May 20, 2014
Highlanders 8 – Antelopes 6
Playing their last home game on the season with over 400 fans on hand, the Highlanders took down Grand Canyon 8-6 with a three-run, walk-off home run by Devyn Bolasky in the bottom of the ninth inning.
UCR took advantage early by scoring twice in the opening inning. The Antelopes would counter the two-lead run in the second inning by scoring three runs themselves. Brandon Smith smacked an RBI, sending Josh Meyer home after he reached third on a stolen base. UCR pitcher Donovan Gonzales loaded the bases and was replaced by Angel Landazuri. His first batter was a strikeout, but allowed an RBI and a sac fly, giving the Antelopes the lead, 3-2.
UCR tied the game in the bottom half and took back the lead in the fourth with the help of a home run by Cody Hough before the eighth inning.
Highlander closer Kevin Sprague came in for the final inning of the game. With one out already on the board, Grand Canyon’s Jon Kealoha reached first base on an infield single to short before Chad De La Guerra followed up with a home run that would put the Highlanders in the red zone with a one-run lead for Grand Canyon, 6-5.
Jorge Perez came out ready to close the game for the Antelopes, but Cody Hough gave him a double down to the left-field line. A bunt from Alex Rubanowitz put Hough in perfect scoring position. Joe Chavez hit a grounder to third to give Hough enough time to get home, but ended up being the first out.
With the booming roars of the crowd behind him, Bolasky stepped up to the plate and sent the ball over the wall, ending the game for UCR. He was mobbed by teammates at home plate and gave the Highlanders another victory on the season.
May 22, 2014
Rainbow Warriors 5 – Highlanders 1
The Highlanders had some jet lag on their trip to Hawaii’s Les Murakami Stadium with a 5-1 loss to the Rainbow Warriors, falling to below a .500 record for the season at 25-27.
UCR just was not able to generate multiple runs the entire game despite the fact that they had runners on base in seven innings and players ready to score on third for four of them. Most of the Highlanders reached third base with two outs already on the board.
UCR’s Joe Chavez came up to bat in the third inning after two batters were retired, only to be hit by a pitch and sent to first. Devyn Bolasky doubled down to left field while Thomas Walker was walked, giving the Highlanders loaded bases. David Andriese, however, struck out swinging to finish the inning.
The fourth inning opened eerily the same for UCR with the first two batters being retired before Matt Ellis singled to left field. Cody Hough drew a walk to have runners on first and second, but Alex Rubanowitz would pop up to end the inning.
The Rainbow Warriors scored once in the first and then in the second inning. Once the sixth inning came around, they managed another run off of an error, 3-1.
Once the eighth inning rolled around, UCR had a leadoff man on base with Walker singling up the middle. Despite all of their efforts, three outs would come up with a fly out, a strikeout and a line out. Hawaii would go on to end the game, 5-1.
May 23, 2014
Highlanders 8 – Rainbow Warriors 6
The Highlanders showed some California strength in game two of their series against Hawaii with a remarkable comeback in the fifth inning after being down by five runs. UCR took the lead in the sixth inning and finished off the game 8-6 after trailing 6-1 through four innings.
UCR starting pitcher Zach Varela was taken out in the fourth inning after the Rainbow Warriors got nine hits and six runs off of him. His replacement, Dylan Stuart, took the helm in the fifth and took on the rest of the game without a single hit. Stuart came into the game with a tough situation with runners on first and second and only one out. The Rainbow Warriors scored an unearned run, but that would be the only thing he let slide past him for the remainder of the game.
With Stuart holding off the Rainbow Warriors from scoring, it was up to the rest of the Highlanders to get back on the board. As the fifth inning rolled around, the Highlanders attacked and took advantage of everything thrown at them.
Hawaii starter Scott Kuzminsky was kicked off the mound after UCR’s Joe Chavez cut the lead down to two, 6-4, and Quintin Torres-Costa was sent in from the bullpen to try and clean up the mess. However, it didn’t seem like he warmed up enough as he threw a wild pitch that allowed Walker to reach second and gave David Andriese a walk to first. A balk sent two players to second and third base. Francisco Tellez singled to right to have Hough reach home and Andriese right behind him with another error by the right fielder.
Hawaii once again took out their pitcher and pulled Juliene Jones from the bullpen. He would close the fifth inning, but now with a tied game, 6-6, they had to work a little harder to try and beat the Highlanders.
A miscue from left field this time would allow the go-ahead run for UCR in the following inning. After two outs, Bolasky got hit by a pitch. Walker hit a double to left to move pinch hitter Mark Contreras into scoring position, but with the left fielder not able to get the ball quickly enough, he gave UCR the lead 7-6.
The Highlanders finished the game after an insurance run in the eighth to win the game 8-6.
May 24, 2014
Rainbow Warriors 5 – Highlanders 1
The UC Riverside baseball team watched their season come to a close with a 5-1 loss to Hawaii on Saturday night.
Squaring off against one of the powerhouses in the Big West Conference, the Highlanders faced formidable pitching in the early going, only generating three hits in five innings.
The fifth inning saw UCR earn its only run off of a wild pitch; however, it would be the only score for the team on the day en route to a 5-1 thumping.
The Highlanders end the season with a 26-28 record, tallying a 12-12 Big West conference record. The 12 Big West wins are the most victories for the club since 2010 when they finished 13-11 and in third place in conference.