Tag Archives: Taylor Sparks

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CBD Visit: Irvine Makes Three Early Runs Last

IRVINE, Calif. — UC Irvine wanted an insurance run.

Leading 3-2, the Anteaters got a leadoff walk from Grant Palmer to start the bottom of the seventh inning. Head coach Mike Gillespie had Chris Rabago sacrifice Palmer to second base to set up preseason All-Americans Taylor Sparks and Connor Spencer, who combined for 159 hits and 85 RBI in 55 games last season.

All Sparks or Spencer needed was to knock a base hit. But instead, Sparks racked up his seventh strikeout in four games and Spencer grounded out to end the inning — and continued the Sparks/Spencer First Hit Watch that is now a combined 31 at bats deep. Two All-Americans now 0-for-31.

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SoCal Weekend Wrap: Conference Battles

Taylor Sparks led Irvine to a big series win.
Taylor Sparks led Irvine to a big series win.

There were some matchups with big postseason potential implications this weekend as 10 of the 11 SoCal squads took to the diamond. The Big West featured some crucial matchups with four teams chasing after Cal State Fullerton.

This week’s action featured seven pitchers throwing complete games, yet the Pitcher of the Week did not. San Diego’s Kris Bryant hit five round trippers last week. He hit his nation’s best 26th, 27th and 28th homers over the weekend, but he didn’t earn the Hitter of the Week honor this week. Instead, he was bested by a teammate.

We provided you with live updates on Twitter (@SoCal_CBDaily) throughout the weekend, but here’s a recap of all the weekend action:

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CBD Visit: Cooper’s Squeeze Gives ‘Eaters 5-4 Walk-Off

Justin Castro slides in with the winning run..IRVINE, Calif. — Ryan Cooper may not have a hit since March 8, but that doesn’t mean the UC Irvine coaching staff doesn’t have faith in him. Cooper pinch hit with runners on the corners with one out in the ninth inning and laid down a perfect safety squeeze.

UC Davis catcher Izaak Silva did all he could to block the plate, but Justin Castro got his foot between Silva’s legs and toe-tapped the plate to give Irvine (26-12, 8-5) a 5-4 walk-off win Friday night at Anteater Ballpark.

The Aggies (15-24, 3-10) and Anteaters traded the lead back and forth before Taylor Sparks tied the game in the sixth inning with a home run over the left field fence. Neither team scored in the seventh or eighth innings, setting up the dramatic walk-off squeeze.

Mitch Merten picked up the win in relief for Irvine. Anteaters ace Andrew Thurman looked brilliant at times and easy to hit at times. Neither he nor UC Davis starter Harry Stanwyck factored in the decision after both allowed four runs in 7 2/3 innings pitched. Only three of Thurman’s runs were earned, but he allowed 11 hits.

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SoCal Weekend Wrap: Road Warriors

San Diego State's effort came up just short.
San Diego State’s effort came up short at UNLV.

The SoCal show took to the road with all but one of the 11 Southern California squads playing on the road this weekend. There were some great matchups as three premier conference battles featured top 25 squads and another four series came down to a decisive Sunday showdown.

But for two SoCal squads, the door to the postseason may have slammed shut behind them as they were ushered out by the mighty sweep broom.

We provided you with live updates on Twitter (@SoCal_CBDaily) throughout the weekend, but here’s a recap of all the weekend action:

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