The University of Redlands baseball team celebrated its seniors in fine fashion with a 7-3 win over Pomona-Pitzer Colleges on Friday at the Yard.
After honoring the careers of Christopher Scalisi (Woodland Hills, CA), Christian Conci (San Mateo, CA), John White (Burbank, CA), Mitch Samson (Orangevale, CA), John Keane (Clayton, CA), Kyle Wallau (San Mateo, CA), and Michael Collins (Upland, CA), the Bulldogs got to work in securing an important victory in a tight Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) race.
Junior pitcher Felix Minjarez (Riverside, CA) was handed the pearl for the first of the three-game series against the Sagehens. The Bulldogs jumped on the board first with two runs on two hits and a passed ball in the bottom of the third inning. Samson's RBI-single to right field highlighted the early scoring.
However, the Sagehens fired right back in the top of the fourth, equalizing the score at two apiece.
A costly Pomona-Pitzer fielding error gave the Bulldogs the lead back in the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) tacked on another run when he sent a deep, sacrifice fly to left field, scoring the freshman designated hitter Andrew Renteria (Van Nuys, CA) from third.
With no outs, Pomona-Pitzer tried to close the gap in the top of the sixth by adding one run on two hits. After that, the Redlands defense secured the first out before Minjarez pitched out of a jam by fanning the next two batters looking to hold onto the slight 4-3 lead.
Junior catcher Rainier Aguilar (San Bernardino, CA) took matters into his own hands in the bottom of that inning by launching a solo shot the opposite way.
Junior pitcher Adam Stead (Rialto, CA) was called in to take care of the eighth inning. After a walk, Stead's defense picked him up by successfully executing the double play. Stead struck out the final out for a strong showing.
After a quick out in the bottom of the eighth, the next three Bulldogs batters laced together three-straight singles to load the bases. Renteria then hit a hard chopper to the shortstop for two RBI and the 7-3 Redlands advantage.
White then pitched a lights-out top of the ninth, striking out the first two batters and forcing the routine groundout for the third to secure the crucial SCIAC victory.
Redlands (23-14, 14-8 SCIAC) travels to Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday, April 29, for a doubleheader against the Sagehens for a possible spot in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament.