UCR baseball (2-5) had a busy week as they played against Loyola Marymount University (4-2) on Wednesday, Feb. 20 before traveling to San Jose State (4-2) to face the Spartans in a three-game series over the weekend.
The Highlanders’ first game was a 5-1 loss against LMU. LMU got on the scoreboard early and often, scoring five runs in the first four innings. UCR scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the sixth and finished with a sub-par four hits.
LMU senior Brandon Shearer and redshirt junior Steven Chavez each finished the game with three hits apiece on their way to a dominant win over Riverside.
No pitcher for Riverside threw more than two innings after starter Kevin West was pulled for allowing five hits and giving up three earned runs.
UCR’s second game of the week finished even more lopsidedly, with San Jose State punching the Highlanders on the chin right from the start. Riverside failed to score until the final inning where they scored only one run after allowing nine in the previous eight innings. The Spartans scored eight runs in their final four innings at the plate.
Despite the final scoreboard, San Jose finished with only two more hits than UCR. The main difference between the two offenses was that the Spartan batters were more patient and as a result drew a whopping 11 walks compared to only three from the Highlanders.
Riverside did bounce back in the second of the three-game series, putting on a dominant performance of their own in a 12-3 win.
Junior starting pitcher Shamus Lyons was throwing a shutout until the eighth inning when San Jose was finally able to get runs across the plate. Lyons came out of the game in the eighth after allowing three runs, but had a great performance nonetheless.
The Highlanders also found their groove offensively and scored in all but two innings, including a four-run inning in the top of the eighth. Walks again played a big part in the game, but this time UCR drew nine while the Spartans had just three. The two teams did have the same amount of hits, 12, so the disparity in walks made a big difference in getting runners on base and then capitalizing.
Riverside’s next game will be on the road Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Grand Canyon University.