June 4, 2011
LOS ANGELES --- USF's comeback bid came up short against UC Irvine on Saturday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium with the Anteaters holding on for a 4-3 win. The Dons (32-24) will face UCLA at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 5 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The loser of that game is eliminated from the postseason. The winner of the game will play UC Irvine at 6 p.m. on June 5.
The game, which lasted just two hours and 14 minutes, featured a pitchers' duel between USF senior Matt Hiserman and UC Irvine sophomore Matt Whitehouse until the final inning.
UC Irvine took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning. One out into the inning, senior Travis Higgs struck out, but reached on a wild pitch. The Dons added another base runner when shortstop Adam Clear reached after being hit by a pitch in the leg. UC Irvine (41-16) opted for a pitching change, bringing in Brian Hernandez.
Matt Chavez hit into the left side of the infield and the Anteaters got Clear at second, but threw the ball away going for the double play. The error allowed Higgs to score. Ted LeMasters followed, in a pinch hitting appearance, with a double to center field to score Chavez from second and pull the Dons to within 4-3 with two outs.
UC Irvine went to the bullpen again and brought in Jimmy Litchfield. The left-hander got catcher Mason Morioka swinging on a 2-2 count to end the game.
Hiserman (6-4) moved to sixth in career strikeouts with a total of 176 after adding two against the Anteaters. The right-hander pitched his first complete game of the season to give up four runs on seven hits. It was only the Dons' third complete-game performance of the year.
Whitehouse improved to 4-0. He threw 126 pitches, with his previous high 107, giving up three runs on four hits with two strikeouts. Whitehouse gave up just three hits through the first seven innings.
Lavin notched three of the Dons' five hits with two being doubles. It was his 19th and 20th doubles of the season, which pushed him into a tie for third in single-season doubles. He also scored the Dons' first run of the game in the sixth off a wild pitch.
Irvine scored first in the top of the third, sending a runner across the plate off a sacrifice fly to deep center field. The Anteaters opened the gap with three runs in the sixth inning, all coming with two outs. An infield single scored a run and then Drew Hillman rocketed a two-run home run to left field to give Irvine a 4-0 lead.