Pioneers Sweep Owls
HAYWARD, Calif. – The Cal State East Bay baseball team remained perfect on the season (6-0) thanks to a pair of victories over visiting Oregon Tech (3-3) Saturday afternoon. The Pioneers won a tight contest in the first game behind outstanding pitching from seniors Ben O'Bryan and Charlie Sharrer. The East Bay bats exploded in the second game as the team cruised to a 12-2 win to complete the doubleheader sweep.
The third and final game of this series is scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m. at Pioneer Field. Live stats available at Watch Live Stats for Sunday Here
Game 1 – CSUEB 3, OIT 1
The front end of the doubleheader was an old-fashioned pitcher's duel, as O'Bryan got the start and stymied the Owl batters through six scoreless innings. East Bay got on the board in the second inning, scoring the game's first run without the benefit of a hit. Kyle Zozaya was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and David Castillo followed with a one-out walk. After a balk advanced both runners, Roger Luna lifted one into center field for an RBI sac fly.
Oregon Tech starting pitcher Talon Sisley settled down after that, retiring the Pioneers in order in the third and fourth. However, East Bay broke through for another run in the fifth. Castillo beat out an infield single to start off the inning, and Luna followed with a line drive double to left field to knock in his second run of the game.
The Owls answered back in the top of the seventh when senior Zachary Wong replaced O'Bryan to start the inning. After a walk and a single brought the go-ahead run to the plate with no outs, head coach Bob Ralston went to his closer, Charlie Sharrer, in the high-leverage situation. The senior was able to get the first out on a force play at third on an attempted sacrifice. After a passed ball advanced the runners anyway, Ryan Hayden made it 2-1 with a sac fly to right field. Sharrer then stuck out Owl clean-up hitter Dylan Rogers to escape further damage.
The Pioneers tacked on a run in the bottom half of the seventh thanks to a two-out rally. Chuvala, Rodriguez, and Brandon Alexander hit three straight singles to make the score 3-1 Pioneers before Miravalles lined out to end the inning. Cory Hearne then pinch-ran for Alexander, who finished the game 1-for-3 with an RBI and led the team with three hits in the doubleheader.
O'Bryan allowed two hits and three walks, striking out four, in his six innings of work. The senior didn't surrender a run in picking up his first win of the season. Sharrer tossed three hitless innings, notching four strikeouts, to close out the game and earn his second save. Luna was 1-for-2 with a pair of RBI for East Bay.
Game 2 – CSUEB 12, OIT 2
Oregon Tech came out swinging against game two starter Sean Becker in the first inning, and the Pioneers found themselves trailing for the first time since opening day. Tyson Dahl led off with a single, then Hayden ripped a triple over Rodriguez's head in center field to make it 1-0 Owls. Dylan Rogers followed with a single to plate the second run, but that's all Oregon Tech would get. Becker settled down and got a strikeout and a double play to end the inning.
The Pioneers didn't trail for long, as the bats answered right back in the bottom of the first. Rodriguez walked and stole second, then scored when Alexander drilled a double to the center field wall. Miravalles followed with a shot that deflected off Owl pitcher BJ Wilson's foot into shallow right field, allowing Alexander to score easily. After a ground out, Zozaya and Sharrer laced back-to-back singles to give East Bay the lead. Luna continued his hot hitting, adding a two-out two-run single to left before the Owls retired the side. After the two teams combined for four runs and nine hits in the first game, they totaled seven runs and eight hits in the first inning of game two, which ended with East Bay leading 5-2.
Both pitchers were able to settle in and rattle off a few zeroes, and the score remained the same into the fifth inning. The Pioneers got to Wilson in their third time through the lineup, adding on three runs to make it 8-2. Alexander led off with a triple into the right field corner, and he scored on Miravalles' single to centerfield. The East Bay second baseman advanced to third base when Jared Nelson misplayed the ball in center and eventually scored on a single by Jordan Wilder. Wilder then proceeded to steal second, advance to third on a wild pitch, and score when Hayden couldn't handle a slow, spinning grounder to third off the bat of David Elzig.
East Bay tacked on four more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth off Owl pitcher Cody Barrett. Chuvala singled and Michael Jenkerson drew a walk in his first at bat as a Pioneer to put runners on first and second. With two out, Bryson Nakamura sliced a pinch-hit RBI single to left. Fellow pinch-hitter Chris Porter came up next and shot one up the middle for a base hit. The ball got past the centerfielder, allowing both Jenkerson and Nakamura to score and Porter to get to third base. He scored on a wild pitch for the 12th and final run. It was the first hit, RBI, and run scored of the freshman catcher's young career.
All told, nine different Pioneers had a hit in the game, and the team racked up 11 total. Miravalles finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run. Alexander was the only other East Bay batter with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of runs. Luna knocked in two runs for the second straight game, giving him four on the day.
Becker picked up his first win in a Pioneer uniform, shutting down the Owls after a rocky first inning. He ended up allowing two earned runs in 6.0 innings, scattering nine hits, striking out four, and not surrendering a walk. Taylor Kruger pitched a scoreless seventh inning for East Bay, picking up a strikeout in his third appearance.
The third and final game of this series is scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m. at Pioneer Field. The Pioneers will attempt to extend their unbeaten streak while hosting local youngsters for Youth Day.
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