Huskies down Anteaters 6-4 in baseball

Sophomore Clay Johnson pitched his first career complete game to help Washington snap a seven game losing streak with a 6-4 victory over UC Irvine in non-conference baseball action on Tuesday night at Husky Ballpark.

John Otness doubled down the left field line to score Jay Garthwaite and Tyler Davidson with the go-ahead runs in the third inning as Washington rallied first from a 2-0 deficit and then a 3-2 margin to give Johnson the support he needed to square his record at 1-1 before attendance of 242 on a cool, breezy evening.

After Johnson set the Anteaters down in order in the first inning, UC-Irvine scored twice in the top of the second, as Chris Klemm doubled and Steve Guthrie singled and, after executing a double steal, scored on a base hit by Elliot Salcedo.

Washington tied it up with two in the bottom of the second and benefited from three errors by UC-Irvine. Tyler Davidson singled, advanced to third on errors by Jon Horwitz and Brett Smith, and scored the first run on a double by Bryan Johnson.

Greg Isaacson then laid down a bunt single to score Johnson with the tying run.

The Anteaters regained the lead in the third as Matt Anderson doubled to right, advanced to third on a groundout by Chris Miller and scored on a wild pitch by Clay Johnson.

Washington answered again in the bottom of the third, scoring four unearned runs due in large part to two errors by third baseman Guthrie. Michael Done hit a grounder to Guthrie for what should have been the first out, but Guthrie threw the ball away, allowing Done to advance to second. Garthwaite and Davidson then singled to load the bases. After Bryan Johnson struck out looking, Mike Wagner hit a dribbler to third baseman Guthrie. As he attempted to throw home to force Done, Guthrie bobbled the ball, allowing Done to score the game tying run and the Huskies to keep the bases loaded.

After fouling a pitch away, Otness then hit a chopper inside third base and down the left field line to score Garthwaite and Davidson and give the Huskies a 5-3 lead.

Aaron Hathaway then lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Wagner with the Huskies' final run of the game.

UC Irvine scored its final run of the game in the eighth on a solo home run, his seventh of the year, to center field by catcher Chris Miller.

Clay Johnson allowed four earned runs in his complete game effort, allowing nine hits, with no walks and five strikeouts, to even his record at 1-1 for the Huskies.

Glenn Swanson started for the Anteaters and allowed six runs, but only two earned, on seven hits and one walk, to suffer the loss and drop to 6-3.

With the win, Washington improved to 13-15-1 while UC Irvine dropped to 21-17. The two teams conclude their brief two game series at Husky Ballpark on Wednesday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. Then the Huskies continue their nine game homestand and return to Pac-10 conference action with a three game series against arch-rival Washington State beginning on Friday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m.

NOTES: Husky shortstop Tila Reynolds had his hitting streak snapped at 14 games. He lined out to second in the first, flied out to center in the second, struck out in the fourth, and was thrown out at first on a bunt attempt in the sixth. When he attempted that bunt, it appeared as if he would reach safely, unfortunately he slipped coming out of the batter's box. He had one more chance to extend the streak in the eighth inning but UC-Irvine reliever Paul French hit him with a pitch.

The Huskies supported Clay Johnson with some sparkling defense. After Guthrie led off with a single in th fourth, Brett Smith hit a hard grounder into the hole between second and third. Done dove to his left to spear the ball and begin a 5-4-3 double play.

Then in the sixth Chris Miller lined a shot off Done at third base. The ball caromed away, but Reynolds alertly followed the ball, fielded it and threw to Bryan Johnson at first just in time to retire Miller.

UC-Irvine center fielder and leading batter Jon Horwitz extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a two out single in the top of the seventh inning.

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