Gauchos fall 14-3 to UC Riverside

UC Riverside used an eight-run seventh inning on Saturday night to pull away from UCSB, 14-3.

The Highlanders made it seven straight wins with the victory and improve to 6-5 in the Big West. UCSB falls to 18-19 overall, 4-7 in conference play.

The Highlanders got on the board first scoring two unearned runs in the bottom of the first thanks to a throwing error on UCSB right fielder Mark Haddow. UC Riverside loaded the bases with one out, when yesterday’s hero David Andriese lifted a fly ball down the line in shallow right. Trevor Hairgrove elected not to tag, but Haddow’s throw to the plate was up the line and got away from catcher Joe Winterburn and into the UCR dugout. Hairgrove and Goetz scored on the miscue, and the Highlanders led 2-0.

UC Riverside starter Eddie Orozco (3-1) struggled with his command in the second as he plunked Ryan Palermo and wild pitched him to second. He then issued back-to-back walks to Joe Wallace and John Vaccaro to load the bases. After striking out Winterburn, Orozco walked the number nine hitter, Steven Moon forcing in a run.

The Gauchos picked up their second run of the game the following inning when Trevor Whyte and Ryan Palermo connected on back-to-back, two out doubles to tie things at 2-2.

It didn’t take long for UC Riverside to regain the lead as they hung a four spot on the board in the bottom of the fourth, The offensive outburst was not without controversy, however. Ryan Goetz led off the inning with a grounder to third and Palermo’s throw pulled Whyte off the bag. The Gauchos disagreed and argued the call to no avail.

Justin Shults followed with a single to left center moving Goetz to third and bringing Tony Nix to the plate. UCSB starter Greg Davis threw his first two pitches to Nix for strikes, but his third pitch came inside on him hitting him on the hand. Home plate umpire Ruben Chavira originally called the play a foul ball, but after consulting with the rest of the umpiring crew and checking Nix’s hand, they sent Nix to first on a hit by pitch. That call didn’t sit well with the Gauchos either, and a two-minute discussion ensued, but the umpiring crew, as per usual, got the last word.
Andriese then came to the plate with the bases chock full of Highlanders, and he brought all three of them home with a triple to right center. One out later, Kyle Bourdreau’s single gave UC Riverside a 6-2 lead.

It remained a four-run lead into the seventh when Orozco began to battle some wildness again. He gave up a one-out single to Moon and walked Derek Eligio and Sean Williams to load the bases.

That brought Mark Garcia out of the bullpen, and after a sac fly cut the UCR advantage to three, Garcia recorded the final out of the inning when pinch hitter Lance Roenicke fouled out down the right field line.

The Highlanders broke the game open in the bottom of the seventh as they scored eight runs off of five different UCSB pitchers. Tony Nix and Hairgrove had the big base hits for UCR in the inning as Nix plated three with a double to right and Hairgrove doubled down the left field line to score two more runs.

UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara finish their three-game series on Sunday at the Riverside Sports Complex. First pitch is slated for 1 pm.

UC Santa Barbara…. 011 000 100 – 3 6 3
UC Riverside…….. 204 000 80X – 14 10 0
Davis,Cuneo (7), Vedo(7),Brady (7),Whalen(7),Wheeler(8);Orozco, Garcia (7),Dunyon (9).
Win – Orozco, E. (3-1). Loss – Davis, G (4-3).
2B – Williams, S(10); Whyte, T(9); Palermo, R(14); Hairgrove,
T(11); Nix, T.(14). 3B – Andriese, D.(4).