Baseball ends losing streak with victory over Santa Barbara

Vincent Ta/HIGHLANDER
Vincent Ta/HIGHLANDER

April 23, 2013
Toreros 3 – Highlanders 2

The UC Riverside baseball team dropped a heartbreaking match on April 23, giving up a walk-off homer to the visiting San Diego Toreros in the 11th inning en route to a 3-2 defeat.

Zach Varela, the Highlanders’ usual relief pitcher, made his first career start against San Diego and was able to deliver UCR a shutout game for the first six innings.

The Highlanders got on the board first with a Phil Holinsworth ground out that drove in Clayton Prestridge. Both teams traded runs up until the score was deadlocked at 2-2 going into the ninth.

A scoreless ninth inning signaled the start of extra innings. During the 11th, the Toreros got their break when Dillon Haupt homered over left field to secure the San Diego victory, 3-2.

April 26, 2013
Gauchos 10 – Highlanders 7

After starting the season undefeated in conference play at home, the UC Riverside baseball team dropped its first Big West home game to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos.

Both teams made haste in getting on the board with the Gauchos jumping to an early 4-2 lead over the Highlanders in the first inning. UCR was able to steal the lead from the Gauchos in the bottom of the second, plating three runs.

The Highlanders’ lead did not last for long as the Gauchos were able to score three runs of their own in the third inning, and another three in the sixth to take a commanding 10-5 lead. UCR was able to score two in the bottom of the ninth, but it would not be enough to hold off the Gauchos from securing a road victory.

April 27, 2013
Gauchos 2 – Highlanders 0

After dropping its first conference home game against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, the UC Riverside baseball team followed up by engaging in a low-scoring game that led to the Highlanders’ seventh straight loss by a score of 2-0.

The game would remain scoreless until the top of the sixth inning, in which Gaucho Robby Nesovic was able to score from third off a UCR error. The Gauchos added an insurance run at the top of the ninth thanks to Joey Epperson’s second base steal and Woody Woodard’s RBI single to right center, scoring Epperson.

April 28, 2013
Highlanders 8 – Gauchos 5

After a seven-game losing streak that included dropping two straight against the Gauchos at home, the Highlanders were finally able to pick up a victory with a 8-5 routing of Santa Barbara. The win over UCSB also allowed the Highlanders to celebrate head coach Doug Smith’s 250th career victory.

UCR struck swiftly and in large quantity at the bottom of the first, getting off to a 5-0 lead thanks to Alex Rubanowitz’s double down right field to score three runners as well as an RBI ground out by Kevin Davidson.

The Gauchos were able to score one in the top of the second and three in the fifth to make things interesting, but the Highlanders added three extra runs in the eighth that allowed them to secure their only victory of the series against the Gauchos.

Next up for the Highlanders is a road match against UNLV on Tuesday, April 30.

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