The University of Redlands baseball team split a pair of games at the Tucson Invite on Friday. In the first game against Sul Ross State University (TX), explosive bats from the Bulldogs lifted them to an 8-5 showing for their first victory of the season. In the nightcap of the doubleheader against George Fox University (OR), the Maroon and Gray lost steam in a 1-7 loss.
Against the Lobos, the Bulldogs gained momentum early with a single from junior second baseman Andrew Renteria (Van Nuys, CA) that brought in senior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) to go up, 1-0. In the top of the second, sophomore outfielder Brennen Carr (Chino Hills, CA) led off with a triple before scoring on sophomore outfielder Cal Bridges' (Fremont, CA) sacrifice fly for Redlands' 2-0 lead.
The defense stepped up to protect the lead in the bottom of the second. With a runner on third, Sul Ross State hit a dangerous single to left center. Junior outfielder Joey Wozniak (San Diego, CA) fielded the ball and threw a powerful dart to senior third baseman Eduardo Martinez-Razo (Rialto, CA), who tossed it to first-year catcher Sammy Diaz (Palm Desert, CA) to get the runner out at home to retire the inning with two left on. Although the runner on third scored, the Bulldogs headed into the third up by a score of 2-1.
After a couple of scoreless innings, senior first baseman Brendan Moore (Murrieta, CA) broke the game open with a base-clearing double to left field to help give the Bulldogs a commanding 7-1 lead. In the bottom of the sixth, sophomore Matt Crow (Lake Elsinore, CA) replaced first-year pitcher Cameron Kundig (Redlands, CA), who gave up only four hits and one run in his collegiate debut. Crow made an immediate impact by pitching a three-up-three-down inning.
The Maroon and Gray put one more on the board in the seventh, but the Lobos countered with three runs in the frame to make it 4-7.
With three on base in the bottom of the ninth for the Lobos, junior pitcher Austin Williams (Redlands, CA) closed out the game to secure the Bulldogs' first victory of the season.
In game two against George Fox, Singh touched home on an error for Redlands' 1-0 lead. It was downhill from there, as the Bruins scored two runs in the second to take the lead. Heading into the bottom of the seventh, George Fox tacked on three runs to their 2-1 advantage to control a 5-1 lead. Another two runs from the Bruins in the bottom of the eighth was enough to ice the win.
Redlands (1-4) completes its four-game road-trip in Tucson against Whitman College (WA) on Saturday, February 9, at 10 a.m. MTN.