SHERMAN, Texas — The Occidental College baseball team opened the season with a pair of wins on Day 1 of a two-day, four-game series at Austin College on Saturday.
Game 1: Occidental 7, Austin College 4
Scott Hong (Los Angeles) did a little bit of everything, Joseph Kling (Kirksville, Mo.) pitched six solid innings in a winning effort and Victor Munoz (La Verne) drove in a pair of runs to lead the Occidental College baseball team to a 7-4 victory in the first game of an opening-day doubleheader at Austin College on Saturday.
Hong hit an RBI-double, swiped two bases and scored two runs from the leadoff spot, finishing the day 2 for 3.
Munoz, who's taking over the full-time catching duties this year as a sophomore, hit an RBI-single to center in the top of the third inning that brought home Johnathan Brooks (Huntington Beach) and a sac fly that scored Hong in the seventh.
Brooks, Jacob Lee (Olympia, Wash.) and A.J. Libunao (Huntington Beach) joined Hong with multi-hit performances — each with two knocks — and eight different Tigers (1-0) combined for 12 hits in the game.
Kling, Oxy's ace, went six innings with just two hits, two walks and two earned runs against him in an impressive first outing of the season. Josh Bendig (Valencia), a 6-foot-3 freshman, picked up a save in his first career appearance, giving up just one hit, in 1.2 innings in the eight and the ninth.
Game 2: Occidental 17, Austin 4
The Tigers tallied 12 hits, drew 14 walks and took advantage of Austin's mishaps in the field to rout the Roos in the nightcap.
Scott Hong picked up right where he left off. The senior walked to lead off the game, advanced to second on a groundout by Logan Allen (Atascadero) and was brought home by Brooks' double down the left field line to put the Tigers on the board. Oxy batted around and collected three more hits in the first inning to go up 5-0.
Hong finished the game 3 for 4 with 2 runs and a stolen base.
Oxy was aggressive on the basepaths once again. The Tigers constantly pressured Austin's infielders to make the perfect throws, took extra bases on balls put into play and stole eight bases.
In the fourth inning, the Tigers scored a run without getting a hit. Libunao stole second after getting hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a Riley Smith (Bellevue, Wash.) fly to right and scored on a passed ball.
A trio of freshmen made its collegiate debut on the mound. Thomas Lalli (Bountiful, Utah) got the nod to start, striking out five in 4.2 innings. The 6-foot-7 southpaw struggled with his control out of the gate, but managed to avoid big innings with timely strikeouts and good defensive plays from his teammates.
Kenneth Nishimura (Sacramento) and Brooks Brennan (Scottsdale, Ariz.) got their first collegiate plate appearances on offense. Nishimura and Chris Harms (Fair Oaks) began the inning with consecutive walks, and Brennan followed with a double to deep right center to record his first RBIs of his career.
Jonathan Wong (Grizzly Flats) started in left field for the Tigers and went 4 for 5 with three runs.
Oxy gets right back on the field tomorrow at 8 a.m. to try to start the season with a four-game sweep.