IRVINE, Calif. --- UC Irvine's call to push the game earlier paid off as the rain came down as Calvin Faucher got the final out of the 5-3 victory Sunday in Anteater Ballpark before the elements could factor in.
After a seesaw game through six innings, Portland (1-9) brought some dark clouds scoring a run in the top of the seventh take a 3-2 lead.
The 'Eaters' (6-4) chances looked dreary until a sharp two-out single from Alex Guenette turned things over to Evan Cassolato who belted a triple to tie things up, and then come around on a Mikey Duarte single to make it 4-3.
Cole Kreuter added his second RBI of the game in the eighth to put things out of reach thanks to three strikeouts in the ninth from Faucher to nail down the 5-3 win.
Jordan Horak put in a valiant effort on the mound for the Pilots going 6.2 innings with five strikeouts, but his 100th pitch to Cassolato doomed him as he suffered his second loss on the year.
His offense was comprised of Ryan Hoogerwerf, who doubled and scored twice, and Kevin Wade, who knocked him in each time. UCI got a balanced attack as seven Anteater starters either scored or drove home a run on the afternoon. Cassolato was the only one to do both while Keston Hiura added a pair of hits and Adam Alcantara scored twice and put in some fine defensive work including a diving catch in the sixth.
The sweep gets UC Irvine to 6-4 on the season as it prepares for a five-game week starting Tuesday, March 7, at LMU. The 'Eaters host Korean professional team NC Dinos Wednesday evening before going toe-to-toe with the nation's top-ranked program in TCU over the weekend in Anteater Ballpark.
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