It wasn’t the smoothest of opening series, but we accomplished our goal and scored a series victory over visiting Westmont College. The Monterey Bay displayed some absolutely amazing weather for the 3 game series and the attendance for the games were some of the highest in school history. After scoring a narrow 4-3 victory on Friday, we opened up Saturday morning with a disappointing loss 6-4, before blowing out the Warriors 16-4 in the afternoon cap of the doubleheader. The series win marks the first time that CSUMB has ever won an opening series, the first of many records to fall this season.
The first game was a tightly played contest that saw both teams unable to push across big innings with clutch 2-out hits. We were able to stay tough and rely on our defense and timely pitching to hold on to the win. Aaron Appino pitched 5 innings without giving up an earned run to earn his first victory of the season. The submarine duo of Jake Paolinetti and Harold Zosel followed with near perfect relief, with Zosel notching the save in the 9th. Matt Urakami was the hitting star of the day, scoring two runs and blasting his first ever collegiate home run in his fourth at bat to score the Otters winning run.
On Saturday we came out flat and played sloppy in the first game to let a great opportunity slip through our hands. Jeff Owen pitched great in his first start after a 1 1/2 year rehab from Tommy John surgery. The offense, defense, and pitching could not get on the same page to score the victory, despite a furious rally in the ninth inning.
The third game of the series, and second of the Saturday doubleheader, featured the team we envisioned we would be. A balanced offensive attack was paced by a 3 hit game by Ronnie Fhurong and a 2-hit effort by Tommy George. The Otter offense put up 16 runs in the 7-inning contest. Don Medlinger pitched four innings to notch his first win of the season.
We were able to use our entire roster during the series, with the exception of our two starting pitchers on this upcoming Tuesday. We learned more about our depth and balance on the roster, and all the areas we need to continue to improve upon.
This week will prove to be an extremely busy one, featuring 6 games in 6 days. Tuesday we will travel to Fresno to play a very talented Fresno Pacific squad for a night doubleheader. The week will end with a four game home series against Central Washington. The long week will allow us to again explore the depth of our roster and allow us to make final evaluations before beginning conference play against Cal Poly Pomona next weekend. Come out and support our squad during the weekend as we go through our final tuneup before CCAA play begins.