UC Irvine used a big first inning for the second consecutive game and defeated No. 1 TCU 6-3 on Saturday afternoon to clinch the three-game series.
The Anteaters, who scored eight first-inning runs in an 11-2 victory Friday, raced to a four-run lead in the first Saturday. Cole Kreuter’s two-run home run and doubles by Adrian Damla and Jake Hazard were the big hits.
Nolan Brown’s leadoff home run in the seventh inning brought the Frogs (11-3) to within 4-3, but the Anteaters scored two in the seventh for the 6-3 lead.
TCU got only one run back in the fifth when it loaded the bases with nobody out, scoring on Ryan Merrill’s walk. A fielder’s choice and a double play ended the threat.
In the sixth, Austen Wade rocketed a double off the leg of the UCI pitcher and moved to third on a fly ball off the bat of Cam Warner. He scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 4-2.
After the rocky first inning, TCU freshman left-hander Nick Lodolo (2-1) retired the next 14 batters. He finished with six strikeouts and just one walk.
The Frogs conclude the series at 3 p.m. Sunday with Jared Janczak on the mound.