After relocating its home opener to Hart Park in Orange a day early to squeeze it in before the rain, the University of Redlands baseball team battled it out with Pacific University (OR) on Friday night but came up short in a 2-4 non-conference loss. The teams played a tight contest through eight innings until the Boxers pushed two across in the final frame to earn the edge.
Sophomore pitcher Chris Fousek Jr. (San Diego, CA) climbed the hill for the Maroon and Gray and immediately retired the side in order to efficiently start the game. Offensively, Redlands jumped on the board in the bottom of the first, when sophomore right-fielder Brennen Carr (Chino Hills, CA) doubled to center field with two outs to plate senior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) from third.
Fousek threw another three-up-and-three-down inning in the second, but the Boxers managed to score a run in the top of the third off a sacrifice fly.
During the fourth, Fousek helped his cause by picking off the runner at second in a solid defensive effort. Redlands regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning when junior second baseman Andrew Renteria (Van Nuys, CA) blasted a leadoff home run for the first dinger of his career.
The back-and-forth battle continued in the top of the fifth, as Pacific mustered an unearned run to even the tally at two apiece.
Fousek continued to battle from the bump, amassing eight strikeouts over six innings of work, before giving way to the bullpen.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Bulldogs had a viable offensive opportunity when senior third baseman Eduardo Martinez-Razo (Rialto, CA) reached first on a free pass. Junior Tony Rosario (Monterey Park, CA) pinch ran for him and made his way to third on a Singh single and a wild pitch. Unfortunately, he was left stranded.
Pacific scored twice in the top of the ninth to ultimately earn the win. One defensive highlight of the frame came on a Bulldog double-play from Singh to Renteria to senior first baseman Brendan Moore (Murrieta, CA).
Singh and Renteria each went 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored apiece, while Carr added the only other Bulldog hit with a first-inning double.
Redlands (0-1) aims for redemption on Sunday, February 3, when it hosts Pacific in a doubleheader at the Yard. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m.