Saunders and Newcomers Headline Baseball Sweep over La Sierra
The 15th-ranked University of Redlands baseball team posted a clean sweep of nearby NAIA opponent La Sierra University on Saturday with scores of 10-9 and 14-0.
In the day's first game, the U of R continued last season's dramatic finishes by pulling out a 10-9 comeback victory in 10 innings. Senior designated hitter Ben Saunders (New River, AZ) played the role of the hero, lacing a single into left field to bring home sophomore pinch runner Max Hardman (Encinitas, CA) for the winning run.
During the opener, the Bulldogs provided a roller-coaster atmosphere, going back and forth with five lead-changes against the Golden Eagles. Redlands looked to be possibly down and out heading into the bottom of the ninth when it faced a four-run deficit. However, senior outfielder/pitcher Trenton Lively (La Verne, CA) sparked the comeback effort with a leadoff single en route to a monster game that included a 4-for-6 showing with three RBI and two runs.
Freshman catcher Sean McMillan (Redwood City, CA) punched in the game-tying hit when he smoked a double into the left-center gap, which sent Bulldog fans into a frenzy.
For the second time in three games, sophomore centerfielder Alex Scheiwe (Encinitas, CA) tallied a three-hit contest. In today's contest, he also crossed home plate twice.
Working for the third consecutive game, senior pitcher Brock Jacobo (Yuma, AZ) notched his first victory of the season by going the final 2.2 innings.
Starter junior Paul Dippel (East Granby, CT) pitched well for the Maroon and Gray, tossing six innings while giving up one earned run on three hits, two walks and five strikeouts.
Headlined by the contributions of freshman third baseman Sam Johnson (Apple Valley, CA) and freshman right fielder Nathaniel Acosta (Chino Hills, CA), Redlands put on a hit parade in the nightcap. Prior to today, the U of R last scored 14 or more runs back on April 2, 2011, against Whittier College.
Both rookies jumpstarted a huge Bulldog first inning, launching their inaugural collegiate long balls en route to the team's nine-run showing. In the end, Johnson went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI.
In addition, freshman centerfielder Connor Hancock (Burbank, CA) collected his first career hit with a slicing double into left center.
Overall, 11 Redlands batters nabbed a hit with five recording a multi-hit performance.
Making his Maroon and Gray, debut junior Eliot Smith (West Linn, OR) earned the win from the mound by scattering three hits and fanning an impressive nine Golden Eagles in five innings of work.
The Bulldogs (3-1) take to the road on Tues., Feb. 14, for a non-conference bout against Azusa Pacific University at 5 p.m.