Russell's Slam Lifts Huskies Past Irvine, 13-12

March 25, 2009

SEATTLE - Third baseman Aaron Russell hit two line-drive home runs, including a grand slam in the seventh that gave the Huskies their first lead of the day, as the Washington baseball team came back from a 5-0 deficit to beat 10th-ranked UC Irvine, 13-12, Wednesday at Husky Ballpark.

Russell, a junior from Interlake High School, notched his first two homers of the season in the win and finished the day with six RBI. Husky right fielder Kyle Conley hit a three-run homer and drove in four on the day.

Freshman reliever Seth Haehl (1-0), who entered the game in the fifth, worked three and one-third innings of relief to pick up the victory. UCI reliever Kyle Necke (0-2), who surrendered the grand slam, took the loss.

In the seventh, the first two Husky batters were retired before Brock Bardeen walked Conley. Necke came on and gave up a hit and walked a batter before Russell lined a pitch over the fence in right-center to put the Dawgs in front for the first time all day at 10-8. After the slam, the Huskies went on to re-load the bases and two more scored on a single from Julien Pollard.

In the eighth, Conley doubled and scored on a double from Russell for the UW's final run of the day.

Irvine nearly completed a comeback, however, scoring four runs in the top of the ninth. A two-run homer from pinch hitter Jordan Leyland got it started before and RBI single from Cory Olson and an error gave the Anteaters two more. However, freshman Andrew Kittredge, who had come on after the home run, struck out Brock Bardeen to end it.

The Anteaters (13-7) picked up where they left off in Tuesday's 17-13 win, scoring five runs in the first inning. After one out, Ben Orloff reached on an error and Ronnie Shaeffer singled to put runners at first and second. A hit-and-run single from Jeff Cusick scored one and Francis Larson singled home another. Ryan Fisher followed with a three-run homer and the visitors were up, 5-0.

But, the Huskies (9-12) got back into the game in the bottom of the first. With Brendan Gardner-Young and Pierce Rankin aboard on a walk and a bunt single, Conley knocked his eighth homer of the season to cut the lead to 5-3.

The game settled down with neither team scoring until the fourth, when Russell lined his first home run of the season, a solo shot to center, to make it 5-4.

In the top of the fifth, Irvine tacked on three more, all of them unearned after an inning-opening error. A groundout brought home one and a two-out, two-run double from Eric Deragisch made it an 8-4 UCI lead.

The Huskies got one back in the bottom of the fifth when freshman catcher Brady McGuire doubled and eventually scored on a Conley groundout. In the sixth, a solo homer from Husky shortstop David Bentrott made it an 8-6 game.

This weekend, the Huskies open Pac-10 play with a three-game series at Stanford. All three games from Palo Alto will air live on KKNW AM-1150.

LINESCORENon-Conference GameWashington 13, #10 UC Irvine 12UC Irvine     500 030 003 -- 12 15 1Washington    300 111 61x -- 13 11 3Nick Hoover, Brock Bardeen (5), Kyle Necke (7), MaverickOlivares (8) and Francis Larson. Adrian Gomez, Paul Dickey(5), Seth Haehl (5), Andrew Kittredge (9) andBrady McGuire, Brett Wilcox (8). W - Haehl (1-0). L - Necke(0-2) Sv - Kittredge (1). 2B - UCI, Larson, Eric Deragisch;UW, McGuire, Kyle Conley, Aaron Russell. HR - UCI, RyanFisher (2), Jordan Leyland (1); UW, Conley (8), Russell 2(2), David Bentrott (2). T - 3:09. A - 178.
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