UCR’s baseball team faced off against the University of Hawaii for Game 2 and Game 3 of the four-game series on Saturday, April 10. The Highlanders had a tough Saturday and were unable to find their bearings throughout the various innings. UCR managed to keep UH at bay and scoreless for the first four innings of the game but ultimately lost 7-0.
Freshman pitcher Tucker Juline managed to shake the Warriors entry batters early on. At the bottom of the third inning, UCR found themselves with a golden opportunity, the bases were loaded and they had no outs. The Highlanders were eager to bounce back, especially after the narrow 7-5 win from the night before. Redshirt senior and outfielder Travis Bohall was up to bat. After a few pitches, Bohall managed to find the ball and send it towards left field, but unfortunately, the Rainbow Warriors managed to quickly pick up the ball and earn two outs, shutting down UCR’s threat.
Late in the fourth inning, UCR managed to pose another threat for the Hawaiian Wahine. First and second base were loaded, this time the Highlanders already had two outs. Freshman infielder Anthony Mata was up to bat. One pitch was all it took for Mata to find the ball and hit a grounder towards left field. Redshirt junior Nathan Webb managed to reach third base and made an aggressive charge towards home plate. Not being able to outrun the ball, Webb was tagged out, ending the inning.
Early in the fifth inning, things seem to turn around for UH. Redshirt Junior Matt Campos of the Warriors opened up the inning with his first career home run and UH’s first point of the game. UCR managed to keep the Wahine at bay for the rest of the inning. Going into the bottom of the inning, Redshirt sophomore Ely Stuart managed to walk towards first, but UCR sacrificed a batter and bunted the ball in order to get Stuart to second base. Bohall managed to hit the ball hard enough for him to reach first base. With the corners loaded, UCR tried to find themselves on the scoreboard but were unable to do so and ended the fifth inning still 1-0.
At the top of the sixth inning, the Rainbow Warriors managed to find home plate once again, this time by way of sophomore outfielder Scotty Scott. The Warriors managed to get another run after that leaving the score 2-0. UCR managed to keep them away from home for the rest of the inning but were unable to find home themselves and were struck out fairly quickly.
For the seventh inning, redshirt senior Shamus Lyons came on to relieve Juline. UH batters managed to find the ball from Lyons and managed to earn another two runs before being. With the score now 4-0, the Highlanders did their best to comeback but were unable to get themselves to the bases.
For the last two innings, Lyons was relieved by redshirt sophomore Jake Lachemann. The Rainbow warriors managed to get in another two runs, reaching 7-0. The rest of the game remained scoreless for both teams. UCR found themselves with a few opportunities to score at the bottom of the ninth but were unable to get on the board.
The opening Saturday game unfortunately gave the opposition enough momentum to press on for the third game of the series. Redshirt sophomore Tyler Frazier was the opening pitcher for the Highlanders. UCR managed to score four times during the game but that was not enough for them to regain their power from the previous games as the University of Hawaii managed to win 13-4.
The Rainbow warriors managed to fill all the bases early in the first inning. A slip up between the pitcher and the catcher allowed junior Kole Kaler on third to reach home opening up the scoreboard for UH. Redshirt junior for UH Adam Fogel helped keep the runs coming by hitting a double, allowing two players who were already on base to advance home, leaving the score 3-0 early in the game. Campos came up to bat, allowing Fogel to score UH’s fourth point. The Highlanders managed to stop the Warriors for a moment. At the bottom of 1st, UCR managed to score a point in an attempt to catch up. Bohall, who was on second base, managed to reach home due to an error made by the shortstop on the opposing team. The inning ended shortly after.
Both teams managed to score in the second inning. Kaler managed to find home again due to an error made by the Highlander team, bumping up the score to 5-1. The Highlanders found themselves at bat soon thereafter. UCR did their best to keep the Warriors at bay, earning another point this time being run by Stuart, the score now 5-2.
Going into the fourth inning, the Rainbow Warriors managed to earn another two points. Sophomore Jacob Igawa hit a double towards center field, allowing Scott and Kaler to complete their runs. UCR tried to get some runs going but were only able to hit the ball once in the bottom of the 4th. At the end of the inning the score was 7-2.
Unfortunately for the Highlanders, the Wahine kept the runs coming well into the fifth inning. They managed to earn a couple back to back runs before UCR could get some outs. Shortly after, UH managed to work in a double play. UCR was unable to gain any points of their own, leaving the score 12-2 by the end of the inning.
The Highlanders made some progress at the bottom of the sixth, earning some more points for themselves. Redshirt freshman Adrian Melendrez managed to hit a triple towards left center field. With Melendrez on third, freshman Anthony Mcfarland’s hit towards the middle of the field allowed him to reach first and gave Melendrez enough time to reach home plate. Freshman Mason Grace helped bring Mcfarland home by hitting a double. The Highlanders closed the inning 12-4. UH scored another point in the eighth inning, sealing their win 13-4.
UCR hopes to win at least one game this weekend as they will face the University of Hawaii once more on Sunday, April 11 for the final game of the series. They face California State University, Northridge during the third week of spring quarter.