Courtesy of NBC and Joe Davidson
Courtesy of NBC and Joe Davidson

Feb. 22, 2013
Highlanders 2 – Hornets 1

Highlander baseball made national headlines this weekend, but not for the right reasons. UC Riverside beat Sacramento State 2-1 on Friday, Feb. 22. But the story of the game was a scuffle in the middle of the third inning that led to four suspensions.

After being tagged out in between second and third base, Highlander Eddie Young was shoved by Sacramento State player Andrew Ayers. Young responded with a right hook to Ayers and was immediately tackled to the ground by another Sacramento State player. The benches cleared right after as several other players jumped into the scuffle, while others tried to stop the fighting. The end result: two Highlander players and one Hornet player were ejected after the fighting ceased.

In the midst of all the commotion, there was a game to be played.

UCR had built a 1-0 lead in the first inning after a Clayton Prestridge RBI. Riverside followed that with a double and an RBI by Young in the third, just moments before the brawl.

UCR would hold onto that lead until the end. Sacramento State scored one run in the seventh, but that would be all. Highlander Dylan Stuart pitched all nine innings and managed to close it out in the ninth. UCR won the game with a final score of 2-1.

After the game, UCR received word that Highlanders Eddie Young, Zach Varela and Drake Zarate would serve four-game suspensions for the altercation. Sacramento State’s Ayers will also be serving suspension.

Feb. 23, 2013
Hornets 4 – Highlanders 3

Following Friday’s brawl, UCR would have to carry on and play a doubleheader on Saturday without three of their suspended players. The Highlanders were steady all throughout the game, but a ninth-inning squeeze bunt by the Hornets gave Sacramento State its first win of the four-game series.

The Hornets struck first in the second inning with two runs. UCR retaliated with a lone run in the third, but the Hornets negated that with a run of their own in the fourth to go up, 3-1. Riverside managed to tie things up with runs in the sixth and seventh, but that would be as far as the Highlanders got.

The Hornets’ Scotty Burchman laid a bunt in the bottom of the ninth to bring in the walk-off run. Sacramento State won by a score of 4-3.

Feb. 23, 2013
Highlanders 7 – Hornets 6

Following the loss, the Highlanders responded with a win of their own in the second of Saturday’s doubleheader. David Andriese’s two RBIs led UCR to a 7-6 victory over the Hornets.

The Highlanders struck first after a wild pitch allowed Phil Holinsworth to score in the top of the second. A three-run third inning gave UCR a comfortable 4-0 lead. Riverside kept on scoring and led by as much as 7-2 at one point.

The Hornets gave the Highlanders a late-game scare after scoring two runs in the ninth. But UCR’s Trevor Frank pulled it out in the end and got Will Soto to fly out for the final out of the inning.  UCR would prevail in the end for a 7-6 victory.

Feb. 24, 2013
Hornets 7 – Highlanders 4

Both teams wrapped up the series on Sunday afternoon. It was a tough day for the Highlanders as they recorded six errors and five unearned runs to leave Sacramento with a 7-4 loss.

Mitch Patito performed well for UCR, but the Highlanders’ defense was unable to back him up. He did not allow a single run through five innings.

The Hornets scored first in the sixth however. They would put up two more, before a Highlander comeback tied the score at three runs apiece. In the bottom of the seventh, the Hornets would score three more thanks to a series of errors by UCR. The Hornets never looked back.

Riverside failed to move up to the .500 mark with the loss. UCR’s Clayton Prestidge extended his hitting streak to eight games and ended with a hit and an RBI.

UCR’s overall record now stands at 3-5. The Highlanders will return to the Riverside Sports Complex this Friday, March 1 for a three-game series against Saint Mary’s College.