Parker Coss’ two-run single capped a five-run sixth inning and UC Irvine made it eight wins in a row over Hawaii in Big West play with a 6-4 victory on Saturday afternoon at Anteater Ballpark in Irvine, Calif.
Cameron Bishop’s two-run single off Hawaii starter Tyler Brashears gave the Anteaters (13-10, 2-0) a 3-1 lead in the sixth. Brashears (3-3) did not record an out in the sixth inning and was tagged for four runs (three earned) on four hits with three walks to take the loss for Hawaii (9-18, 0-2), which has dropped 13 of its last 17 games.
Alan Baldwin had a career-high five hits and J.J. Kitaoka led off the seventh inning with his first career home run for Hawaii.
Right-hander Matt Esparza (5-1) allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings with one walk and five strikeouts to pick up the win for UC Irvine.
The first four batters reached base in the eighth inning for Hawaii with Eric Ramirez’s two-run single putting the tying run on first with nobody out.
UCI closer Sam Moore shut it down after that to earn the save, retiring six of the seven batters he faced. Baldwin singled with two outs in the ninth to give Kaeo Aliviado a chance, but Aliviado flied out to center.
Baldwin went 5-for-5 with a triple, a stolen base and a run scored.
The series ends on Sunday at 10 a.m.