Washington splits double-header with UC-Riverside

The Husky baseball team split a double-header today against UC Riverside, playing nearly six hours of baseball in the midst of bone-chilling weather conditions. Washington (8-6) won the first game 6-1 and dropped the second game 7-4.

Game One:

Washington right-hander Shawn Kohn continued his dominance this season, allowing only one run in a full nine innings of work as the Huskies won easily, 6-1, on one of the most frigid days of the year.

The one earned run credited to Kohn came in the fifth inning, when UC Riverside second baseman Randy Blood reached on a wind-aided fly ball that Husky left fielder Jay Garthwaite misplayed and let fly behind his reach. Blood was given a double on the play, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of first baseman Brian Emmons.

Other than that, Kohn had his way with the Highlanders. The senior spread out six hits and struck out six , moving to 4-0 on the young season.

Washington got on the board with two runs in the second inning off UC Riverside starter Chris Smith. Back-to-back doubles by Jay Garthwaite and hot-hitting Kyle Larsen plated Garthwaite, and a single by catcher Aaron Hathaway two batters later scored Larsen.

The Diamond Dawgs tacked on two more in the fifth despite getting only one hit in the inning. Tila Reynolds led off the inning by reaching on a hit-by-pitch. Michael Done walked. That brought up bulky right fielder Tyler Davidson, who ripped a two-run triple to make it a 4-1 game.

Smith left the game one out into the sixth after giving one more run on a sacrifice fly from Bryan Johnson. He gave up five earned runs, walked four and struck out five before giving away to relief.

Hathaway knocked in another Husky run in the eighth with his third hit of the game, a single that plated Larsen, who reached earlier on a double.

Hathaway finished 3-4 for the game, leading the Husky attack. Larsen and Davidson each added two hits.

Kohn closed the door but shutting down the Highlanders the rest of the way.

Smith dropped to 4-2 on the year for UC Riverside.

One hour prior to game time, last night's dusting of snow remained blotched on the field. Fortunately, the sun peeked through the clouds and melted all of the white stuff away in time for game one to start as scheduled.

Originally, the Huskies and Highlanders were scheduled to play single games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But due to a threatening weather forcast for this weekend, the teams agreed to switch to a double-header today and a single game on Sunday.

Game Notes:

Player of the Game:
Kohn entered the game with a miniscule 0.86 ERA, and allowed only one earned run in a complete game effort. He has established himself as the ace of the staff, now having allowed only three earned runs in 30 innings pitched this season.

Play of the Game:
Davidson's two-RBI triple in the fifth inning broke the game open at 4-1 and gave Kohn all the run support he needed to cruise to victory.

Game Two:

Junior right-hander Julio Fernandez pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on five hits, leading UC Riverside over Washington, 7-4, in the nightcap of the double-header,

Washington entered the ninth inning down three, and with two outs Tila Reynolds walked to bring the tying run at the plate in Michael Done. Done, who leads the team in homeruns with five on the season, hit a 2-2 pitch on the nose, but right at the centerfielder Brian Wahlbrink to end the game.

Fernandez improved to 2-2 with the victory.

The Highlanders came out fast, going ahead 2-0 with one run in the second and another in the third, the second of which came on a solo homer off the bat of right fielder Tim Faulkner.

Washington fought back to tie the game in timely fashion. They scored a run in the bottom of the third when centerfielder Brandon Jacobson singled and came around to score on a throwing error by shortstop Scott Powis. Then, they tacked on one more an inning later on an RBI single by freshman third baseman Nick Batkoski that scored left fielder Jay Garthwaite from second base.

With the score tied at two, UC Riverside took charge.

They re-established the lead in the fifth with a sacrifice fly from Wahlbrink that scored Rich Hofman from third base. Then, with two outs and a runner on third, catcher Jimmy Anderson ripped a hard grounder into the hole between third base and shortstop.

Washington shortstop Tila Reynolds went quickly to his right, fielded the ball cleanly, and threw a frozen-rope to first baseman Kyle Larsen that looked to be the third out of the inning, but first base umpire Tim Stevens ruled that Larsen came off the bag. That call allowed the runner to come home from third.

Husky starter, freshman David Dowling, got the final out of the inning one batter later, and that would be it for him. Dowling was replaced an inning later by sophomore flame-thrower Trevor Gibson having given up four runs - two of which were earned - in his first-career start.

Gibson went right at the Highlanders with his low-90s fastball, and ran into trouble. He gave up three runs in an inning and two-thirds of work, including a solo homerun to Powis in the sixth. That gave the visitors from California a 7-2 lead.

Washington closed the gap in the eighth when Garthwaite ripped a two-run homer over the right field wall. That set up the dramatic ninth inning that saw Washington put a scare into the Highlanders, coming up short nevertheless.

Dowling dropped to 0-1 for the year.

With the two-out walk in his final at-bat of the night, Reynolds went 0-3 in the game, ending his 13-game hitting streak.

No Husky had more than one hit.

Game Notes:

Player of the Game: UC Riverside starter Julio Fernandez gave up only five hits over nine innings and never gave the Huskies a chance to sneak back into the game until the final inning.

Play of the Game: Tim Faulkner's solo homerun to leadoff the third inning put the Highlanders ahead 3-0, and they would never look back.

Up Next: Due to the scheduling change, the Huskies will have tomorrow off before wrapping up the three-game series with the Highlanders on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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