Folks, the season has ended for the UC Riverside baseball team. It is sad and heartbreaking for UCR fans to not see their team participating after regulation play. Riverside should look for the positive from now on and should use this off-season to bounce back for next season.
The Highlanders will miss their four graduating comrades Eddie Orozco, Vince Gonzalez, Gavin Mills and Bart Steponovich, who have contributed greatly. All the ups and downs from this 2012 season will play crucially into next season. The Highlanders had more losing streaks than winning streaks. As a team, UCR must look to start out the gates swinging their bats to drive in more runs. Coach Doug Smith and his young talented players will have an advantage next year in that five of the nine Big West teams are losing six or more of their senior players.
The Highlanders have a bright future in the upcoming year and beyond. Riverside will have a core of 14 young players returning as sophomores. The combination of their young talent and the experience of the veteran players will lead UCR to more victories and the possibility of another Big West Championship. Devon Bolasky, a freshman, started out the year strong. Bolasky had a great performance against San Diego State going 4-4 with one RBI and one run scored, but that faded into the distance afterward. Look for him to make his mark next year and be a big impact for the team.
Look for Head Coach Doug Smith to have the team prepared for next season. As head coach, Smith has had five winning seasons, including the first place finish in the 2007 season. UCR was 12-15 at home this year, so look for Smith to bring that up along with the 10-17 away record.