OMAHA, Neb. — The UC Irvine Anteaters rallied for three runs in the eighth inning to defeat Texas, 3-1, in the 2014 College World Series opener at TD Ameritrade Park.
Taylor Sparks capped a 3-for-4 day with a one-out RBI triple to tie the game. His second extra-base hit of the game scored Adam Alcantara and chased Texas starter Nathan Thornhill.
Irvine junior Chris Rabago greeted reliever John Curtiss by lining his first pitch up the middle, scoring Sparks and putting the ‘Eaters (41-23) ahead. After a Connor Spencer single, Jonathan Munoz went the other way, shooting one through the left side to score Rabago and make it 3-1.
Normal Sunday starter Evan Brock picked up the victory for the ‘Eaters in relief, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Alcantara and Grant Palmer both had two hits for UCI.
Texas (43-20)took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Zane Gurwitz’s bunt single, but the Longhorns couldn’t capitalize on several early opportunities against Irvine ace Andrew Morales. The Longhorns left 12 men on base for the game.
“He made his best pitches when he needed to and that’s the true mark of a champion,” Texas head coach Augie Garrido said of Morales.
Here’s CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling’s top shots from the opening game of the 2014 College World Series in T.D. Ameritrade Park: