April 17, 2014
Highlanders 12 – Aggies 9
The Highlanders came out on fire in the opening game of the series against UC Davis to defeat the Aggies 12-9. UC Riverside piled on 10 runs in the first three innings before the visiting squad made a late charge in the ball game.
UCR’s second baseman Joe Chavez started the first inning with a single to center field and stole second when the starting pitcher Harry Stanwyck wasn’t paying attention. UCR’s Devyn Bolasky reached first on a bunt to have runners on first and third. First baseman Francisco Tellez came up to bat, hitting a sacrifice fly for Chavez to get the Highlanders’ first score of the night, 1-0.
Chavez wasn’t the only one able to steal bases as teammate Bolasky reached third off of two stolen bases, putting him in perfect scoring position. Highlander Nick Vilter was walked, putting runners on both first and third again before Stanwyck was called for a balk to put the Highlanders up by two. David Andriese was able to hit to center and let Vilter head home taking the lead to three.
UC Davis tried to come back with an RBI from Spencer Brann’s double to make the score 3-1. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, Stanwyck issued a walk to make the score 4-1, Highlanders. Stanwyck would be replaced after that with relief pitcher Raul Jacobson. With the bases still loaded, it was difficult to get out of that situation without added runs. When UC Riverside’s Thomas Walker got to the plate, he hit a grand slam to take a massive lead, 8-1. Tellez gave the Highlanders two more runs in the third with his single to reach double digits, 10-1.
The sixth inning would truly be the number of the beast and that beast would be an Aggie. UCR starter Jacob Smigelski was replaced after throwing 100 pitches by Angelo Lingos, who was his reliever. Lingos couldn’t stop the next five batters. Joie Dunyon then jumped in to try and save the inning but his arm wouldn’t be fast enough for the next three batters, changing the score to 10-7. Highlander Dylan Stuart was the right pitcher to finish the inning by retiring his three batters. Yet with an RBI ground, the gap was down to two.
Stuart was clutch in the seventh but let an unearned run slip right past him to let the Aggies score again before closing out the inning. Andriese hit an RBI single when the Highlanders came up in the bottom of the eighth for the final run of the game, 12-9. The ninth would be Stuart’s pinnacle moment by not letting the Aggies continue to close the game and get his second save of the season.
April 18, 2014
Highlanders 7 – Aggies 6
The Highlanders squeaked out a 7-6 victory over UC Davis, holding onto an early lead after the Aggies almost came back in the eighth inning with two runs scored.
UC Davis scored in the first inning when left fielder Seth Batty reached scoring position off of a double by Kevin Barker. Once Adam Young got his single, the bases were loaded and the Aggies were ready. Nick Lynch hit a single and Batty reached home. The Highlanders closed the inning by catching a popup by Tino Lipson.
The fourth inning would be the catalyst for UC Riverside, as the team scored twice to take the lead of the game. David Andriese hit an RBI, sending Francisco Tellez home followed by Nick Vilter reaching home off of a sacrifice fly by Thomas Walker.
Cody Hough would lead the fifth inning with the only home run of the night to make it 3-1. However, it wouldn’t be the end for the Highlanders once Walker stepped up to bat with the bases loaded and produced a triple RBI, making the score 6-1. To close the inning, Matt Ellis hit an RBI for Walker to reach home before getting caught up at second base.
UCR starting pitcher Zach Varela was replaced in the sixth with Jordan Kron after loading the bases with a single by error and two walks. Kron would do his best to close the inning but the Aggies scored three times to make the score 7-4.
The crowd gasped in the eighth inning when Aggie Austin March pinch-hit for Brian Ruhm and hit a triple for Tanner Bily to reach home. The Highlanders were still holding onto the lead, 7-5, before Evan Heptig finished the inning with a grounder to let March reach home, 7-6.
Closer Kevin Sprague came in the for the Highlanders to close out the inning with two strikeouts against Batty and Kevin Barker. Young did his best to keep the Aggies alive but hit a grounder to shortstop, resulting in UCR’s second straight win.
April 19, 2014
Highlanders 4 – Aggies 2
The UC Riverside baseball team made it a clean sweep over the Aggies with a 4-2 victory on Saturday afternoon at the Plex. With the win, UCR (17-18, 6-3) now sits with the third-best record in the Big West standings.
The game began as an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel as Highlander starter Ben Doucette and Aggie Evan Wolf only gave up a handful of hits and single walks in both pitchers’ innings of work.
UC Davis scratched first in the game as Doucette gave up two runs in the top of the third inning. UC Riverside responded, however, scoring three unearned runs in the sixth inning followed by another run powered by an Austin March double, 4-2.
The Highlanders next face San Diego on Tuesday, April 22 in San Diego, Calif.