SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The No. 24 USD baseball team (27-12) lost to UC Irvine 8-7 Tuesday evening at Fowler Park. The Toreros fell behind 3-1 early in the game, but were able to tie it up in the bottom of the fourth, only to see UC Irvine score five runs in the top of the fifth to take an 8-3 lead. USD chipped away at the lead, but ended up falling one run short with the tying run left on second base in the ninth inning.
The Anteaters hit four singles off USD starter Jonathan Teaney in the top of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead.
The Toreros responded in the bottom of the second with a run on a Brhet Bewley single to right field. UC Irvine added a run in the top of third when Adrian Damla hit a bases loaded single off Carl Burdick. USD cut into their deficit in the bottom of the third when Roman Garcia knocked a double in to right center to score Jay Schuyler from second. Garcia leads the WCC with 17 doubles.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Toreros scored again, their third straight inning with one run. With runners on second and third, Hunter Mercado-Hood hit a sharply hit ball to first, allowing Jeff Houghty to score to tie the game at 3-3.
Three Torero pitchers combined to walk five batters in the top of the fifth, helping the Anteaters score five runs. Miles Sandum got the leadoff hitter out, but then allowed the next two batters to reach base. Nate Walker came in and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases and then hit his next batter; he then gave up a two-run double to Mikey Duarte. After intentionally walking All-American Keston Hiura, Matthew Kirk came in with the bases loaded and walked a run in before giving up an RBI sacrifice fly.
Roman Garcia blasted a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fifth to bring the score to 8-4 UC Irvine. It was Garcia’s tenth homer of the year, tying him for the team-lead with Riley Adams.
The Toreros entered the bottom of the ninth down 8-5 and ended up putting the tying run on second base. Adams began the inning with a walk then moved to second on a Roman Garcia single. The next two Toreros were retired, but then both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Adams and Garcia would advance again on a balk, bringing the score to 8-6. After a Brhet Bewley walk, Irvine threw another wild pitch, bringing home one more Torero run and placing the tying run on second base. However, the runner was stranded after USD ended the game with a strikeout.
Six different Toreros combined to walk 10 batters, but also stranded 12 runners. Miles Sandum (1-3) was charged with the loss, allowing two runs and three walks in 1.2 innings. Matthew Kirk and Louis Crow pitched the final 4.2 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six.
The Toreros (27-12) have now lost three games in a row, their longest losing streak of the season.
The Toreros return to action Friday when they begin a three-run series at LMU at 6:00 p.m. All three games will streamed live on TheW.tv.
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