The UC Riverside baseball team lost to Cal Baptist 5-1 on Tuesday night in the Riverside Sports Complex. Going into this game, the Highlanders have lost nine straight games and looked to break their losing streak. However, the offense struggled to put up runs in this game, which led to their loss.

Junior left-handed pitcher Jake Gebb got the start in this game but struggled mightily against the Lancers in the first inning. Gebb got a popout and a groundout to get two out on the board. However, Gebb allowed a home run onto the next batter to give Cal Baptist the first run of the game 1-0. On the next batter, Gebb was able to get the batter to ground the ball toward the shortstop but could not field the baseball cleanly, resulting in a base hit. Gebb then accidentally hit the batter on the next pitch to send runners on second and first base, in which infielder Cole Howarth drove the baseball down the left field line to score another run for the Lancers, 2-0. Gebb was not able to retire the inning with one out remaining as he then gave up a double down the left-center to bring in two more runs and raised the score to 4-0. He was finally able to strike out the next batter to retire the inning. The offense could not do much in the bottom of the 1st as the top of the batting order were all retired.

Redshirt senior pitcher Tyler Frazier subbed in for Gebb in the top of the 2nd inning and although he let up some hits and had runners on base, he was able to close the inning without letting up any runs. The offense struggled once again in the bottom of the 2nd as the next three batters were quickly retired with a groundout and two strikeouts. Junior pitcher Tucker Juline checked in for Frazier in the top of the 3rd inning and he was able to make quick due of the Cal Baptist offense. In the bottom of the third, the Highlanders finally reached base for the second time in the game as junior utility player Tyler Weaver was hit by a pitch. However, UCR was unable to capitalize once again when the next batter struck out swinging. 

The struggles continued for UC Riverside in the top of the fourth inning as Weaver allowed the second home run of the night to the Lancers to put them up 5-0. Weaver then retired the inning without letting up any more runs but the damage had already been done. Once again, the offense for the Highlanders stalled as they went three up, three down in the bottom of the fourth inning. The game slowed down for both teams in the next few innings and the bullpen for both sides prevented any runs from being scored. UCR found themselves in a predicament in the top of the sixth inning as an error resulted in a runner advancing to third base. However, CBU struckout on their next batting attempt to retire the inning. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Highlanders started to find some life on the offensive side. A base hit from Weaver allowed him to advance all the way to second base, and a wild pitch advanced Weaver to third. Redshirt senior catcher Jacob Shanks was then walked to have runners on third and first base. Another wild pitch from Cal Baptist allowed Weaver to race toward home base to get the first run on the board for UC Riverside and brought the score to 5-1. However, they were unable to capitalize on their momentum as their next two batters struck out to retire the inning. 

The seventh and eighth inning saw the bullpens from both teams continue to be spectacular as they allowed a combined one hit in the two innings. In the top of the ninth inning, UCR was able to go three up, three down to give themselves a chance to get back into the game going into the bottom of the ninth. UC Riverside found themselves with runners on first and second base with only one out. However, junior infielder Anthony Mata struck out to leave the Highlanders with their last out remaining. Junior second baseman Dominic Martinez wasn’t able to get the job done as he grounded out to end the game with a score of 5-1.

Picture by Jazzy Nguyen

Weaver and Shanks were the only two Highlanders to score a hit during the game. Redshirt sophomore pitcher Corbin Barker led the way for the Highlander bullpen with two strikeouts, a walk, and a hit in 2.0 innings pitched.

The Highlanders drop down to 6-24 (0-10) on the year and will have their rematch against Cal Baptist on Tuesday, Apr. 18, at 6:00 P.M.