The University of Redlands baseball team extended its winning streak to five games after putting up 16 runs against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges Stags in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown in the Yard on Friday afternoon. In addition to the offensive outpouring, the Bulldogs' pitching staff was on point, marking the fourth shutout in the last four outings.
The Bulldogs came out hot early, as they posted a crooked number of seven runs in the bottom of the first inning. Senior shortstop Jordan Dresner (Etiwanda, CA) kicked off the big inning by singling to the shortstop, allowing sophomore second baseman Christopher Scalisi (Woodland Hills, CA) to touch home. Senior right-fielder Connor Hancock (Burbank, CA) stepped up a batter later and squared up a ball that exited the ballpark quickly on a frozen rope for a three-run dinger, putting the Bulldogs up by a score of 4-0.
Redlands' hit parade was far from over, as sophomore center-fielder Christian Conci (San Mateo, CA) kept the merry-go-round of runs spinning with a two-out triple to left-center field, scoring junior first baseman Ryan Franklin (Manhattan Beach, CA) and freshman designated hitter Joey Warner (Indio, CA). Scalisi stepped up for his second at-bat of the inning and plated Conci with a knock through the right side for the 7-0 lead.
Freshman hurler Felix Minjarez (Riverside, CA) impressed in his ninth start of the year, as his stuff was working better than ever before. Minjarez was nearly unhittable on the bump, as he effectively changed speeds en route to a scoreless five innings and eight strikeouts.
"I have a lot of passion for the game," said Minjarez, when asked about his contributions during his inaugural campaign for the Maroon and Gray. "It is easy when you can connect with your teammates and coaching staff. It's really about coming in, having that drive, and having that love for the game."
During his nine starts, the freshman phenome has recorded five or more strikeouts in seven contests to mark 60 strikeouts on the year. In addition, he has walked less than five batters in each appearance.
With the dominance of Minjarez on the mound, the offense continued to roll for the Bulldogs. Junior third baseman Mark Tumlinson (Anaheim, CA) launched a three-run round-tripper over the left-field wall in the third inning to extend Redlands' lead to 10-0.
Redlands kept the offensive floodgates open, with a six-spot in the fourth stanza. Senior catcher Sean McMillan (Redwood City, CA) muscled an RBI-double over the center-fielder's head that one-hopped the fence, plating Scalisi. Junior left-fielder Mitch Samson (Orangevale, CA), Franklin, and Scalisi each notched RBI-singles in the inning as well, pushing the U of R lead to a commanding 16-0.
Senior reliever Josh Makler (Portland, OR) entered into the game for the final two frames in the shortened contest and slammed the door on the Stags. During two scoreless innings, he allowed no hits and struck out one batter.
Minjarez remains undefeated on the year as he picks up his seventh win of the season.
Scalisi and Franklin went a combined 6-for-6 at the dish for three RBI and six runs scored. Hancock produced a 1-for-3 day that included his team-leading fifth homerun on the campaign. Tumlinson launched his first homerun of the year, while Warner notched a 2-for-4 day with two runs scored.
In addition, every Bulldog starter recorded a hit in the contest.
Head Coach Aaron Holley is nothing but pleased with his team's play over the course of the season thus far.
"It is a testament to the guys and how well they've prepared and stay focused, and understanding that this is important," said Holley. "Everybody's staying focused and doing their best. I think they're doing a good job."
The Bulldogs (21-9, 14-8 SCIAC) complete the three-game series against the Stags (5-25, 3-16 SCIAC) with a doubleheader on the road in Claremont on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m.