After making the six-hour bus trip to Tucson, AZ, the University of Redlands baseball team took on the George Fox University (OR) Bruins on Friday in its first of four games at the Cactus Classic. The Bulldogs looked solid against the Northwest Conference foe by registering 14 hits, including a double and a triple, en route to the 12-3 win.
Junior pitcher Felix Minjarez (Riverside, CA) took the bump for his second outing of the season. His strongest half-inning came in the first, as he put up two strikeouts against George Fox.
For the second time this season, the Maroon and Gray capitalized on a big inning to take a lead that held up for the win. Junior catcher Rainier Aguilar (San Bernardino, CA) kicked off the lucrative second inning with a base knock. After loading the bases on a hit-by-pitch, a fielder's choice, and a costly error by the short stop, the Bulldogs strung together four-consecutive hits for five RBI. Initiating the barrage, junior left-fielder Kyle Kabeary (Indio, CA) dinged a single to center field for one RBI, while senior center-fielder Christian Conci (San Mateo, CA) followed with an RBI-single of his own. Junior designated hitter Joey Warner (Indio, CA) smacked a double to deep center field for two RBI, before senior second basemen Christopher Scalisi (Woodland Hills, CA) bookended the RBI-streak with a base hit of his own.
Redlands continued to light up the scoreboard in the second, as junior right-fielder Jordan Babbitt, Aguilar, and freshman first baseman Andrew Renteria (Van Nuys, CA) each followed with run-scoring singles. With one out and the bases loaded, sophomore short stop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) stepped up to the plate and hit a deep sacrifice fly to score Aguilar for the ninth and final run of the outstanding inning.
Minjarez continued to cruise with a 9-0 lead, as he struck out one and put trust in his defense to make two catches in the outfield.
Three-straight walks and a Renteria sacrifice fly gave Redlands the 10-0 advantage through the top of the third.
Playing as the visiting team, the Maroon and Gray was tested in the bottom of the third, as the Bruins loaded the bases by way of a walk, a single, and an error. George Fox took advantage of another Bulldog miscue and knocked two base-hits for three RBI. Fortunately, Redlands quickly regrouped to handle the next hit up the middle for an efficient force-out play at second.
In the fourth inning, the Bulldogs showed their patience at the plate by drawing multiple walks for two more runs and the 12-3 advantage.
Freshman pitcher Austin Williams (Redlands, CA) took over the throwing duties in the bottom of the seventh for his first outing in the Maroon and Gray. He threw three scoreless innings to snag the save, with Minjarez recording his second win of the season.
The Bulldogs (2-1) compete in a doubleheader on Saturday, February 11, first taking on Sul Ross State (TX) at 1 p.m. PST and then Linfield College (OR) at 5 p.m. (PST).