IRVINE, Calif.—I speculated earlier that UC Irvine might start closer Eric Pettis today, as the junior righthander has thrown just 15 pitches all weekend (all on Friday), and he’s worked extended outings many times in his career. But Anteaters coach Mike Gillespie opted to go with lefty Noel Avison against Virginia, saving Pettis for either relief work tonight or a potential start tomorrow. Avison has looked pretty good so far, but Virginia got to him for a run in the fourth on Franco Valdes’ RBI double down the left-field line.
Virginia senior righty Andrew Carraway has been stellar so far, holding the Anteaters hitless through the first three innings. He allowed a one-out single in the fourth, then made a beautiful play on a Ronnie Schaeffer nubber down the third-base line, whirling and firing a strike to first base for the second out of the inning. Sitting here in the bleachers again, I overheard an Irvine fan behind me say, "Nice play! Jeez, man, they don’t make any errors!"
Jeff Cusick followed with an RBI single to right field on a three-and-two pitch to tie the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth. That energized the Irvine fans, who seemed a bit nervous a few moments ago but have now started chanting, "Let’s go, Eaters!"
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