Pioneers Finish Weekend Sweep of Tech
HAYWARD, Calif. — The Cal State East Bay baseball team remained unbeaten with a 9-2 victory over Oregon Tech at Pioneer Field Sunday afternoon. The Pioneers (7-0) finished off their second straight series sweep thanks to a seven-run sixth inning, featuring three-run triples from both Kyle Zozaya and Brandon Alexander. Sophomore Michael Pope pitched six scoreless innings pick up the win for the Pioneers, who open CCAA play next week.
The teams played Sunday's game in just under two hours, largely because both starting pitchers breezed through the first three frames. East Bay finally broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning with some productive outs. Alexander singled to lead off the inning, and Eren Miravalles followed with a double down the left field line. Jordan Wilder and Zozaya then hit consecutive sacrifice flies to plate the first two Pioneer runs.
The East Bay offense put the game away in the bottom of the sixth with a seven-run explosion. Once again Alexander and Miravalles started things off, this time with a walk and a base hit to left. Wilder walked to load the bases, prompting the Owls to remove starting pitcher Craig Kathol. The first batter reliever Raf Belloc faced was Zozaya, who greeted him with a drive to the wall in right-center. All three runners came home on the triple. When the throw back to the infield got away, Zozaya was also able to score, making it 6-0 Pioneers with no outs in the inning.
East Bay wasn't done, however. After two quick outs, the Pioneers mounted a rally, loading the bases again on singles from Roger Luna and Zac Chuvala and a walk to Andrew Rodriguez. That brought Alexander back to the plate for the second time in the inning and a new pitcher in the game for Oregon Tech. The Pioneer right-fielder promptly launched one to the base of the wall in right-center for a base-clearing triple.
Pope came out of the game after East Bay extended their lead to nine. The right-hander went six innings in his second start of the week. He allowed just one hit and one walk, striking out five, to pick up his second win of the young season.
Pope was followed by a trio of Pioneer relievers, who closed out the game without a serious threat. Chris Schmalz threw a scoreless seventh inning, making his second appearance of the year and his first of the series.
The Owls were able to get on the board in the eighth inning against Nick Hudson. The junior right-hander allowed a hit, an earned run, and an unearned run before retiring the side. Tuesday's starter Matt Fontaine tossed a scoreless ninth inning to finish off the game.
Alexander finished the day 3-for-3 with three RBI and a pair of runs. It's the first three-hit game of his Pioneer career. Miravalles was the only other East Bay batter to notch multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Zozaya was 1-for-2 and knocked in four runs to lead the team.
The Hustlin' Owls will get back to the diamond on Friday, February 15 in Redding, California against Simpson University.
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