Baseball Concludes 2017 Home Schedule With Three Games vs UC Irvine, One vs Oregon

Riverside—The UC Riverside Baseball Team concludes its 2017 home schedule over the next several days as the Highlanders host UC Irvine in a three-game Big West Conference series over the weekend, and Oregon in a single game on Monday afternoon. Friday and Saturday’s games are being broadcast around the world via ESPN3.With two conference weekends remaining on the schedule, the Highlanders can still finish as high as fifth place in the Big West, as they trail the current fifth-place team, Hawai’i, by three games.After scoring six runs over a three-game stretch, UC Riverside exploded for 11 runs in an 11-6 decision at UC Davis on Sunday (box score/recap). The last time the Highlanders scored that many runs in a game was on March 18 of this year in an 11-2 victory over CUS Bakersfield (box score/recap)—a span of 29 games.Senior outfielder Mark Contreras continues to lead the team in all three slash line categories at .361/.425/.569. Those figures would rank second, fourth and third respectively in the Big West, but Contreras hasn’t played in enough games yet to qualify for the league’s leader board due to a hand injury that kept him out of the lineup for most of the month of March.Junior shortstop Colby Schultz is the other UC Riverside regular who is hitting better than .300 on the season with a slash line of .304/.381/.397. Freshman designated hitter Connor Cannon leads the team with eight home runs and 28 RBIs. His eight dingers are two shy of tying the program record for home runs by a freshman.The Highlanders ERA has decreased from 5.57 to 5.27 over the past four weeks. Right-hander Ryan Lillie (2-5, 3.98) gets the start on Friday. He has 68 Ks and just 17 in 61.0 innings, and leads the Big West with 10.03 strikeouts per nine innings. Lillie also holds the opposition to a .240 batting average.Saturday starter Alex Fagalde (6 …

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