Baseball program marks 10th season since revival
Ten years ago, UCI baseball returned,and with a College World Series appearance in 2007 and a stretch as the No. 1 team in the country in 2009, today stands as one of the best programs in the nation.
On the chilly evening of Jan. 25, 2002, more than 3,000 eager fans jammed into Anteater Ballpark to see something UC Irvine students hadn’t done in a decade: play baseball. Due to budget cuts, the program had been jettisoned in 1992. Buoyed by campuswide support, however, Anteater baseball rose from the ashes 10 years later and — with a College World Series appearance in 2007 and a stretch as the No. 1 team in the country in 2009 — today stands as one of the best programs in the nation.
The 2011 UCI baseball season kicks off Feb. 18 at home against Nevada. Once again, the Anteaters field a top team, earning a preseason No. 2 ranking in the competitive Big West Conference. In recognition of the 10th season since the program’s return, here’s a look at UCI baseball, by the numbers.
1: NCAA Division I College World Series appearance, in 2007
2: NCAA Division II national championships, in 1973 and ’74
6: Division I postseason appearances
10: Anteaters who earned 2009 All-Big West Conference honors, a record
12: times Ben Orloff’s name can be found in the NCAA Division I record book
22: conference wins in 2009 while capturing the Anteaters’ only Big West title
31: days ranked No. 1 in the country, in 2009
53: career saves by pitcher Blair Erickson from 2004 to 2007, an NCAA record
58: wins over rival Long Beach State, the most against any team in UCI baseball history
63: Anteaters named Big West Scholar-Athletes since 2002
69: bases stolen by Ollie Linton in 2006, a team record
89: Anteaters drafted by Major League Baseball organizations
126: wins since Hall of Fame head coach Mike Gillespie joined UCI in fall 2007
328: games won since program returned in 2002
394: runs batted in recorded in 2009, a single-season record
.403: batting average of Tom Spence in 1971, a school record
405: feet from home plate to the centerfield fence at Anteater Ballpark
1972: year that Dave Lyons won the NCAA Division II batting title with a .323 average
3,083: largest attendance in new era of UCI baseball (opening night in 2002)