SAN DIEGO, Calif. --- UC Irvine opened up the Tony Gwynn Classic with a bang Thursday night pumping out 18 runs on 19 hits to dispose of Notre Dame, 18-4, at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
A 1-1 game going into the third inning turned completely around as Keston Hiura scalded a home run out to center field and off the batter's eye to give UCI (3-1) the 4-1 lead, and the offense never looked back scoring in each of the final seven innings and eight of nine overall.
The 'Eaters scored multiple runs in each inning from the third to the seventh highlighted by a five-run sixth inning to give UCI its highest run output since 2011 when it put up 20 in a win against Grambling.
Christian Koss led all players with four RBI while scoring twice and doubling. Evan Cassolato reached base in all five plate appearances knocking four hits and driving in a pair. Parker Coss and Adam Alcantara each had three hits with Coss driving in a pair of RBI and Alcantara extending his hit streak to 20 games.
Sean Sparling made his second career start and kept up with the offense with a career high 5.2 innings pitched allowing just two earned runs. He picked up his third career win and struck out a career high six batters along the way. Michael Martin followed his lead with a career high four strikeouts of his own.
Notre Dame scattered 10 hits scoring single runs in four different innings. Connor Power drove home three of the runs on two hits. Nick Podkul had three hits on his end, but contributed to one of the five errors. Brad Bass took the loss allowing six earned runs in four innings.
The 'Eaters' road doesn't get any easier with a tough test against Oregon on Friday at 1:00 p.m. as the Tony Gwynn Classic continues at Fowler Park on the campus of USD.
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