Cats Fall, 4-3, to No. 11 UC Irvine

MANHATTAN, Kan. UC Irvine held a 3-0 lead after four innings and Kansas State came back with a pair of runs in the sixth, but an eighth inning RBI single by Eric Deragisch proved to be the difference as the 11th-ranked Anteaters defeated the Wildcats, 4-3, Tuesday night at Tointon Family Stadium. With the win, UC Irvine moved to 25-9 on the season, while Kansas State fell to 18-21.


Five Irvine pitchers combined to limit the Wildcats to just three runs on three hits and strike out seven batters. Starter Matt Dufour (1-1) picked up the win as he no-hit Kansas State in 4.2 innings with four walks and four strikeouts. Eric Pettis was credited with the save, sitting down both men he saw after coming in with one out in the ninth inning.


UCI was led offensively by Josh Tavelli, who was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Deragisch and Ben Orloff also collected two hits.


Carter Jurica went 1-for-3 on the night with a double and two runs scored to lead Kansas State, while Jordan Cruz was also 1-for-3 with a run scored. Brett Scott was officially 0-for-1 on the evening with three sacrifices, two by way of bunts. With his two sacrifice hits on the evening, Scott is now tied for first for the career record of 19 with Kasey Weishaar (1998-2001). Cruz, Scott and Nate Tenbrink all collected a RBI for Kansas State.


K-State reliever Brad Hutt kept the Wildcats in the game as he worked three innings of one-hit ball, walking one and striking out four. Daniel Edwards threw the final 0.2 innings for K-State, surrendering no hits and striking out one.


The Anteaters pushed across the game’s first three runs with one run in the second, third and fourth innings. In the second, Tony Asaro hit a one-out double to right field and Tavelli followed with a RBI single up the middle to make the score 1-0 in favor of UC Irvine.


Orloff singled with one out in the third and scored from first two batters later when Jeff Cusick doubled to left centerfield.


Tavelli recorded another one-out hit for Irvine in the fourth when he hit a 2-1 pitch over the leftfield wall for a home run, pushing the lead to 3-0.


Kansas State started to mount its comeback in the sixth inning as Jurica led the frame off with a double down the leftfield line, breaking up a no hitter by Dufour and Anteater reliever Cole Hathcock. Cruz followed with a single to rightfield to score Jurica. Cruz was then bunted over to second base by Scott and scored on a single to left by Tenbrink to get the Cats within one at 3-2.


Following a scoreless seventh, UC Irvine scratched across one run in the eighth. Francis Larson led the inning off with a walk and was lifted for a pinch runner in Sean Madigan. Asaro bunted Madigan to second and three batters later, Deragisch brought home Madigan on a single up the middle to extend the Anteaters’ lead to 4-2.


Kansas State got within one run in the eighth inning as Jurica reached base and went to second on a fielding error by Tavelli, who dropped a pop up shallow right field. Cruz followed with a groundout to short, which moved Jurica to third, and Scott hit a sacrifice fly to right to bring in the run. However, a fly out ended the eighth and the Cats went in order in the ninth to end the game.


Kansas State and UC Irvine conclude their midweek series on Wednesday with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch at Tointon Family Stadium.