With the daunting task of having to play 3 games on Saturday against 6th ranked (Collegiate Baseball) Sonoma State, Saturday held the potential to be a great, horrible, or somewhere in the middle day for our baseball program. It turned out to be the most successful day in the history of the program as we took all 3 games from the then 1st place Seawolves. The victory placed our CCAA record at 8-7, just one game out of a playoff spot. Our overall record sits at 11-12…. a far cry from the 8-41, 4-36 mark the program posted last season.
There were some great plays, clutch pitches, and timely hitting on the day, but the story of the day and this team is the belief this group of young men have in each other. They have learned it is not about physical talent, weather, or any other external factor. It is all about how they prepare, how much they care for each other, and how hard they fight every game. They understand the power of belief and what they are capable of when they submit themselves to the team. Every player might not have every tool, but combined as one our team possesses every tool a scout could want.
Friday’s game got called after 3 complete innings with MB holding a 2-0 lead. The game was picked up Saturday morning and ended up a 5-3 victory. Stellar relief work was displayed to get through the game, with Jake Paolinetti notching the win and Paul Brock picking up his 3rd Save of the season.
In the second game of the day, Jake Crose pitched great, pitching 7 innings and only surrendering 3 runs. Paolinetti once again got the win, pitching 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Tony Hernandez provided the game tying double in the 9th, while Danny Nelson ended the game with a walk-off single to secure the 4-3 victory.
In the third game of the day, Aaron Appino threw a complete game with no earned runs to lock down the 2-1 victory. Appino struck out 8 in 7 innings with 0 walks. The scoring on the day was all done in the 5th inning, Danny Nelson scored Greg Fujii from first with an RBI double, and Tommy George later scored Nelson with a sacrifice fly.
Game 4 of the series was cancelled on Sunday due to the rainy weather. The two teams hope to make up the game during the week at some point. We are also scheduled to host Hillsdale College on Tuesday at 12:00pm. The schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions. The Otters return to conference play next week with a split series with CSU Stanislaus. The series is scheduled for home games at CSUMB on Friday and Sunday, with the doubleheader in Turlock.