UC Riverside baseball ends difficult season on high note

Cameron Yong/HIGHLANDER
Cameron Yong/HIGHLANDER

May 23, 2013

Rainbow Warriors 5 – Highlanders 4

The UC Riverside baseball team came out victorious in its last series of the season against the University of Hawai’i, but stumbled in a 5-4 loss on Thursday night despite rallying back from a 5-0 deficit in the latter innings.

On the mound for the Highlanders was Dylan Stuart, who pitched all nine innings with only two earned runs against him. The junior committed two costly errors that allowed Hawai’i to score five total runs in the game off of eight hits. However, he also had no walks and six strikeouts in the game — an impressive feat for a complete game.

Riverside fell behind early after Stuart gave up two runs in the first inning. He would keep runs off the scoreboard until the fifth inning, where three hits and two errors by shortstop Nick Vilter allowed three more runners to cross home, increasing the Hawai’i lead to 5-0.

The Highlander bats finally came alive in the sixth inning when center fielder Devyn Bolasky led off with a single to left-center field and was then advanced to second by a groundout. David Andriese singled up the middle, scoring Bolasky for the Highlanders’ first run of the night.

The scoring continued in the seventh, when designated hitter Francisco Tellez hit a leadoff solo shot into right field. By the time the inning was over, Bolasky would eventually bat in first baseman Kyle Boudreau, making it only a two-run deficit, 3-5.

The Highlanders battled in the ninth inning but it wasn’t enough. Pinch-hitting second baseman Cody Hough hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Tellez and cut the Rainbow Warriors’ lead to one, 5-4. However, Bolasky grounded out, halting the potential tying run at second base and ending the night for the blue and gold.

May 24, 2013

Highlanders 7 – Rainbow Warriors 2

In the second game of the series, UC Riverside took command early and didn’t let go as it charged to a 7-2 victory at home Friday night.

Ben Doucette was the starting pitcher for the Highlanders, pitching the entire game while only giving up two runs on nine hits with six strikeouts. The only hiccup came in the sixth inning, where he gave up the only two runs Hawai’i scored all night.

Riverside came out swinging early, scoring three runs in the second inning off of Hawai’i’s starting pitcher Corey MacDondald. Left fielder Phil Holinsworth got the ball rolling with a chopper to third before Francisco Tellez batted him in, slapping a triple off the center-field fence. A Nick Vilter sacrifice foul and Devyn Bolasky RBI single brought in two more runners and rounded out a 3-0 scoring spree for Riverside.

The Highlanders didn’t let up in the third, plating two more runs to extend the UCR lead to 5-0. Tellez continued his stellar game, hitting another triple, which scored David Andries, before crossing home plate on a wild pitch.

UC Riverside would add on two more insurance runs later in the game, one in the sixth and one in the seventh, as the Highlanders left the Riverside Sports Complex with a much-needed victory, 7-2.

May 25, 2013

Highlanders 4 – Rainbow Warriors 2

In the last game of the series and the season, UC Riverside baseball came out on top, defeating Hawai’i 4-2. Prior to the game on Saturday, the team honored eight seniors on Senior Day.

Hawai’i struck first, scoring one run in the third off of Highlander starting pitcher Zach Varela. The inning ended with the visiting Rainbow Warriors grounding into a double play.

Riverside didn’t get on the board until the fourth, but they made it a big inning. First baseman Kyle Boudreau doubled down the right field line followed by a Clayton Prestridge single up the middle. With runners on the corners, David Andriese singled to left, scoring Boudreau. Prestridge scored on a failed pick-off before Francisco Tellez hit into a double play, allowing Andriese to cross home plate for a 3-1 Riverside advantage.

Hawai’i’s second run came in the fifth, where a leadoff single and an error by second baseman Alex Rubanowitz led to an unearned run. The Highlanders added one more run in the fifth. After a Joe Chavez bunt and a Kyle Boudreau sacrifice fly to center, Rubanowitz eventually crossed home plate, making it a 4-2 game.

Once Riverside had the lead, the pitching staff never gave it up. Starting pitcher Varela lasted five and two-thirds innings before being pulled in position for his fifth victory of the season. Mark Garcia and Trevor Frank, both seniors, took the mound for Riverside as well, each pitching one and two-thirds innings with no runs and only one hit allowed between either of them.

The Highlanders ended a tumultuous season (14-32, 10-17) with over 1,000 fans filing into the Riverside Sports Complex to see the team over the weekend.

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