The UCI Baseball team (28-21, 13-11) fell short against the UC Riverside Highlanders, 3-2, (8-39, 4-23) at Riverside Sports Complex in Riverside on May 15.
Both the Anteater and Highlander defenses came out strong to start off the game, resulting in no runs on either team in the first inning.
At the bottom of the second, freshman infielder William “Dub” Gleed hit a double into right field. With additional hits by sophomore catcher Abraham “Bam” Garcia-Pacheco and redshirt junior infielder Justin Torres, the ‘Eaters were able to score their first run of the game, making the score 1-0 to end the second inning.
The Highlanders were able to step up their offense in the third and fourth innings after a scoring drought for both teams. After base hits by sophomore infielder Anthony McFarland and redshirt senior outfielder and left-handed pitcher Cole Pofek, two out of three bases were full for the Highlanders. The bases became loaded after a hit-by-pitch by freshman outfielder and first baseman Andrew Rivas.
With redshirt senior outfielder Dylan Orick hitting into left field, the Highlanders were able to beat an inning-ending double play as McFarland brought it home. The fifth inning ended with a tied score of 1-1.
After another scoring drought in the sixth and seventh inning, UCI sophomore outfielder Caden Kendle hit an infield single, followed by two productive outs and a wild pitch. This allowed another run for the ‘Eaters, and the inning ended 2-1.
At the bottom of the ninth, Highlander sophomore infielder Anthony Mata had a lead-off walk to first, followed by a double by redshirt senior utility Nathan Webb. This tied the game, 2-2.
With Webb at second base, another wild pitch sent him to third. A base hit by freshman infielder Jacob Badawi won the game for the Highlanders, 3-2.
UC Irvine faced UC Riverside in two additional matches that weekend on May 13 and 14, both of which were wins for the Anteaters.
Leila Amiri is a Sports Intern for the spring 2022 quarter. She can be reached at email@example.com.