RIVERSIDE, Calif. – UC Riverside collected 17 hits and posted a 12-7 victory over Washington State at the Riverside Sports Complex, Monday.
The Highlanders (3-1) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first against Cougars’ starter Jason Monda. UC Riverside scored a pair of unearned runs with a leadoff single, a stolen base, a one-out error by Washington State (1-3) and a two-out single.
After Monda worked out of a bases loaded, one-out jam in the second, the Cougars tied the game in the top of the third against UC Riverside starter Zach Varela (1-0). Ian Sagdal reached on an error to open the inning and Trace Tam Sing bunted for a hit. Trek Stemp moved both runners up with a sacrifice and Collin Slaybaugh plated Sagdal with a sacrifice fly that pushed Tam Sing to third. After Nick Tanielu drew a walk, a balk brought home Tam Sing with the tying run.
Washington State grabbed a 5-2 lead with a three-run fourth. Patrick McGrath led off with a single, one of his career-high three hits in the game, and Ben Roberts was hit by a pitch. Following a sacrifice by Matt Mendenhall, a ground ball to shortstop by Sagdal scored one run and a second run came home on a throwing error. Sagdal came around to score on a two-out single by Stemp.
UC Riverside responded in the bottom of the frame when Francisco Tellez hit a three-run home run off Washington State reliever Jacob Schroeder (0-1) to tie the game 5-5.
The Highlanders touched up Schroeder and Layne Bruner for four runs in the fifth to surge in front 9-5. A leadoff single finished Schroeder’s day. A bunt single, followed by a sacrifice and a passed ball, allowed the go-ahead run to score. A walk and a sacrifice fly made the score 7-5 and back-to-back singles capped the rally.
UC Riverside added a run on two hits in the sixth off Bruner to increase its lead to 10-5. Matt Bower came out of the Cougar bullpen in the seventh and gave up a two runs on a walk, a stolen base, a ground out, a sacrifice fly, two singles and a wild pitch.
The Cougars picked up two runs in the eighth on a double by McGrath and back-to-back, run-scoring singles by Mendenhall and Sagdal.
Washington State hosts Western Carolina in a four-game series at Bailey-Brayton Field beginning Friday at 6 p.m.