Baseball wins series against Fullerton

Courtesy of UCR Athletics

Game one: UCR 2 – CSUF 3

The UC Riverside baseball team (18-28, 5-12) held a Big West opponent to three runs for the first time in nearly a month on Friday, May 11, but the Highlanders fell at Cal State Fullerton (27-20, 14-3), 3-2.

Sophomore Connor Cannon homered for the third time in five games, leading the team with nine home runs on the year. Cannon put the Highlanders on the scoreboard first with a solo homer to right center in the top of the second inning.

Early on, the Titans struggled to score against freshman pitcher Cole Percival, but managed to eke out the tying run in the bottom of the third off a sac fly RBI. Fullerton would then go on to take a 3-1 lead by adding two more runs in the fourth.

First-year Nathan Webb led off with a single in the fifth inning, as fellow freshman Dylan Orick immediately followed up with a triple to right center. This marked the second consecutive game that Orick tallied an RBI, who would wrap up the team’s scoring efforts for the day.

The Highlanders recorded three more hits the rest of the game off a pair of singles from redshirt senior Colby Schultz and a single from junior Yeager Taylor. Taylor’s single put Schultz on second base to set up the Highlanders’ best chance at finding the tying run in the top of the sixth, but Fullerton would pick up outs on the next two at-bats to escape the inning.

Webb and Schultz both finished 2-for-4 as the Highlanders’ only players with more than one hit on the night.

Game two: UCR 6 – CSUF 10

After a fast start on the offensive end, UC Riverside was unable to match a seven-run first inning at Cal State Fullerton, dropping a 10-6 decision on Saturday night.

UCR finished with the most hits in their last seven games, matching the Titans 13-13. Both Cannon and Orick led the team with three hits each.

Cannon now has a hit in each of his last six conference games, totaling 13 hits over that span. Orick has a streak of his own as well, with seven hits over his last three appearances.

Redshirt senior Tony Gudino and junior Matt Hardy also finished with two hits of their own, as Schultz recorded his fourth home run of the season late in the game.

The Highlanders started game two with a 3-0 lead in the top half of the first inning, thanks to an RBI single to right field by Cannon and a Hardy double to left center. CSUF would respond shortly after, amassing seven runs off seven hits in the bottom of the first to take a 7-3 advantage.

Fullerton went on to score three more runs throughout, putting up a 10-3 lead after eight innings. UCR added three runs of their own in the ninth to close out the game, which finished in a 10-6 loss.

Game three: UCR 4 – CSUF 2

The Titans started the Mother’s Day matchup by recording two runs in the bottom of the first inning off a triple by sophomore Sahid Valenzuela.

An RBI double by freshman Cole Pofek put UCR up on the board in top of the second inning. Schultz then grounded out to first base in the top of the fifth, as Webb passed the catchers tag while sliding to home plate.

Webb kicked off the top of the seventh inning by blasting a solo shot over left field to break the tie game, putting UCR up 3-2.

Hardy provided more insurance for the Highlanders with a sac fly in the eighth inning to bring in freshman Ari Gerber, who pinch-ran for Yeager Taylor.

UCR was able to avoid the series sweep with Sunday’s win, as they’ll begin their weekend series at UC Irvine on Friday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m.

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