The University of Redlands baseball team stepped up with an all-around performance to complete the sweep over Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) foe, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, at The Yard on Saturday. The Bulldogs extended the lead late in the opening 8-5 win and finished the day in walk-off fashion in their 4-3 victory.
Although the Bulldogs began the first game behind two runs after one, they quickly regrouped and saw first-year center fielder Payton Walsh (Santa Ana, CA) go yard for a three-RBI homer to right field for a 3-2 lead in the second inning.
After the Sagehens answered with a slight 4-3 advantage in the top of the fifth, the Bulldogs looked to senior first baseman Brendan Moore (Murrieta, CA) to lead off with a double for a strong start to the frame. He made it home on sophomore right fielder Cal Bridges' (Fremont, CA) single to tie the game at four through five innings.
To cap off a strong defensive stanza in the top of the sixth, senior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) robbed a hit with an impressive leaping grab to cut the frame short for the Sagehens. Immediately following a pitching change from Pomona-Pitzer, first-year designated hitter Alex Olague (Renton, WA) launched a double to the left-center fence to get things going in the bottom of the sixth. He touched home on junior third baseman Anthony Acosta's (Simi Valley, CA) single for Redlands' 4-5 advantage. Junior second baseman Andrew Renteria (Van Nuys, CA) doubled to left center on the next play to send Singh across and extend the lead to 6-4.
Although the Sagehens closed the gap to one with a run in the seventh, Olague's bat remained hot with an explosive triple to plate senior third baseman Eduardo Martinez-Razo (Rialto, CA). Walsh capitalized with a single to center field on the next at-bat, which sent Olague home for the Bulldogs' 8-5 lead.
After another strong three-up, three-down inning for first-year pitcher Andrew Rueter (San Diego, CA) in the eighth, Singh ended the game by sacrificing his body with another remarkable grab to seal the victory.
Olague went 2-for-4, including a triple and a double, while Walsh finished 3-for-3 with four RBI and a run scored.
In game two, both defenses came to play with zeros on the scoreboard through four innings.
Acosta initiated the offense in the bottom of the fifth with a single up the middle, which sent Walsh across home plate for the inaugural run of the game. On an impressive squeeze play by Moore, Acosta successfully made it home to for the Maroon and Gray's 2-0 lead.
First-year pitcher Cameron Kundig (Redlands, CA) threw his third consecutive clean inning before the Sagehens finally made it on the board with a run in the seventh.
Redlands extended its lead to 3-2 on a sacrifice fly from sophomore right fielder Brennan Carr (Chino Hills, CA) in the eighth, but Pomona-Pitzer knotted the game with another two runs in the top of the ninth.
Facing two outs in the bottom of the frame, Acosta came up clutch with a huge triple to right field to excite the home crowd. On the ensuing at-bat, he scrambled home on a walk-off wild pitch to secure the 4-3 victory and the Bulldogs' series sweep.
Acosta enjoyed a solid 3-for-4 outing at the plate with two runs and an RBI. On the hill, Kundig threw six strikeouts in eight innings of work.
With the wins, Redlands (12-15-1, 6-6 SCIAC) moved into a two-way tie with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in the SCIAC standings. The Bulldogs hit the road to face Caltech on Friday, April 5 at 3 p.m.