May 13, 2012

Rubber Game Gets Away From Pacific As Highlanders Win Series

Stockton, Calif. - Brett Christopher and Erik Lockwood continued to pile up hits for Pacific, but the UC Riverside Highlanders took the rubber game of a three-game Big West set, 12-1, Sunday at Klein Family Field.

Christopher, the senior left fielder turned in his third-straight multi-hit game, finished two-for-four with a home run, a triple, an RBI and a run scored. Redshirt freshman 1B Lockwood posted a pair of hits in three at bats with a walk.

Christopher hit .538 for the series (7-for-13) and racked up 12 total bases for a .923 slugging percentage in the series. Lockwood finished the series 4-for-10 with his second-straight two-hit game as he continues his hunt for the Big West batting title.

But the Highlanders tallied 12 runs on 13 hits and a trio of Riverside pitchers allowed seven hits, with Christopher's long ball the only run for the Orange and Black.

In the first inning, Pacific starter LHP Kyle Crawford walked the leadoff man and after a sacrifice bunt, 1B Vince Gonzalez posted an RBI single through the right side for a 1-0 lead. After a walk, DH Kevin Davidson added an RBI single and RF David Andriese added a sac fly before Crawford picked off Davidson to end the inning.

The Highlanders added a run in the third as LF Clayton Prestridge singled and Andriese was hit by pitch. On a double-steal, the throw down to third sailed high, allowing Prestridge to trot home.

Riverside stretched the margin to 5-0 in the fourth, as 2B Nick Vilter homered to left before RHP Bryce Lombardi took over for Crawford.

Christopher opened the Pacific fourth with a solo home to left, his third home run of the year and ninth career longball.

In the Riverside fifth, Prestridge singled to left field, stole second and scored on an RBI single to center by Davidson.

Junior LHP Travis Lumby posted the final out of the fifth on one pitch, but in the seventh,  Andriese walked and Vilter singled to right. Following a walk to C Bart Steponovich, SS Eddie Young doubled down the left-field line for two runs, and CF Phil Holinsworth greeted RHP Thomas Berolzheimer with a single to left for two more runs.

Crawford (2-7) allowed four earned in 3.2 innings of work, striking out two, while three earned were charged to Lombardi, who fanned one. Lumby finished with four earned in two innings of work, striking out two. Berolzheimer allowed just the single to Holinsworth in his 1.1 inning stint, striking out one. Sophomore Paul Moeller tossed a hit-less ninth for Pacific.

Riverside's Dylan Stuart (6-6) picked up the win, going 7.0 innings with six hits and one earned allowed. He struck out six before giving way to LHP Zach Varela, who walked one and struck out two in the eighth. RHP Kevin Sprague walked a batter and gave up a double to PH Jacob Goulder in the ninth.

Riverside improves to 19-27 overall, 7-11 in the Big West.

Pacific (12-37 overall, 2-16 BWC) will wrap an eight-game home stand on Tuesday against WCC foe Santa Clara at 6 p.m. at Klein Family Field.