UC Irvine righthander Tanner Brubaker (Aaron Fitt)


UC Irvine Stays Hot In Fullerton

At The Ballpark

FULLERTON, Calif. — Heading into the season, the Battle for Orange County between UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton was the series to circle on the Big West calendar. But the Titans have been stuck in the mud all year, and UC Santa Barbara emerged early on as the other leading candidate for Big West supremacy along with Irvine. So the April 12-14 series between the Anteaters and Gauchos took on extra significance, and it proved to be a humbling experience for UCI, which was swept in three games at UCSB.

But the Anteaters haven’t lost a game since. Irvine extended its winning streak to seven games with a series-clinching 7-4 win Saturday night at Goodwin Field, improving the ‘Eaters to 28-9 overall and 10-4 in the Big West — while dropping the rival Titans to 16-22, 4-7. It’s looking like a lost season for Fullerton, but Irvine is headed in the opposite direction. The Anteaters have had just one bad weekend through the season’s first 11 weeks, and they look like a team that has a real chance to make some noise in the postseason, thanks to a standout pitching staff and an offense that is starting to gel. …

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