UC Irvine, winners of the NCAA Los Angeles Regional baseball playoffs, will face top-seed Virginia Saturday through Monday, June 11-13, at the Charlottesville Super Regional.
The first two games in the series are scheduled for 10 a.m. (PT) and will be aired on ESPNU. Should a third game be necessary, it will be played Monday, June 13, with first pitch slated for 10 a.m., 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. Either ESPN2 or ESPNU will air it.
The Anteaters (42-16) make their first trip to Virginia after defeating Fresno State 12-6, San Francisco 4-3, and UCLA 4-3 last weekend at Jackie Robinson Stadium. UCI has advanced to NCAA Super Regional play three times and has played in the postseason seven of its 10 seasons since reinstating the baseball program in 2002.
Virginia (52-9) swept through the Charlottesville Regional, collecting wins from Navy 6-0, St. Johns 10-2, and East Carolina 13-1.
Ronnie Shaeffer’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth capped a two-run rally and clinched the Los Angeles Regionals for UCI Sunday night.
The ’Eaters trailed 3-2 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, when pinch-hitter Jonathan Hurst walked to open the frame. Dillon Moyer pinch-ran and scored when Jordan Leyland doubled into the left-field corner to tie the game. Scott Gottschling came in to pinch-run for Leyland at second. Gottschling advanced to third on a bunt single by Tommy Reyes and scored the game-winning run on Shaeffer’s single to right.
UCLA, the No. 1 seed in the regional, scored single runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings to open a 3-0 lead, including a home run from Jeff Gelalich in the first.
The ’Eaters scored twice in the bottom of the fifth as Reyes hit a one-out double and scored on a double by Shaeffer. Brian Hernandez’s RBI single plated Shaeffer.
Reyes, Leyland and Shaeffer led UCI with two hits apiece.
Phillip Ferragamo earned the win for third-seeded UCI, pitching 1.1 innings and striking out the side in the top of the ninth as he moved to 2-0 on the season. Andrew Thurman started for the ’Eaters, going 5.1 innings. Nick Hoover and Andy Lines were solid in relief, and combined with Ferragamo to hold off a potential UCLA rally in the eighth.
Nick Vander Tuig, who entered the game with Moyer on first base in the ninth, took the loss for UCLA (35-24). Zack Weiss pitched eight-plus innings as the Bruins’ starter, striking out six, and allowing six hits and two earned runs.