On Thursday, March 5, the UCR men’s baseball team (8-7) faced the Holy Cross Crusaders (5-8). The Highlanders edged the Crusaders in a close battle 7-6.
The Crusaders immediately pulled ahead by scoring two runs in the first inning while the Highlanders went scoreless. Holy Cross added another run in the top of the second to extend their lead to 3-0. The Highlanders were finally able to get a run across the plate in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore second baseman Damien Sanchez was hit by a pitch, leading all three runners on base to advance. Their luck continued to change as senior outfielder Travis Bohall hit a double to left field, bringing three baserunners home to give the Highlanders the lead, 4-3.
In the fourth inning, UCR sophomore catcher Jacob Shanks went out with an injury and was replaced by junior catcher Ethan Payne.
Overall, neither team scored in the fourth inning and the Highlanders left two runners on base. At the game’s halfway point the Highlanders led the game 4-3. The Crusaders scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning, taking a 5-4 lead.
As the game was nearing its end, both teams were tied with six runs apiece and UCR only needed one hit to bring home the win. At the bottom of the 10th inning, the Highlanders got a hit from junior right fielder Dylan Orick and won by a run. The final score was 7-6 in favor of the Highlanders.
In a post game interview with Cody Yates, the director of baseball operations, Yates spoke about the game saying, “A win’s a win, even though it was an ugly game and an ugly win is better than a good loss any day. Our bench players were outstanding tonight, numbers 1 through 33, everyone contributed when called upon no matter what.”
Bohall said, “It was a big win for us, we didn’t really play our best, but we just battled and never gave up. It went well tonight, and we could have thrown in the towel and lost, but we didn’t and that’s what matters. That last moment is probably my favorite moment in baseball when you have a walk-off and everyone runs onto the field and goes crazy. It’s awesome and a lot of fun.”
On Friday, March 6, the Highlanders played the Crusaders once again. This time around, UCR was unable to secure the victory as they lost 4-3.
In their third consecutive match against Holy Cross, UCR earned a 7-3 win. The game was played on Saturday, March 7.
Up next, the Highlanders will travel to Bakersfield, California on Friday, March 13 to battle California State University, Bakersfield (5-7).