Diamond Dawgs take one to the River

Curt Rindal broke a 6-6 tie with a bases loaded two run single with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Huskies went on to defeat UC-Riverside 12-6 in a non-conference game at Husky Ballpark on Saturday afternoon.

With the win the Huskies won their second straight game and improved to 18-15 while the Highlanders dropped to 21-14.

Rindal finished 3 for 4 with five runs batted in to lead the Husky offense. He gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with a double down the left field line, scoring Michael Burgher. Ty Rasmussen lined another double into the left field corner to score Rindal and make it 2-0.

The Highlanders took the lead against starter Cam Nobles in the top of the third, scoring four runs. With one out Jaime Pedroza doubled over the head of Burgher in center field and scored on a double to left center by Mark Samuelson. Aaron Wible walked and Mike Vass singled to load the bases. Nobles walked Ben Price to force home Samuelson to make it 2-2 and then Kyle Barratt broke the tie with a ground single to right, scoring Wible and Vass. Leadoff batter Carl Uhl looked like he would plate another run with a grounder up the middle but shortstop Brian Pearl dove to his left to snare the ball and flipped to second baseman Danny Cox to force Barratt and end the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Huskies regained the lead with four runs of their own. With one out Burgher reached safely on a chop single to third. He stole second and Jake Rife walked. Matt Hague advanced the runners a base with a groundout to third and Rindal followed with a line single to left center to score Burgher and Rife and tie the game at 4. Rasmussen grounded his second double of the game inside the left field line and Joey Dunn plated both Rindal and Rasmussen with a single to left, giving the Huskies a 6-4 lead.

The Highlanders answered right away in the top of the sixth with a pair of runs against third Husky pitcher Harrison Bishop to tie the game. With one out Uhl hit a grounder to second for the apparent second out of the inning, but Cox bobbled the ball, allowing Uhl to reach safely. Joey Gonzales walked, and Pedroza lined a single to center to score Uhl. A wild pitch by Brandon McKerney allowed Gonzales and Pedroza to move up 90 feet, and a grounder by Samuelson to second scored Gonzales with the tying run.

After their four runs in the bottom of the fifth sent Riverside starter Marc Rzepczynski to the showers after throwing 108 pitches, the Huskies broke the 6-6 tie with a pair of runs against reliever Stephen Penney. Singles by Cox and Burgher and a hit batter loaded the bases for Rindal. Rindal grounded a 1-1 pitch into left field to score Cox and Burgher and make it 8-6.

The Huskies then broke the game open with four runs in the bottom of the seventh. Dunn led off with his third home run of the season, a towering fly ball over the bullpen in left field, to make it 9-6. Pearl singled and Brett Kaluza walked. Penney uncorked a wild pitch to advance the runners, and then struck out Cox, but a wild pitch on strike three allowed Cox to reach safely and Pearl to score to make it 10-6. Highlander coach Doug Smith brought Dan Runzler into the game to relieve Penney and he walked Burgher to load the bases. Runzler then hit pinch hitter Trevor Petersen to force home Kaluza. Cox scored the final run when Hague grounded into a double play. McKerney, the fourth Husky pitcher, recorded the win to improve to 2-0. He allowed no runs on no hits with one walk and one strikeout in one and two thirds innings. Penney suffered the loss to drop to 3-2. He yielded six runs, all earned, on five hits and one walk in only one plus innings. He struck out two.

The Huskies look to sweep the Highlanders in the series finale at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. They then travel to Portland for a single game on Tuesday, April 17 at 3 p.m. against the Pilots before resuming Pac-10 play with a three game series against USC at Husky Ballpark beginning Friday, April 20.

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