The Cowboys got a break on a missed call at first base in the bottom of the first and took advantage to take the lead 1-0.
That was the last break that went OSU's way all night.
While UC-Irvine played their well documented version of "small ball," the real story was the epic meltdown of Jon Perrin.
The Cowboys' starter worked inconsistently through 4 innings, but got out of a couple jams and eventually allowed a couple of runs in the top of the 4th. This play definitely saved a couple of runs...
Then came the top of the 5th.
After a leadoff double by UCI's Sparks, Perrin slipped trying to field a sac bunt. That was followed by an RBI single. Another sac bunt moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd, then consecutive wild pitches by Perrin (the 1st was on an intentional ball) allowed two more runs to score.
Here's the first wild pitch...
Suddenly it was 5-1 Anteaters, and OSU's bats had gone quiet.
UCI chipped away for two more runs in the top of the 6th, one on a bases loaded walk by Cowboys' reliever Battenfield.
An ill advised throw to 2nd on a steal attempt allowed another run to score for UCI in the top of the 8th, putting OSU in an insurmountable hole, 8-1.
The Cowboys made some noise finally in the bottom of the 8th after UCI decided to take out Elliott Surrey, who had shut down OSU all night. A three-run homer by Krietemeier made it 8-4, then the Anteaters played some sloppy ball and allowed OSU to load the bases with no outs. A strikeout by Arakawa and an inning ending double play, however, left the bases loaded and snuffed out the Cowboys' rally.
UCI's Manarino, who shut down the OSU rally in the 8th, worked a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 9th against the top of the Cowboys line up to close it out for the Anteaters.
Coach Holliday's crew now faces possible elimination against UCI's ace, Andrew Morales, who comes in with a 1.64 ERA and is 4th in the country in strikeouts (128).
Gametime is 9pm Central at Allie P, and will be carried again on ESPNU.