irvine.
Utah will try to salvage the third and final game of the series Sunday afternoon at Anteater Ballpark.