The University of Redlands baseball team continued Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action on Friday afternoon by facing off against the University of La Verne Leopards at The Yard. The Bulldog bats came to play early and never simmered down, as they barreled 16 hits en route to 14 runs and a mercy-rule victory in seven innings.
After tossing a no-no in his first career start against the Leopards last season, sophomore hurler Felix Minjarez (Riverside, CA) picked up exactly where he left off by tossing a complete game while giving up a mere two runs and striking out two batters.
The Bulldog bats were very potent early as the offense worked to toss up a five-spot in the opening frame. Sophomore designated hitter Joey Warner (Indio, CA) fueled the RBI train by plating senior left-fielder Mitch Samson (Orangevale, CA) with a single through the left side. Senior right-fielder Christian Gurrola (Torrance, CA) followed suit by driving a two-RBI-double into right center-field, scoring junior second baseman Christopher Scalisi (Woodland Hills, CA) and Warner. Junior center-fielder Christian Conci (San Mateo, CA) cut a piece of the RBI pie by notching a sacrifice groundout in the ensuing at-bat to score senior third baseman Mark Tumlinson (Anaheim, CA). Junior catcher Kyle Wallau (San Mateo, CA) notched an RBI-single to score Gurrola and secure the Bulldogs' early 5-0 lead.
Redlands' bats remained scorching hot during the following inning, as Samson scored once again on an RBI-single off the bat of Scalisi. Warner notched his second-consecutive RBI-hit by slapping a double down the right-field line, plating senior first baseman John Keane (Clayton, CA). Tumlinson put his hard-hat on and did a solid job of providing a sacrifice groundout to score Scalisi. Gurrola capped off the early scoring by singling through the right side for the Maroon and Gray's commanding 9-0 advantage after two full innings.
On the mound, Minjarez continued to cruise through the Leopard line-up. Despite only fanning two batters throughout the course of seven innings, he relied heavily on his defense, as the team played errorless baseball.
The Bulldogs added four more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, highlighted by a bases-clearing triple from sophomore shortstop Will Hall, en route to a 14-2 victory.
Warner went a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish, including a double, three RBI, and two runs scored. Samson went 4-for-5 in the lead-off position while scoring three runs, and Gurrola punched home a 2-for-3 day with a double, two runs scored, and three RBI.
The Bulldogs (8-4, 6-1 SCIAC) complete the three-game set against the Leopards on Saturday, March 5, with a doubleheader in La Verne. The first pitch is set for 11 a.m.