The UC Riverside baseball team (8-19) had a chance to avenge their loss from earlier in the season against the University of San Diego (19-10) on March 5, when they were defeated by a score of 31-3. The score was a lot closer this time around but the Highlanders again fell to the Toreos by a final score of 7-6.
The Highlanders got off to an early start as sophomore utility Nathan Webb led the game off with a walk in the first inning. Sophomore outfielder Dylan Orick got the second inning started with a single while senior outfielder Dean Miller grounded out to first base while advancing the runners. Senior outfielder Yeager Taylor drove the runners home with a hit to center field to give the Highlanders the early lead.
During the fourth inning, UC Riverside scored two more runs on only three hits. Freshman catcher Jacob Shanks got on base with a walk. Freshman center fielder Damian Sanchez and Nathan Webb both got an RBI to give the Highlanders a 5-2 lead.
However, each time the Highlanders scored a run, the Toreos answered with a run of their own. USD scored a run in every inning with the exception of the third and sixth innings. The Highlanders got off to an early lead but their struggles on defense allowed the Toreos to fight their way back into the game.
By the eighth inning, San Diego managed to tie up the scoreboard. They loaded the and won the game with a walk-off-hit-by-pitch.
Defense has been the main issue for the Highlanders over their recent stretch of games as they gave up 10 runs during a game versus UC Davis as well as 12 and 11 runs respectively in their two games against UNLV.
Despite losing the game by one run, Webb was a standout in the game as he got on base in four out of five at bats. He also hit an RBI double to left field in the fourth inning.
UC Riverside lost their game against California State University, Northridge (13-17) by a final score of 14-5. Their defense was once again subpar and they were unable to contain the Matadors offense in the early moments of the game. In the first two innings, the Highlanders allowed ten runs.
Three Highlanders managed to get solo home runs as they were recorded by Miller, Taylor, and junior pitcher Connor Cannon, who recorded his sixth home run of the season. The home run puts Cannon at fourth place in the Big West Conference rankings.
Coming up next, the Highlanders will get the chance to improve their defense with their upcoming game against California State University, Bakersfield on Tuesday, April 9.