Baseball secures first conference win over Long Beach State


April 17, 2015
Highlanders 3 – Dirtbags 2

The UCR men’s baseball team snapped an 11-game losing streak on Friday night with a 3-2 win over Long Beach State.

The Highlanders had a slow start with pitcher Joie Dunyon, who gave up two runs in the first, but finished strong with six strikeouts. On offense, Vince Fernandez singled at the top of the seventh inning, followed by a double by Robby Witt, which gave UCR two runs. By the end of the inning, UCR had a 3-2 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, with a one-run lead, Dunyon found himself in trouble as Dirtbag Zack Rivera hit a leadoff single. Closer Keaton Leach then jogged out to the mound, but walked his first batter, which may have caused head coach Troy Percival to call Ryan Lillie to the mound. After a force-out at third and two strikeouts later, the Highlanders earned their first Big West victory of the season.

April 18, 2015
Dirtbags 4 – Highlanders 3

An error-prone Highlander team lost their second game against Long Beach State in extra innings, 4-3.

In the bottom of the second inning, CSULB scored first with a homer from designated hitter Luke Rasmussen. Eric Hutting then singled up the middle and advanced to second, while Joey Sanchez scored off of a UCR error, 2-0.

UCR answered in the top of the third with AJ Sawyer’s sac fly, which allowed Joe Chavez to run home, 2-1.

However, CSULB would score again from another UCR error, 3-1.

The fourth inning started off with a bang from Alex Rubanowitz, who doubled down the right-field line on a 2-2 pitch. Tony Gudino singled up the middle, which allowed Rubanowitz to score, bringing the game to 3-2.

In the bottom of the fourth, Long Beach had a runner in scoring position with two outs, Zack Domingues had a full count and hit the ball to third base to end the inning.

Both teams did well defensively in the fifth, with UCR and CSULB having a three-and-out.

Highlander Tony Gudino had a leadoff double down left field to start the seventh inning. Joe Chavez singled to left field before Austin Colvin hit a sacrifice fly which allowed Gudino to tie the game up, 3-3.

Then Ryan Lillie for the Highlanders gave Long Beach a chance in the bottom of the 10th inning with back-to-back singles to put runners on first and third. Tristan Mecadel grounded out to second, then David Banuelos was thrown out while stealing second. The final play of the game was a routine grounder to shortstop, but Joe Chavez mishandled the ball, allowing CSULB to score and win the contest, 4-3.

UCR next hosts UNLV on Tuesday, April 21.

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