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COLLEGE ROUNDUP

Irvine Is Swept at Home

February 17, 2003|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

UC Irvine's home baseball field already has gained a reputation as being friendly to pitchers but it continues to work against the slumping Anteater lineup.

Arizona completed a three-game sweep Sunday afternoon as Richie Gardner became the latest pitcher to shut down Irvine in a 7-1 victory. Gardner's strong one-run, 7 1/3-inning outing followed dominant performances by Joe Little and Sean Rierson.

Little gave up three hits and struck out 11 in a 3-0 victory Friday while Rierson threw a two-hitter in a 6-0 win. Irvine's run in the first inning Sunday was its first in four home games.

Irvine Coach John Savage said he isn't ready to make any rash decisions.

"It's so early in the season," Savage said. "I don't put any value on numbers whether it's hitting or pitching until we're at least 15 or 20 games in. Our offense will come around."

The Anteaters jumped on top in the first. Jon Horwitz bunted for a single to open the game and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Mark Wagner singled up the middle to drive Horwitz.

The Anteaters managed only six more hits and had only 13 in the series. In seven games, they are hitting .196.

Second baseman Moises Duran gave the Wildcats (6-3) all the runs they would need in the third inning when he hit a pitch from Irvine starter Michael Koehler over the left-center field fence for a grand slam. Brian Anderson also had a run-scoring single in the seventh.

Gardner gave up six hits and struck out six with three walks. Mark Worrell pitched the final 1 2/3 innings.

Cal State Fullerton suffered its first loss of the season at Nevada Las Vegas on Sunday after taking the first two games of the series. UNLV stopped sixth-ranked Fullerton, 8-6, as Robert Vankirk hit a key two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Titans had racked up 37 hits in 23-3 and 14-1 victories for a school-best 8-0 start.

Freshman outfielder Danny Dorn continues to lead Fullerton in hitting with a .571 average and runs batted in with 15. Freshman Ryan Schreppel picked up his third win in as many starts in Saturday's victory. After three series, the Titans have outscored their opponents, 100-24.

Highly-touted USC freshman catcher Jeff Clement broke out of an early slump with a big weekend in powering the host Trojans to a three-game home sweep of No. 23 South Alabama. Clement hit two home runs Friday and Saturday in 10-2 and 10-1 victories.

Clement, who had one hit in his first 15 at-bats, added three hits and Michael Moon went three for five with a home run for the Trojans (5-2) in a 9-5 win Sunday.

Matt Paz got his first victory since 2001 to cap Long Beach State's three-game sweep of winless Washington State. Paz, who sat out last season after having arm surgery, pitched 2 2/3 innings in Sunday's 9-4 win sparked by two triples and four RBIs by center fielder Josh Buhagiar.

Abe Alvarez and Jered Weaver continued to lead the 49ers (6-3) on the mound. Alvarez pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings in a 7-1 win Friday and Weaver struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings in an 11-0 victory Saturday.

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The UCLA men's golf team captured its second tournament of the season when it won the 26-team Taylor Made Big Island Classic in Waikoloa, Hawaii.

The Bruins won by two strokes over Texas Christian. USC finished in a tie for seventh place and Pepperdine finished in a tie for ninth. UCLA's Steve Conway was seven under par for three days to finish in a second-place tie with Fresno State's Nick Watney. Roy Moon of the Bruins was in a three-way tie for fourth at six under and John Merrick finished in a tie for 11th.

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Pepperdine won its 10th consecutive men's volleyball match when it defeated UC Irvine, 30-27, 30-24, 30-23, Saturday night at Crawford Hall in Irvine. Sean Rooney had 10 kills as the Waves (11-1, 9-0 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) avenged their only loss Jan. 6.

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