RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Kris Bryant’s nation-leading 29th home run and an 11-3, sixth-inning lead were not enough for San Diego on Tuesday night at the Riverside Sports Complex. UC Riverside rallied from an eight-run deficit to take a 12-11 victory in ten innings. And with the win, the Highlanders may have played spoiler for San Diego’s chances to receive an at large selection in the NCAA Tournament.
Devyn Bolasky scored in six consecutive plate appearances, including tallying the game-tying run in the ninth inning and the game-winner in the 10th inning.
In the ninth, Bolasky singled up the middle against San Diego freshman sensation PJ Conlon and advanced to third on David Andriese’s fifth hit of the game. Phil Holinsworth chopped a ball to second base, but Austin Bailey and Andrew Daniel’s attempt to roll a pair wasn’t in time to get the speedy Hollinsworth, allowing Bolasky to tie the game.
Holinsworth took third on another single and an intentional walk loaded the bases, but Conlon was able to get a flyout to send the game to extra innings. After Bryant hit a laser right at the centerfielder for an out and Connor Joe was thrown out trying to take second on a pitch in the dirt, the Highlanders’ run-scoring catalyst came to the plate again.
Bolasky reached on a fielder’s choice. With two outs, he swiped second base, taking off on lefty Troy Conyers’ first movement. Clayton Prestridge hit one to the right side on a check swing and with Bailey trying to keep Bolasky close at first, the ball got by his diving attempt. Bolasky slid in with the game-winning run to cap off the comeback.
San Diego got on the board first in the second inning when Lucas Hagberg collected the first of his three hits and three RBI with a single to left field to score Daniel. The Toreros added two more in the third inning with back-to-back RBI doubles from Joe and Austin Green.
Riverside trimmed the lead to 3-2 before San Diego exploded for six runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by a moonshot two-run homer by Bryant that cleared the 15-25 foot tall wall in dead centerfield 400 feet away from home plate. AJ Robinson plated two more runs with a sixth inning single to put the Toreros ahead by eight before Riverside charged back.
The Toreros used eight different pitchers, but no one seemed to have the answer. After Max Homick held Riverside scoreless in the first two innings, the Highlanders scored runs in every inning, including back-to-back three spots in the sixth and seventh innings that trimmed an 11-3 lead down to a manageable two-run deficit.
The Toreros offense knocked 14 hits and scored 11 runs through six innings, but was stymied in the final four frames by Antonio Gonzales, Trevor Frank and Angelo Lingos — getting only a two-out single in the 10th inning.
Lingos collected his first career win while Conyers fell to 1-2. With the loss, San Diego’s RPI dropped to 59, which would likely put them on the outside looking in if the season ended today.
Check out the 26-shot photo gallery from Tuesday’s extra-inning affair: