'Bows drop opener


POSTED: Saturday, February 21, 2009

One half of UC Irvine's All-America pitching duo kept the Hawaii offense quiet on opening night.




UC Irvine5

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Daniel Bibona took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning and finished allowing one run over 72/3 innings as the ninth-ranked Anteaters beat the Rainbows 5-1 last night in the season opener for both teams before 2,528 fans at Les Murakami Stadium.

Jeff Van Doornum broke up Bibona's no-hit bid with a single to open the eighth, resulting in a loud ovation from a large crowd that had very little to cheer for up to that point. Bibona faced the minimum 21 batters through seven innings, and only five balls made it out of the infield until Van Doornum's fisted a ball between the second baseman and center fielder.

“;That's one of the best pitchers out there,”; Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. “;He was pretty impressive.”;

After Van Doornum's hit, the junior left-hander came right back to get Kevin Macdonald to ground into a double play. Chase Koissan then drew a four-pitch walk and Bibona was lifted for a reliever after 99 pitches, including 69 for strikes.

“;Coming into this deal we're thinking 85, 90 pitches,”; UC Irvine coach Mike Gillespie said. “;The only reason he would stay in there (longer) was the no-hitter. Going into the eighth we were really arguing with ourselves what we were going to do.”;

Van Doornum made Gillespie's choice an easier one, but Bibona still left with a shutout intact. That was put to an end by Landon Hernandez, who greeted reliever Matt Dufour with a run-scoring double to right to put the 'Bows on the board. The run was charged to Bibona, who lived up to his status as a preseason third-team All-American.

“;He's not the most physically imposing guy and he's not throwing 92 (mph), but he can pitch,”; Gillespie said.

Hawaii senior Jayson Kramer was up to the task in his first start, throwing an effective 62/3 innings. He allowed four runs on seven hits while walking two and tying a career high with seven strikeouts.

“;He threw all his pitches for strikes and I was real happy for him,”; Trapasso said. “;All you can ask is to go out there and pitch well and he did. Against a team like Irvine is going to do nothing but help him on confidence and make him better for the year.”;

Francis Larson finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Dillon Bell scored twice for the Anteaters. A two-out wild pitch in the third led to the second run and a missed cutoff man in the sixth allowed Bell to move into scoring position and plate a run to make it 4-0.

“;There's two runs right there, or it's a 3-1 game,”; Trapasso said. “;It's probably still not a game the way Bibona pitched, but I took away a lot of positives than negatives. We're going to swing the bats by the end of the year.”;

UC Irvine junior Christian Bergman, a second-team preseason All-American, will start the opener of today's doubleheader at 1:05 p.m. against Hawaii's Nate Klein.



UC Irvine 5, Hawaii 1

Madigan cf/rf4111Wong cf4000
Orloff ss3000Garcia ss4000
Cusick 1b4110Catricala 3b3000
Bell rf/lf3211Van Doornum dh3010
Larson c4022Macdonald 1b3000
Fisher lf4020Johnson rf2000
Olson cf0000Koissian rf0100 
Asaro dh2000Hernandez c3011 
Bardeen ph/dh2000Roquemore lf1000
Stevenson 2b3110Montplaisir pr/lf2000
Deragisch 3b4000Morford 2b3000 
UC Irvine002002010-581

E-Cusick. DP-UC Irvine 2. LOB-UC Irvine 5; Hawaii 1. 2B-Madigan; Cusick; Larson; Stevenson; Hernandez.

Bibona (W, 1-0)72/311118
Kramer (L, 0-1)62/374427

Umpires-Scott Higgins (Plate); Joe Burleson (First); Billy Speck (Third).

T-2:24. A-2,528.