Redlands Baseball Completes Series Sweep of Caltech

Joe Bell had a big day for the Bulldogs at the plate.  (Photo Credit:  Ellis Hazard)
Joe Bell had a big day for the Bulldogs at the plate. (Photo Credit: Ellis Hazard)

The University of Redlands baseball team swept the Beavers of Caltech during a three-game series over the weekend, winning game one, 10-6, game two 8-1, and game three 14-4 in seven innings.  Solid pitching performances and impressive team hitting propelled the Bulldogs to the important Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) victories.

Senior pitcher Eliot Smith (West Linn, OR) took to the hill on Friday afternoon at Caltech and went six-strong innings while dispersing seven hits, allowing one run and striking out 11 batters.  Sophomore right-fielder Nathaniel Acosta (Chino Hills, CA) continued his sensational campaign by providing another big effort at the plate for Redlands, going 2-for-4 with a two-run homerun.

In game one of Saturday's doubleheader at The Yard, senior pitcher Kyle Hart (Burbank, CA) threw a gem of a game, going eight innings while allowing just four hits and one earned run while striking out five.  At the dish, sophomore catcher Sean McMillan (Redwood City, CA) registered a monster day with two hits, three RBI and one run scored.  Additionally, senior second baseman Jason Henning (Redlands, CA) and senior center-fielder Marcus Himelhoch (Portland, OR) added two hits and one RBI apiece while Acosta tallied a team-high three hits.

The third contest of the three-game series saw Redlands fall behind early and trail after two innings, 1-2.  Responding with a big answer in the bottom in the third, the Bulldogs put a four-spot up on the scoreboard to retake the lead, 5-2.  Sophomore shortstop Jordan Dresner (Etiwanda, CA) started the rally when he reached on a single to left field.  Henning then singled and McMillan ripped an RBI base hit through the left side, scoring Dresner on the play.  After Acosta and Himelhoch both recorded RBIs, junior designated hitter Joe Bell (Bakersfield, CA) belted a line-drive single to center field to give the Maroon and Gray the three-run advantage. 

From that point on, it was smooth sailing for the rest of game three as the Bulldogs cruised to the 10-run triumph in seven innings.  Bell notched a team-high three RBI for the game while Himelhoch, Acosta, Dresner and freshman pinch-hitter Jake Hirshman (Scottsdale, AZ) each tallied two RBI.  On the mound for the U of R, freshman pitcher John Keane (Clayton, CA) went the distance while allowing only three earned runs and fanning eight Beaver batters.

Redlands (5-5, 4-2 SCIAC) now prepares for Pomona-Pitzer Colleges which it hosts on Friday, March 1, at The Yard.  First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.