IRVINE — Hawaii traveled all the way to UC Irvine and all it collected through 8 1/3 innings on Friday was one hit. And it was an infield single in the first inning.

The Rainbows left most of their offensive back on the islands.

Andrew Thurman quieted the Rainbows' bats for most of the night, helping the Anteaters to a 4-1 win, their first victory in Big West Conference play.

"It was a spectacular performance by Thurman," UCI Coach Mike Gillespie said of his junior, who struck out eight and allowed three hits and no walks in 8 2/3 innings.

Thurman (3-3) tried to toss his second complete game of the season.

The ninth began as the rest of the innings, Thurman getting the first batter out. Then he lost his shutout bid after he gave up a couple of singles and his defense failed to turn a game-ending double play twice.

Thurman left the game with a three-run lead. He watched from the dugout as closer Race Parmenter came in with runners on the corners and two out.

Parmenter saved the game, gloving a hard hit come-backer. He flipped the ball to first base and the Anteaters held on.

"We sure needed it. That's for sure," Gillespie said of the result, which ended UCI's 0-3 start in conference. "A couple of fluke hits [by Dominique Taylor and Connor Spencer led to our 2-0 start in the first inning] and a couple of big hits [like Taylor Sparks' solo home run and Scott Gottschling's double in the fourth helped us go ahead, 4-0, in the fourth inning].

"I'd rather score 14, but, hey, four seems like a lot to us sometimes."

It seemed like Thurman would just need one run. The right-hander threw hard, in the low 90s, but it was his changeup that fooled hitters.

He threw the off-speed pitch almost three dozen times and it was effective in inducing groundballs when he wasn't striking batters out.

Looking back, Thurman could've tossed a no-hitter. The lone hit he allowed came against the third batter he faced, a soft hit ball toward second base that Kris Paulino couldn't make a play on because he lost the ball in the sun.

The no-no didn't matter to Thurman, who threw a season-high 115 pitches.

"Get the first one out of the way," Thurman said of UCI's conference victory.

The No. 27-ranked Anteaters (18-8, 1-3 in conference) have two more games against Hawaii (7-19, 2-2) this weekend.

They can make the Rainbows' first leg of their California trip a winless one by winning Saturday and Sunday.

david.carrillo@latimes.com

Twitter: @DCPenaloza

*

UC Irvine 4, Hawaii 1

Score by Innings

Hawaii 000 000 001 - 1 3 0

UCI 200 200 00x - 4 8 2

Little and Podratz; Thurman, Parmenter (9) and Shaeffer.

W - Thurman, 3-3. L - Little, 1-4. Sv - Parmenter (5).

2B - Rabago (UCI), Gottschling (UCI). 3B - Spencer (UCI). HR - Sparks (UCI).