Men’s baseball continues to struggle

Courtesy of UCR Athletics

UCR’s men’s baseball team (13-21, 2-9) played San Diego State University (28-11, 12-5) on Tuesday, April 18 at the Riverside Sports Complex. The Highlanders were looking to bounce back from a 7-4 loss against Hawaii University on Saturday, April 15.

San Diego State is ranked among the top 20 schools offensively, and their offense got going right out of the gates. UCR’s senior starter pitcher Angel Landazuri gave up six hits and four runs in only two innings of work before being pulled out of the game. The Aztecs would go on to score two more runs in the third to take a commanding 6-1 lead.

UCR struggled on the offensive end throughout the whole game, and they only finished with five hits. San Diego State used seven pitchers and every single one was able to keep the Riverside batters off balance. The Aztecs on the other hand, finished the game with 14 hits. The Highlanders only run of the game came in the second inning off of senior infielder Michael Farris’ solo home run. The Aztecs would go on to score a run in the sixth and three in the ninth to earn a 10-1 victory over the Highlanders.

The Highlanders then traveled to Matador Field to take on Cal State Northridge (18-21, 6-5) on Friday, April 21. Riverside was able to get on the board quickly after senior Mark Contreras started the game with a leadoff triple. Junior outfielder AJ Sawyer was then able to drive in the run off of a groundout to second base.

The Matadors didn’t take long to respond as they scored five runs in the first three innings. The Highlanders had their chance to have a big inning in the fourth as three of their first four batters reached base to load the bases. UCR Head Coach Troy Percival then sent in sophomore Yeager Taylor as a pinch hitter to hit for junior catcher Tony Gudino. Taylor grounded out to second, but was still able to drive in the run and make the score 5-2. The next batter, Contreras, was intentionally walked to load the bases once again. Riverside failed to drive in any more runs as Sawyer struck out and left three runners on base.

Cal State Northridge responded by adding two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to extend their lead to 7-2. In the sixth inning, Sawyer drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to cut the Matador lead to three. The next batter was junior Colby Schultz, who drew a walk to load the bases, but Northridge was able to strike out the next two batters to get out of the jam.

The Highlanders went on to give up an unearned run in the seventh, and two earned runs in the eighth to lose the game 10-4. Junior starting pitcher Ryan Lillie’s record dropped to 1-5, as he took another loss in this one.

UCR’s next game will be on Tuesday, April 25 against San Diego State at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

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