DAVIS — UC Irvine junior closer Sam Moore earned two saves to break the school single-season record and help the Anteaters sweep Big West Conference host UC Davis on Saturday.
Moore, who has an NCAA-best 18 saves, surpassed the previous mark of 17 held by Blair Erickson and Eric Pettis.
UCI rallied with four runs in the ninth inning to win the first game, 4-2, then broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth to claim a 4-1 triumph in Game 2.
The Anteaters (27-14, 10-1 in conference) move one-half game behind first-place Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which lost to Long Beach State on Saturday to fall to 12-2 in conference play.
Grant Palmer (two for three), Chris Rabago (two for five) and Connor Spencer (one for four) drove in runs in the second game, in which Mitch Merten earned the win in relief of starter Elliot Surrey (five hits and one run in 6 1/3 innings).
Moore allowed one hit in the ninth to seal the deal.
In the opener, Jonathan Munoz, Jerry McClanahan, Grant Palmer and Evan Cassolato had RBIs to cap a four-run ninth. Connor Spencer was two for three.
Starting pitcher Andrew Morales allowed two earned runs on five hits in seven innings and left in line to absorb the first loss in his two seasons as an Anteater.
But Matt Fielding and Moore each pitched a shutout inning to earn the win and the save, respectively, allowing Morales to remain 17-0 at UCI.
Palmer drove in the game-winner in each game.
UC Davis is now 17-22, 3-11.
The series concludes on Sunday.
Host Vanguard scored in the 13th inning to earn a split with Concordia on Saturday and finish in a three-way tie for third place in the Golden State Athletic Conference with Concordia and Westmont.
The Lions (31-19, 21-15 in conference) wind up in a three-way tie for third with Concordia and Westmont, but by virtue of a tiebreaker process, get the the No. 3 seed in the four-team GSAC Tournament.
Westmont is the No. 4 seed and Concordia does not get a tournament bid.
After a fielder's choice forced the would-be go-ahead run at the plate for the first out in the Vanguard 13th, John Schwer singled to left field to plate the winning run.
Vanguard had 17 hits, 11 more than the Eagles, in the second game, with Nick Rodda (three for six) leading six Lions with multiple hits.
Marshall McKinnon pitched six shutout innings of relief to earn the Game 2 win.
Rodda's solo home run accounted for the lone Vanguard run in a 3-1 opening-game loss.
Schwer was two for four to pace the Lions' six-hit attack in the opener.
Concordia is 34-17, 21-15.
UC Irvine 4, Hawaii 3
INDIAN WELLS — The Rainbow Wahine earned straight-set wins at Nos. 1, 4 and 6 singles to take a 3-1 lead, but the No. 2-seeded Anteaters rallied on Saturday at Indian Wells Tennis Garden to reach the Big West Conference Tournament final on Sunday.
UCI (17-6) will meet conference champion Long Beach State on Sunday at 9 a.m. It's the seventh straight year the two rivals have squared off in the title match, which the Anteaters have reached 10 of the last 13 seasons.
Franziska Goettsching (No. 3) and Kat Facey (No. 5) earned straight-set singles wins for UCI to knot the match at 3-3 and senior Marivick Mamiit capped the comeback by posting a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 triumph at No. 2 singles.
Hawaii is 11-9.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun