Riverside Avoids Sweep With 14-1 Win Over UW

April 10, 2005

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - UC Riverside avoided a series sweep Sunday, coming back fromtwo one-sided losses to hand the Washington baseball team a 14-1 loss in the final gameof a three-game, non-conference series at Riverside Sports Complex.

Washington (21-13) had beaten the Highlanders 9-0 on Friday and 19-3 on Saturday. TheHuskies have still won 17 of their last 23. UCR improved to 14-17 on the season.

UCR starter Taylor Bills (3-5) held the UW to only one unearned run on one hit in hisfive innings to get the win. Husky junior Matt Kasser (3-3) suffered the loss, giving upfour runs on five hits over three and one-third.

Riverside jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the first. With Andrew Garciaand Nick Salotti aboard at second and third, Matt Cunningham bounced an 0-2 pitchthrough the left side to drive in both runners.

The Highlanders made it 4-0 with two more in the fourth. Aaron Grant walked andCunningham singled to get the inning started. After a bunt moved the runners up, BrianSteinmeyer singled to drive in one run. Catcher Jeff Abney followed with a safetysqueeze bunt to score Cunningham.

In the meantime, the Huskies, who posted 20 hits Saturday, didn't get their first hit untilNick Batkoski led off the fifth with a single to left. Batkoski would go on to score theUW's first run on an error. The Huskies then had the bases loaded with two out forKyle Larsen. Larsen's line drive headed over the second-base bag was snared by theshortstop Steinmeyer, who was playing up the middle in a defensive shift.

UCR broke the game wide open in the fifth, scoring six runs thanks to two walks, twowild pitches, four singles and two Husky errors. With the bases loaded an no outs,Cunningham grounded a ball to Larsen at first. Larsen tried to get the out at the plate, buthis throw home sailed high, allowing two runs to score. When the inning finally endedafter Riverside had sent 11 batters to the plate, the Highlanders led, 10-1.

Riverside added two more in the seventh, helped along by a second Larsen error. TheHusky senior, named the nation's best defensive first baseman by Baseball America, hadmade only seven errors in more than 1,800 career chances entering the game. TheHuskies' four errors were a season-high.

Batkoski had two of the Huskies' five hits in the game, finishing 2-for-3. Salotti,Steinmeyer, Cunningham and Anthony Claggett each had two hits to lead theHighlanders. Steinmeyer reached base five times with two singles and three walks.

The Huskies return to Seattle and to conference play next weekend when California visitsHusky Ballpark for a three-game Pac-10 series. All three games -- 6:30 p.m. on Fridayand 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday -- will air live on KKNW AM-1150.

LINESCORENon-conferenceUC Riverside 14, Washington 1Washington      000 010 000 --  1  5 4UC Riverside    200 260 22X -- 14 13 1Matt Kasser, David Dowling (4), Keaton Everitt (5), BrandonMcKerney (7) and Joey Dunn. Taylor Bills, Daniel Stange(6), Anthony Claggett (9) and Jeff Abney, Jeff Dunbar (9).W - Bills (3-5). L - Kasser (3-3). 2B - UCR, Nick Salotti.T - 2:49. A - 188.
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