IRVINE, Calif. --- Pitching reigned supreme Friday night in front of the bright lights of ESPN3, but UC Irvine could not muster up the offense even into the 10th inning dropping the conference-opener, 3-2, to Cal Poly in Anteater Ballpark.
The deciding run came in the top of the 10th after Mikey Duarte misplayed a grounder to put Nick Meyer on base. Michael Sanderson lined the next pitch off the right field line scoring Meyer to put Cal Poly (9-16, 1-0) up for good.
The Anteater bats struggled to get anything against the Mustang tandem of Erich Uelmen and Michael Clark. UCI (11-11, 0-1) got their runs off a booted single by the right fielder helping an unearned Adam Alcantara to get home in the fourth. The 'Eaters tied things up in the seventh inning as Cole Kreuter laced a sac fly to center making it a 2-2 ballgame.
Cal Poly stocked up early with runs in the first and third innings, each with two outs. Sanderson was the culprit in the first with a two-out single, and Meyer poked a single home in third to build the Mustangs' lead to 2-0. Each time, it was a two-out hit from Bradlee Beesley that started the rally, and he scored the run in each occasion.
Those were the only real blips on the pitching radar tonight especially for starter Jordan Bocko who seemed to improve as the game went on posting career highs with 101 pitches over 6.1 innings. He finished with a quality start while striking out six, another career high. The bullpen of Ryan Johnston and Andre Pallante allowed a single hit and walk along with an unearned run over 3.2 innings.
Michael Clark no-hit the 'Eaters to finish out the game and collect the win in four innings of work. Uelmen did not figure in the decision, but allowed just one earned run and struck out four in six innings.
The skid knocks UCI to six in a row without a win, its longest stretch since it opened the 2015 season losing six in a row all on the road. Redemption can be had Saturday with a 2:00 p.m. start in the second game of the series pitting Louis Raymond and Spencer Howard against each other once again on ESPN3.