Bulldog Baseball Wins Rubber Match to Earn Series Triumph over Whittier

Sean McMillan blasted a three-run homerun in the rubber match of the three-game series to propel Redlands past Whittier.  (Photo Credit:  Karlyn Scheiwe)
Sean McMillan blasted a three-run homerun in the rubber match of the three-game series to propel Redlands past Whittier. (Photo Credit: Karlyn Scheiwe)

The University of Redlands baseball team showed resiliency on Saturday afternoon at Whittier College, as after losing the opening game of the day, the Bulldogs registered a come-from-behind victory in the nightcap to nab the series win over the Poets.  While dropping Saturday's first game, 3-11, Redlands responded in game two with eight runs over the final four innings to win the nightcap, 8-2.

In the opener, the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the first frame, but surrendered four runs over the next two innings to the Poets.  Redlands cut the deficit to just one run when it scored twice in the seventh, but the Poet bats erupted in the eighth frame and scored seven runs en route to the 11-3 victory.

In game one, freshman second baseman Christopher Scalisi (Woodland Hills, CA) led the way at the plate for the Bulldogs with a 3-for-5 performance and one run scored.

In the rubber match of the three-game series with the Poets, Redlands sent junior pitcher Josh Makler (Portland, OR) to the mound to try and earn the series victory for the Maroon and Gray, and Makler did not disappoint.  Despite surrendering two runs through the first four innings, he settled into a groove and went the distance for the Bulldogs, allowing just the two runs while scattering seven hits and striking out two Poet batters.

Despite the solid pitching from Makler, the U of R still trailed by two runs after five innings.  Bulldog freshman catcher Kyle Wallau (San Mateo, CA) got the rally started for Redlands in the top of the sixth, however, with a leadoff single to right field.  A few batters later, junior first baseman Sean McMillan (Redwood City, CA) stepped up to the plate with two outs and ripped an RBI single to left field, scoring Wallau.

Still trailing in the seventh, the Maroon and Gray knew it needed to come up clutch if it was going to complete the comeback.  Scalisi provided the Bulldogs with the clutch play they were looking for, registering an RBI single up the middle with the bases loaded to score sophomore third baseman Mark Tumlinson (Anaheim, CA) on the play.  Sophomore left-fielder Nathan Bowker (Edmond, OK) continued the momentum for the Bulldogs with an RBI single to right field to give Redlands the lead, and senior center-fielder Alex Scheiwe (Encinitas, CA) eventually capped off the big frame with a sacrifice fly to left field, making it a 4-2 Bulldog lead.

Redlands was not done there, as it added one more run in the eighth inning, and then three more in the ninth.  In the big ninth, McMillan provided the power at the plate for the Maroon and Gray when he blasted a homerun over the right-field fence, scoring both Scheiwe and Bowker who were on base at the time of the hit.

With the 8-2 advantage heading into the bottom of the ninth, Makler closed the door on the Poets, retiring them in batting order and securing the series triumph for the Bulldogs.

McMillan finished 2-for-5 at the plate for Redlands with a team-best four RBI, while Dresner added three hits and both Bowker and Wallau tallied two hits in the comeback Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) victory.

Redlands (8-14, 8-7 SCIAC) returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts Rutgers University – Newark (NJ) at The Yard.  First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.  Be sure to follow the action via live stats and the live video stream.