1:11 AM EDT, April 21, 2013
Pacific 14, UC Irvine 13
STOCKTON — Sophomore third baseman Taylor Sparks went five for five to lead eight Anteaters with multiple hits in the Big West Conference game on Saturday.
But a nine-run fourth inning for the host Tigers (10-23, 3-8 in conference) helped doom UCI (24-11, 6-5), which nearly rallied in the ninth.
Trailing, 14-13, UCI had the bases loaded with one out and one run in when Jerry McClanahan hit into a game-ending double play.
Sparks drove in three runs, while Dominique Taylor was three for five with four RBIs for the visitors.
Ronnie Shaeffer had three hits and two RBIs, while Connor Spencer had three hits for UCI.
McClanahan and Grant Palmer had two hits and two RBIs each for UCI, for which Chris Rabago and Justin Castro had two hits apiece.
UCI had 22 hits and left 11 runners on base, while Pacific had 12 hits and stranded four.
Starting pitcher Matt Whitehouse allowed five runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings, while reliever Mitch Merten allowed four runs on three hits without recording an out for UCI.
The two teams play the rubber game of the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m.
COSTA MESA — Vanguard swept Biola, winning the first game, 4-3, in 12 innings and the nightcap, 4-2, Saturday.
Ellis Whitman scored the game-winning run in the opener. He singled to reach and Taylor McKnight followed with a bunt that caused a fielding error, allowing Whitman to score.
McKnight had two runs batted in. Whitman went two for four and Thomas Mobley went two for five for Vanguard (20-25, 13-19).
Bryce Arroyo led the Lions in the nightcap. He was two for three with one RBI.
Scott Simmons (7-6) pitched a complete game (seven innings), with three strikeouts and one walk to earn the win. He gave up seven hits and two earned runs.
Biola is 25-22, 13-19.
UC Irvine 4, Pacific 2
IRVINE — The host Anteaters moved a step closer to earning at least a share of the Big West Conference title as Ryan Cheung, Tyler Pham and Jacob Jung won in singles and doubles on Saturday.
UCI (8-16, 4-1 in conference) can tie Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for the top spot in the standings with a victory over UC Davis on Sunday. Since UCI defeated Cal Poly, which finished its conference season with a win at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday and is 5-1, the Anteaters would earn the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, should they finished tied for first.
If UCI, which plays host to UC Davis at 10 a.m. loses on Sunday, Cal Poly would claim the title outright.
Pacific is now 13-8, 3-2.
COSTA MESA — Breanne Gomez went three for four with three runs batted in in a 5-0 Game 1 win over Hope International and Kari Bergerson was two for four with two RBIs in the 4-3 second game victory for the Lions in Golden State Athletic Conference play Saturday.
Kimberly Skoglund went four for seven with one RBI in the two games combined for Vanguard (34-22, 11-6 in conference).
Rachel Stalford tossed a three-hit shutout to improve to 10-9 in the first game.
Hope International is 29-21, 7-9.