Baseball win series from Big West leader, nationally ranked #8 Fullerton

Tyler Joe/HIGHLANDER

Date: May 18, 2012
Titans 3 – Highlanders 2

UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton squared off against each other in a pitcher’s showdown last Friday. Highlander Eddie Orozco was outdueled by Titans pitcher Dylan Floro en route to a 2-3 loss. Three men were left on base for Riverside which turned out to be their Achilles heel in a one run loss.

UCR’s Orozco went eight strong innings and his five strikeout performance earned him a total of 98 strikeouts on the year. Orozco’s ERA for the year is a team best with 2.49. He allowed three runs on eight hits and walked three batters.

In the first inning, Riverside used three hits to get on the scoreboard for a 1-0 lead. Vince Gonzalez singled to center and was advanced to second when Clayton Prestridge singled to right field. David Andriese stepped up and singled to center for Riverside’s only RBI. Andriese went 1-3.

The Highlanders went on a seven inning drought until they scored in the ninth inning. Eddie Young started it with a double and scored on Gonzalez’s hit to second.

Riverside is now 6-7 when they start Orozco, which is second best behind 7-6 with Dylan Stuart. This Big West Conference loss puts UCR at 7-12 and an overall record 19-28.

Date: May 19, 2012
Highlanders 6 – Titans 3

Riverside faced Cal State Fullerton late Saturday afternoon in the second game of a three-game series. Phil Holinsworth homered twice which helped the Highlanders win 6-3, even though they were outhit by the Titans 8-9.

Holinsworth achieved his 10th multi-hit game of the year when he homered for his third and fourth time this year. Holinsworth’s performance allowed him to collect four RBIs and three runs scored.

Nick Vilter and Vince Gonzalez were the only other Highlanders with two hits. Vilter went 2-4 with one RBI and Gonzalez went 2-5 with one run scored and one RBI.

Riverside starter Trevor Frank went 7.1 innings. He allowed two earned runs on eight hits and now has 39 strikeouts on the year.

In the first inning Holinsworth homered for two RBIs while Riverside used the third inning to go up 4-1 when Holinsworth walked and Gonzalez doubled for an RBI. Vilter stepped up for an RBI single to put Riverside up 4-3. With the slim lead, Riverside used Holinsworth’s two-run homer in order to seal the game.

UCR is 4-13 when they strike out 10 or more times, and 3-9 when they strike out more than they get hits. Statistically Riverside should have lost the game but Holinsworth’s offense proved the stat book wrong.

Date: May 20, 2012
Highlanders 1 – Titans 0

The UC Riverside baseball team (21-28, 9-12) took the series 2-1 against nationally ranked opponent Cal State Fullerton. Riverside competed in another pitcher’s duel as both teams combined for only nine total hits. A double by Alex Rubanowitz was the key factor in the 1-0 shutout victory for Riverside.

Dylan Stuart (6-6) went a complete game for the Highlanders. Stuart allowed six hits but zero runs, along with two strikeouts which gives him 55 strikeouts total on the year. Stuart has significantly improved as a starter for the Highlanders, with 55 strikeouts compared to 29 last year.

Both teams were scoreless until Riverside broke the 0-0 tie in the seventh inning. Kyle Boudreau singled to right center and Nick Vilter laid a SAC bunt to third base, which advanced Boudreau into scoring position. Boudreau then scored on a Rubanowitz double down the right field line. The double gives Boudreau five total on the year and eight RBIs on year.

Rubanowitz went 1-4 with one RBI, Boudreau went 1-4 with the only run scored, and Clayton Prestridge had a hit going 1-3. Vince Gonzalez unfortunately had his 19-game hitting streak ended when he went 0-2.

Riverside improved their record to 4-9 when they achieved more strikeouts than hits. With Fullerton leaving six men on base, Riverside was able to secure the win. Riverside has five games left on the season, two on the road and the last three at home. The Highlanders’ next game is away versus Loyola Marymount on May 22.

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