The University of Redlands baseball team completed its trip to Austin, Texas, with a doubleheader split against Concordia University on Sunday. In the opening seven-inning game, the Tornados escaped with a 5-3 win, while the Bulldogs pulled away late in a 4-0 shutout during the nightcap, which handed the Tornados their first loss of the young season.
To open the day, sophomore right-fielder Cal Bridges (Fremont, CA) scored off of first-year catcher Sammy Diaz's (Palm Desert, CA) single through the left side.
Although the Tornados scored a run in the bottom of the first, first-year pitcher Andrew Rueter (San Diego, CA) allowed only one hit over the next two innings to hold off Concordia.
The Tornados eventually pulled ahead, 2-1, through four innings. But a leadoff double from junior left-fielder Tony Rosario (Monterey Park, CA) began a strong fifth inning for the Maroon and Gray. Junior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) pushed him across with a single up the right side to knot the game at 2-2. The Bulldogs regained the lead when Singh used his speed to cross the plate on an infield groundout.
However, Concordia answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning and then followed that up with a single score in the sixth to secure the 5-3 decision.
Game two proved to be a defensive stalemate through four innings. After junior pitcher Michael Rishebarger (Oceanside, CA) retired the top of the fifth with a strikeout, the Bulldogs put the first score on the board with a sacrifice fly from senior first baseman Brendan Moore (Murrieta, CA).
Rishebarger continued his solid game by picking off a runner at first and then sitting down a Concordia batter for the final out of the sixth inning.
Redlands cracked the game open when Singh doubled down the left-field line to bring in the third run of the game. On the next at-bat, Moore registered another sacrifice fly to plate Bridges. For the final run of the game, the Bulldogs capitalized on an error by the Tornados to push across Singh for the 4-0 lead.
After lifting Rishebarger in the seventh, first-year pitcher Chris Hardin (San Bernardino, CA) went on to close the game with a clean inning in the ninth to secure the save in the team's first shutout win of the season.
For the game, Rishebarger struck out four batters in 6.2 innings pitched for the win.
Redlands (4-6) returns home to begin its Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) season by taking on Whittier College on Friday, February 22. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Yard.