The University of Redlands baseball team opened its 2014 campaign on the road on Tuesday afternoon against Vanguard University, and despite getting on the board first, the Bulldogs fell to the Lions, 2-6. Regardless of the loss, the Bulldogs saw a number of players perform well under the guidance of new Head Coach, Aaron Holley.
The Maroon and Gray jumped on top early, scoring in the first inning. Junior designated-hitter Sean McMillan (Redwood City, CA) registered the RBI in the frame, hitting a sacrifice fly to left field to score freshman second baseman Christopher Scalisi (Woodland Hills, CA) on the play.
The Lions responded with four runs in the bottom of the first, however, nabbing their first lead of the contest.
Redlands pulled one back in the top of the fourth when freshman catcher Kyle Wallau (San Mateo, CA) ripped a single to right-centerfield, plating junior right-fielder Connor Hancock (Burbank, CA) from second base.
While the Lions added one more in the bottom of the fourth, the U of R did not back down and eventually got runners on second and third base with no outs in the seventh inning. Three-straight outs, however, kept the Bulldogs from taking advantage of the golden opportunity.
Vanguard (8-0) scored once more in the bottom of the seventh, sealing the Lions' eighth win of the year.
Leading the way at the plate for the Bulldogs were Scalisi and Wallau, each with two hits, while sophomore third baseman Mark Tumlinson (Anaheim, CA), sophomore first baseman Ryan Franklin (Manhattan Beach, CA), and senior left-fielder Max Hardman (Encinitas, CA) notched a hit apiece.
Junior pitcher Josh Makler (Portland, OR) picked up the loss for Redlands, going two innings and giving up just one hit while surrendering four runs. The bullpen did a tremendous job the rest of the way for the Bulldogs, with three pitchers not allowing a single run and two others giving up just one run each. Sophomore pitcher Michael Collins (Upland, CA) performed the best of the group, going one inning and retiring three-consecutive Vanguard batters.
The U of R (0-1) returns to action on Friday when it travels to Arizona for non-conference contests against Division-III schools from the Northwest Conference in the Arizona Desert Classic. The Bulldogs open the four-game trip with Pacific Lutheran University (WA) on Friday afternoon at 12:30 pm PST before playing three other opponents over the course of the weekend.
For a complete look at the 2014 Bulldog baseball schedule, please visit the team's official schedule page.