Feb. 19, 2015
Aztecs 6 – Highlanders 2
With both teams fighting for a continued unbeaten season, someone had to walk out with a tarnished record. Unfortunately for the Highlanders, it was them, with a 6-2 loss against a hosting San Diego State to start the series.
Kevin Sprague gave up five runs in his first three innings out, the first to Danny Sheehan after being walked with one out and reaching third from a single off Ty France, and a fielder’s choice. He was finally sent home by Ryan Muno.
In the second, Sprague gave up a home run to Brody Westmoreland to double SDSU’s lead. The third started out just as hectic with a bases-loaded situation after two singles and a hit-by-pitch for the Aztecs. San Diego State’s Muno hit a single to send home two batters. Andrew Brown followed up to send home Muno with a fielder’s choice to give SDSU a 5-0 lead.
The Highlanders did manage to get on board in the fourth with a sacrifice fly by Alex Rubanowitz to send home Robby Witt, as well as Witt’s first home run of the season in the sixth.
Sprague, whose record now stands at 1-1, lasted four innings, with three relievers Max Compton (1.1), Jared Morton (1.2) and Gabe Gertner (1.0) helping to finish the game.
Feb. 20, 2015
Highlanders 3 – Aztecs 2
A come-from-behind victory for UCR with a pinch-hitting home run by Jordan Abernathy in the ninth inning took the Highlanders to a 3-2 victory and SDSU’s first loss of the season.
The Aztecs quickly took the lead in the first off of starting pitcher Keaton Leach with a two-run home run from Ty France after Danny Sheehan got on base from a single.
The third inning would be the beginning for the Highlanders with an RBI for Robby Witt to bring home Dante Chupek from second base to make it a 2-1 game. In the fifth inning, Vince Fernandez hit his first home run of the season to tie it all up.
The Aztecs tried to take the lead by loading the bases in the eighth but Gabe Gertner was able to close out the eighth on the mound and lead the Highlanders to the ninth.
Chupek grounded out to start the final inning, then SDSU brought in Jacob Erickson to close it out when UCR made a switch of their own and put in Abernathy, who smacked his first home run of the season. Fernandez’s homer and Jordan Kron’s second save of the season combined to give UC Riverside its first win of the series and the Aztecs their first loss of the season.
Feb. 21, 2015
Aztecs 7 – Highlanders 6
It was the Aztecs who pulled out the win in the ninth inning on Saturday afternoon with the help of a triple from freshman Chris Calabuig, despite Riverside scoring a grand slam in the seventh inning from Alex Rubanowitz.
SDSU struck first with two RBIs in the second inning. The Highlanders responded in the fourth with a single from Matt Ellis to send home Drake Zarate.
The bases were loaded again in favor of the Aztecs in the seventh and with help of a balk they would score the first run, followed by a single from Calabuig, which produced two runs, to take a 5-1 lead. The seventh inning was also the Highlanders’ turn to load the bases again, this time taking full advantage with the help of Rubanowitz’s bat to send everyone home and give the Highlanders their first lead of the game.
However, once the ninth came around, Jordan Kron gave up back-to-back singles to put two on base and was replaced by Ryan Lillie, who gave up the triple to Calabuig on the first pitch and gave the Aztecs the last lead needed.
Aztec closer CJ Saylor came in and recorded two strikeouts and a ground out to give the Aztecs the victory.
The Highlanders faltered again on Sunday afternoon, giving up 12 runs in a 12-6 loss to the Aztecs.
UCR plays a single home game on Tuesday, Feb. 24 before traveling to play against Washington State beginning on Feb. 26.