In the opening game of a four-game slate at the Tucson Invite, the University of Redlands baseball team shouldered a tough 8-13 loss to Pacific Lutheran University (WA) on Thursday afternoon.
The Bulldogs started strong by taking control in the bottom of the first with a run from junior third baseman Anthony Acosta (Simi Valley, CA) to go up, 1-0.
After holding the Lutes scoreless for two innings, Redlands endured a pair of costly miscues to face a 1-4 deficit heading into the bottom of the third.
Nonetheless, the Bulldogs remained composed and answered with three hits and two runs in the bottom of the frame to make it a one-run game. Senior first baseman Brendan Moore (Murrieta, CA) kicked things off with a sweet double to left center. With one out, sophomore right-fielder Cal Bridges (Fremont, CA) beat the throw to make it onto first. With a walk on the ensuing batter to load the bases, first-year designated hitter Chris Hardin (Highland, CA) benefited from a Lute miscue from the shortstop to reach first and bring home Moore. With the bases still loaded, junior left-fielder Tony Rosario (Monterey Park, CA) stepped up to the plate and sent a bases-clearing double to left field to put Redlands in front, 5-4.
Unfortunately, Pacific Lutheran snatched back the momentum with a nine-run inning to in the top of the fourth.
However, Redlands responded with a quality showing, as senior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) led off the bottom of the frame with an explosive double that nearly made it over the left-center wall. With two on and two outs after a walk, sophomore center-fielder Brennen Carr (Chino Hills, CA) brought both home with a clutch double to right field to cut the lead down to 7-13.
For the remainder of the game, the Maroon and Gray defense played lights out with sophomore pitcher Jake Stewart (El Cajon, CA) on the mound. In the top of the fifth, he forced the Lutes into a double-play that set up a routine fly-ball to retire the inning. The Bulldogs nearly scored in the bottom of the inning when Moore blasted a ball deep down the left-field line with a runner on second and third, but the PLU left-fielder chased it down to make a difficult catch and expire the inning.
Redlands looked to do more damage in the sixth with a run from junior second baseman Andrew Renteria (Van Nuys, CA), but it proved to be the final score of the game for either team.
Overall, Singh went 3-for-5 at the plate, while Carr connected on two hits for three RBI.
Redlands (0-3) returns to action on Friday, February 8, against Sul Ross State University (TX) at 1 p.m. MT and then against George Fox University (OR) at 5 p.m. MT in Tucson.