No. 21 UC Irvine Edged By UC Riverside

Connor Spencer was 2 for 4 with an RBI

RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- UC Irvine was the beneficiary of three runs on three errors by the Highlanders but the Anteaters' lone error in the game would lead to the eventual game-winning run for UC Riverside in a 4-3 decision at The Plex Thursday in Riverside.

Shortstop Joe Chavez's error on a groundball by Ronnie Shaeffer allowed Connor Spencer to score from second to give UCI a 1-0 lead.  

UCR tied the score in the bottom of the first on David Andriese's two-out RBI triple, plating Devyn Bolasky, who led off the inning with a single.

However, UCI took the lead third, aided by an error from starter Dylan Stuart. After Dominique Taylor's leadoff single, Stuart's throw to first on a Grant Palmer bunt hit Palmer and allowed Taylor to take third on the play. Spencer lifted the first pitch from Stuart to center for the run-scoring sacrifice and the 2-1 lead.

Stuart committed his second error in the fourth, throwing away the ball on a bunt single by Jonathan Herkins that allowed the outfielder to take second. Taylor delivered with a clutch hit through the left side to score Herkins as UCI built a 3-1 margin.

The Highlanders erased that lead in the fourth as Kyle Boudreau hit a two-out, two-run home run off starter Andrew Thurman to knot the score again at 3-3.

UC Riverside led off the seventh inning with a single and base on balls and the Anteaters turned to reliever Mitch Merten, who jumped on a bunt by Devyn Bolasky and connected with Taylor Sparks at third to get the lead runner. Merten then induced a grounder to short but Grant Palmer's throw on the tail end of the double-play attempt went wide past Spencer and Cody Hough would score to give the Highlanders a one-run lead.

That run would stand as Trevor Frank held UCI to a hit in 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn his fourth save of the year.

Thurman fell to 2-3 after allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits while striking out six in six innings of work. Merten logged two hitless innings in relief, making his second appearance of the season.

Spencer and Taylor each went 2 for 4 with an RBI while Herkins also added two hits.

Starter Dylan Stuart climbed to 3-2 after pitching 7.2 innings and giving up three unearned runs on nine hits.

The series continues Friday at 6:00 p.m.

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