March 7, 2014
Highlanders 9 – Hornets 1
The Sacramento Hornets came buzzing in from Northern California but they lost their stingers on the way down south with a huge loss of 9-1 to the UC Riverside baseball team. Starting pitcher Jake Smigelski helped UC Riverside keep the Hornets at bay by only allowing one run in the third inning before being switched out after the seventh inning.
It did not take long for the Highlanders to get the first points of the game. In the second inning after a line drive to right field, designated hitter Drake Zarate helped Nick Vilter get to third base, and with a double from catcher Mark Ellis, he was able to score. Third baseman Cody Hough helped get the second run of the inning by hitting a single down the middle and with an error from Sacramento’s second baseman Zarate, was allowed home. Shortstop Austin Roberts bunted and was tagged at first to end the inning.
Sacramento followed in the next inning with outfielder Nathan Lukes getting home with the help of a single by Brandon Hunley.
Once the fourth inning came around the crowd started to root louder and louder for the Highlanders. When they got up to bat, they responded by scoring once in that inning and again in the fifth. Smigelski and the outfield were able to hold down the Hornets from even getting to third base for the rest of the game.
The sixth inning would prove to be the best of the game after a pitcher change for Sacramento, sending in Austin Ragsdale. The Highlanders would score three times with the help of Vilter, Zarate, and Houghs once again, making the score 7-1.
Even with two more pitching changes in the seventh and eighth, the Highlanders extended their lead by scoring in both innings before cementing the score to 9-1.
The Highlanders’ record is now 8-6.
March 8, 2014
Mountaineers 2 – Highlanders 1
The sports complex was roaring in the ninth inning as Joe Chavez ran in after Devyn Bolasky’s shallow hit was caught and the Highlanders, who were down for the majority of the contest, finally got on board in the final inning against West Virginia. Much to the dismay of the crowd, David Andriese’s final swing didn’t connect as UC Riverside lost the game 1-2.
Starter pitcher Ben Doucette was able to hold down the mound for the first five innings and only allowed the Mountaineers one run in the third inning. Doucette sent six batters back to the dugout on strikeout and only allowed two walks during his outing.
In the sixth inning, the Highlanders sent in Angel Landazuri for the rest of the game. Landazuri only allowed three hits and one walk, but also let West Virginia get an insurance run in the final inning.
The two best at bats were from Nick Vilter (2-4) and Bolasky (3-4). Vilter was able to obtain a double in the second inning, and a single in the eight. Bolasky hit two singles in the first and fourth innings, and an RBI in the ninth.