Feb. 25, 2014
Aztecs 8 – Highlanders 7
The UC Riverside baseball team came out strong against San Diego State and had an explosive 7-1 lead by the end of the fifth inning. Yet they could not keep up the momentum and with three runs scored by the Aztecs in the seventh inning, it was the beginning of the end for the Highlanders, who ultimately fell short 8-7.
With the Highlanders piling on five runs in the second inning, the Aztecs switched out starter Brett Seeburger for relief pitcher TJ Kendorza. As UCR’s offense continued to flow, San Diego used a whirlwind of pitchers with Orlando Meza, Marcus Reyes, Cody Thompson and Michael Cederoth all taking to the mound. But UC Riverside still tacked on two runs in the fifth to lead 7-1.
The seventh inning had finally come around and Highlander pitcher Zach Varela was sent back to the bullpen after loading the bases and allowing an Aztec score, making the score 7-2. His reliever, Dylan Stuart, allowed a double RBI and a sacrifice fly before closing the inning, 7-4.
San Diego State was out for blood in the opening of the eighth with their first two batters getting on base. UCR decided to switch out Stuart with Kevin Sprague, who got the first out of the inning but a CJ Saylor single cut the lead to two, 7-5. The Aztecs’ momentum didn’t stop there as a single from Greg Allen closed the gap down to one, 7-6.
With the Highlanders closing in on victory they switched out Sprague for Jordan Kron to close out the inning and cling to the advantage.
In the ninth inning, San Diego State pinch runner Andrew Brown made it to first and then easily stole second to put the Highlanders on their toes. A line out with the next batter brought the first out to the inning, but Aztec Tyler Adkisons’ ground out allowed Brown to get to third. Ty France would hit a double which allowed Brown to reach home and tie up the game, 7-7.
The next batter, Tanner Reibenspies, got a single past Austin Roberts to allow France to score, giving the Aztecs their first lead of the game, 8-7.
It was the bottom of the ninth and the Highlanders knew what was on the line. Opening batter David Andriese smacked a single, and with a sacrifice bunt from Cody Hough he reached second and snuck his way to third off of a passed ball. However, the next two hitters, Nick Vilter and Robby Wit, were struck out, allowing the Aztecs to secure an impressive come-from-behind victory.
March 1, 2014
Highlanders 9 – Roadrunners 6
The Highlanders, looking to get back in the winning column, clung to a nine-point lead throughout the game, staving off a Bakersfield surge to win, 9-6.
Riverside came out swinging and was able to get on base in the first two innings, but was not able to score until the third. Joe Chavez, on first, snuck his way to third off of a single by Francisco Tellez. A Devyn Bolasky sacrifice allowed Riverside to jump on the board and score first. Nick Vilter hit a homer, and with Cody Hough on first after a walk, he increased the lead to 4-0.
The Highlander’s lead remained at 4-0 through the fourth inning, but once Vilter got to bat again in the fifth he scored his second home run of the game and the fifth this season. The fifth inning would see the Highlanders load the bases and bring Thomas Walker home after Tellez was allowed a walk, 6-0.
The seventh inning would bring good luck for the Highlanders as they scored once off of a sacrifice fly by Chavez. The eighth inning would increase the Highlander lead to 9-0 as Vilter scored his fifth and sixth RBIs of the game with his single to left field.
It was those runs that would end up being insurance for the Highlanders, who received a slight scare from the Roadrunners — they got on the board with six runs in the ninth inning before UCR pitcher Gabe Genter was finally able to close out the game, 9-6.
March 2, 2014
Highlanders 4 – Roadrunners 3
With Friday’s game postponed due to inclement weather, the Highlanders played a double-header versus Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday. In the first game, Nick Vilter didn’t let the rain blues affect his game as the junior continued his dynamic weekend with his sixth homer of the season en route to a 4-3 UCR victory.
Vilter drove in all four Highlander runs after coming into the year with only two career home runs. UC Riverside scored three runs in the opening inning and despite a third Roadrunner score at the bottom of the eighth, held on for the victory, 4-3.
Highlanders 7 – Roadrunners 6
In the second game of the doubleheader, UC Riverside made it two-for-two as the team dispatched CSU Bakersfield 7-6 in nine innings.
Vilter drove in UCR’s third run of the game while the team as a whole outhit the Roadrunners by one, 9-8.
UCR returns home on Friday, March 7 to face off against Sacramento State.