Baseball now at 10 straight wins after weekend sweep
In their last non-conference series of the season the No. 20 Cougars extended their win streak to 10 following a three-game sweep of No. 27 UC Irvine.
The Cougars ended the five-game skid they had against the Anteaters, beating them for the first time since the two schools’ first meeting in 2006. Now at 18-5, the Cougars are in a great position as they head into American Athletic Conference play.
The action started Friday as the Cougar offense pounded out 12 hits en route to the 4-3 victory. After falling behind 3-2 in the top of the seventh, the Anteaters tied it up in the eighth.
The Cougars would take this one in regulation as freshman outfielder Landon Etzel scored the winning run on a one-out single by freshman third baseman Jared Triolo. Etzel pinch ran for sophomore Joe Davis, who started the inning with a single.
In his worst outing of the season, junior left-hander Seth Romero was a bit wild, walking seven batters and striking out only five in 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball. The 5 1/3 innings were the shortest outing of the season for the nation’s strikeout leader.
Junior right-hander Joey Pulido (W, 1-1) picked up his first win as a Cougar, giving up one run on four hits in 3 2/3 innings of relief.
The Cougars again squeaked out a one-run victory, 5-4, to take the series win on Saturday. Junior shortstop Jake Scheiner continued his hot play, going 3-4 with two runs, extending his hit streak to 10.
Sophomore Mitch Ullom earned his third win of the season after giving up three runs, two earned on seven hits and striking out four in 7 1/3 innings.
The Cougars took a 5-0 lead in the sixth, but the Anteaters shortened the gap with a three-run home run in the bottom of the inning.
UC Irvine would close the gap to one after a throwing error allowed a runner to score in the eighth. Sophomore left-hander Aaron Fletcher notched his fifth save of the season after holding the Anteaters hitless and striking out four in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
The Cougars would complete the sweep on Sunday with a 7-3 victory. The series is the first time UC Irvine has been swept at home since 2014.
Senior John King pitched another gem, picking up his third complete game in his last four starts. The Missouri City native held the Anteaters to three runs, two earned, and struck out four in nine innings of seven-hit ball.
The Cougar offense totaled 13 hits, their sixth straight game with at least 10, led by junior catcher Connor Wong’s 4-5 day. Baseball America’s No. 88 college prospect, Wong improved his hit streak to 10 and has now reached safely in 22 of the Cougars’ 23 games.
Seven of the Cougar starters recorded an RBI with all nine reaching base safely.
The Cougars will look to make it 11 in a row as they host Incarnate Word at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday before traveling to Central Florida for their first conference play of the season.