The University of Redlands baseball team faced off against the Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ) Ducks in a non-conference doubleheader at The Yard on Monday. The Bulldogs laced a combined 25 hits en route to a sweep against the Ducks with final scores of 7-6 and 12-6.
In game one, senior hurler Kevin Stevens (Highland, CA) was granted the start and provided the Bulldogs with quality innings early by pitching to contact and utilizing his solid defense en route to a one-run showing through the first three frames.
Facing a 0-1 deficit entering into bottom of the third inning, senior left-fielder Mitch Samson (Orangevale, CA) got the ball rolling offensively by muscling a deep fly ball to dead center that carried over the center-fielder's head, allowing junior catcher Kyle Wallau (San Mateo, CA) and senior center-fielder Nathan Bowker (Edmond, OK) to score. Senior first baseman John Keane (Clayton, CA) followed by lofting a deep fly ball out to the center field, scoring Samson via sacrifice fly for the Bulldogs' 3-1 lead.
After Stevens plated three runs in the top of the fifth inning due in part to subpar Bulldog defense, Redlands continued to swing the bat well and remain in contention of the lead.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, sophomore designated hitter Joey Warner (Indio, CA) put the ball in play with the bases loaded and reached on a fielder's choices, allowing Bowker to touch home to tie the ball game at 4-4.
After scoring the game-tying run the following inning, Bowker laid down a nicely-placed suicide squeeze in the bottom of the sixth inning to push across the go-ahead run in the form of senior right-fielder Christian Gurrola (Torrance, CA). Warner followed with a sacrifice fly in the next inning, giving the Bulldogs a 6-4 lead.
Unfortunately, Stevens tied the game up at 6-6 in the top of the eighth inning to put the pressure on Redlands once again.
The Bulldogs wasted no time in taking the lead, as Wallau dug into the box and sent a back-foot breaking ball soaring over the left-field wall for the go-ahead run on a solo shot.
After entering into the game in the top of the eighth inning, junior closer John White (Burbank, CA) wiggled out of a small jam in the top of the ninth to slam the door en route to the Bulldogs' 7-6 win.
White earned the win after tossing 1.2 innings, allowing just one hit, and fanning two batters.
Wallau went 2-for-4 with the go-ahead dinger, a double, an RBI, and two runs scored. Bowker was a perfect 2-for-2 at the dish with two runs scored and an RBI.
In game two, the Bulldogs got off to a slow start after allowing five runs through the first three frames. However, they charged back in the bottom of the third inning by etching a five-spot on the scoreboard.
After leading off the inning with a hard single to left-center field, freshman shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) touched home on a base-knock through the left side, compliments of junior second baseman Christopher Scalisi (Woodland Hills, CA). Sophomore designated hitter Rainier Aguilar (San Bernardino, CA) followed with a single to center, scoring Samson. One batter later, senior first baseman Ryan Franklin (Manhattan Beach, CA) scored Scalisi on a fielder's choice, which was backed by a two-RBI-double off the barrel of junior center-fielder Christian Conci (San Mateo, CA) to tie the game at five apiece.
The Bulldogs continued to roll in the bottom of the fourth inning, with Gurrola poking a sacrifice groundout to the first baseman, scoring Singh. Two batters later, Aguilar found the gap for a two-RBI-triple, which was backed by a sacrifice fly from senior third baseman Mark Tumlinson (Anaheim, CA) to put the Maroon and Gray ahead by a score of 9-5.
Sophomore reliever Noah Jones (San Bernardino, CA) worked well out of the bullpen with the comfortable four-run cushion and cruised through the last three-out-of-four innings of work while notching two strikeouts and blanking the Ducks' offense. Sophomore reliever Adam Stead (Rialto, CA) made his second appearance in the past three games and did an outstanding job by allowing a mere hit and recording one punch-out en route to the 12-6 win.
Aguilar was a monster at the dish by going 2-for-3 with a triple, two walks, three RBI, and two runs scored. Singh was a flawless 3-for-3, while Samson, Conci, and Scalisi each inked two knocks.
Jones earned the win after tossing four innings.
The Bulldogs (16-6) return to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action on Friday, March 25, with a showdown against the first-place Occidental College Tigers on the road at 3 p.m.