UC Riverside Evens Big West Series With 3-0 Victory on Saturday
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Right-handers Matt Larkins and Dustin Emmons combined on a four-hit shutout as UC Riverside blanked Cal Poly 3-0 in the second game of a Big West Conference baseball series Saturday night before 1,007 in Baggett Stadium.
In evening the series at a game apiece, the Highlanders improved to 11-10 for the season while Cal Poly fell to 9-13. Both teams are 1-1 in Big West games.
Larkins (4-1) struck out nine and walked two in six innings of work while Emmons recorded three strikeouts in three frames. Both pitchers gave up two hits.
The loss went to Mustang senior right-hander Steven Fischback (2-2), who surrendered three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings with two walks and five strikeouts. Fischback threw a season-high 99 pitches. Senior southpaw Frankie Reed tossed 2 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings in relief of Fischback with four strikeouts.
UC Riverside scored a run in the second inning and two more in the sixth. Center fielder Phil Holinsworth's infield single up the middle tallied the first Highlander run and left fielder David Andriese doubled down the left-field line to score two in the sixth.
Cal Poly, shut out for the third time this season, had only one runner reach third base and two others make it to second. Larkins and Emmons combined to retire 12 Mustang batters in a row prior to Bobby Crocker's two-out single in the eighth which extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Crocker stole second but was left stranded.
Second baseman Denver Chavez tripled with two outs in the third inning, but was left there, and catcher Chris Hoo reached second in the second inning on a single and groundout before another groundout ended the inning.
Cal Poly's four hits were singles by Hoo, Crocker and designated hitter DJ Gentile along with the triple by Chavez.
UC Riverside collected seven hits, including two singles and a double by Andriese and a pair of singles by shortstop Trevor Hairgrove.
On Friday night, Mason Radeke and Jeff Johnson combined on a four-hitter as Cal Poly beat UC Riverside 4-1 in the series opener.
Rubber match of the series is set for Sunday at 1 o'clock. Cal Poly will start freshman right-hander Chase Johnson (0-2, 3.68 ERA) while UC Riverside will counter with sophomore right-hander Trevor Frank (1-0, 2.70 ERA).
The Mustangs will be trying to win a series against the Highlanders for the first time since the 2006 season.