In its first extra-inning game of the 2014 campaign, the University of Redlands baseball team edged Occidental College at The Yard on Friday afternoon, 6-5. It took 11 innings, but the Bulldogs got it done en route to their 10th Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) triumph of the season.
Both teams' pitchers found their groove early on in the contest, cruising through the first three innings with no score.
Occidental scored first in the fourth frame with a solo homerun, but the Bulldogs responded when senior designated hitter Max Hardman (Encinitas, CA) led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a long homerun over the right-field fence. Redlands tacked on one more later in the frame when freshman second baseman Christopher Scalisi (Woodland Hills, CA) laced an RBI double to left field to make it 2-1 in favor of the home side.
While the Tigers pulled one back in the seventh, Scalisi came up big once again in the bottom half of the inning when he ripped an RBI double down the left-field line, scoring two U of R base-runners.
Up three runs heading into the ninth, the U of R pitching staff could not close the door on the Tigers, surrendering a trio of runs which forced the contest into free baseball.
In the extra innings, neither side scored in the 10th, but the Maroon and Gray immediately threatened in its turn at the plate during the 11th frame.
After a couple of Bulldogs were hit by pitches at the dish, sophomore left-fielder Nathan Bowker (Edmond, OK) laid down a perfect bunt, and in the process of getting to first base before the ball did, he forced the Tiger pitcher into a wild throw, allowing Tumlinson to come around and score the winning run.
In the dramatic win, senior pitcher Ross Orman (Corvallis, OR) earned the victory while pitching two scoreless innings of relief for the U of R in the 10th and 11th frames. Freshman pitcher Hayden Haight (Redlands, CA) provided the Bulldogs with a valiant effort as the starter, hurling eight strong innings while surrendering just four runs and seven hits.
At the plate, Hardman racked up a team-best three hits, while Scalisi tallied two hits and three RBI. In addition, Bowker also notched two hits on the afternoon.
Redlands (11-18, 10-9 SCIAC) concludes its series with Occidental (12-15, 8-8 SCIAC) tomorrow in Eagle Rock. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 11 a.m.