The University of Redlands baseball team faced the Whitworth University (WA) Pirates on a cool Monday afternoon in a non-conference showdown at The Yard. Although the Bulldogs struck first, the Pirates' bats came alive late in the game to bounce past the Bulldogs by a final score of 12-3.
Junior pitcher Noah Jones (San Bernardino, CA) was handed the pearl for the afternoon contest. Jones made quick work of the visitors through the first two innings.
After junior designated hitter Joey Warner (Indio, CA) drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the second, senior center-fielder Christian Conci (San Mateo, CA) moved him over on a single to center field, while junior third basemen Brendan Gardiner (Mission Viejo, CA) put down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third with just one out. Next up, sophomore short stop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) launched an RBI-single to left to score Warner. With runners on first and third, Singh successfully stole second, and as the catcher threw his way, Conci snuck in and successfully stole home to give Redlands the 2-0 advantage early in the game. After a groundout, Singh ended up on third with senior catcher Kyle Wallau (San Mateo, CA) at the dish. Wallau sent a hard-hit ball to deep short for an infield single and an RBI, as Singh raced home to make it 3-0.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Pirates came right back by capitalizing on a Bulldog error and passed ball. After two base-hits, two runs, and one out, Whitworth's runner attempted to steal second, but Wallau fired a throw to senior second basemen Christopher Scalisi (Woodland Hills, CA) for the putout to minimize the damage.
Both pitchers cruised through the next few innings, until Whitworth put up four runs on the Bulldogs in the top of the sixth. As a result, Head Coach Aaron Holley looked to the bullpen to get the Maroon and Gray out of the inning. Despite walking his first batter, freshman pitcher Michael Rishebarger (Oceanside, CA) settled down to force an easy out in the outfield. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs had to play catch-up, now down, 3-6.
With one out in the top of the eighth and the bases loaded, Redlands looked to the bullpen again and called upon freshman Austin Williams (Redlands, CA). He made quick work of the Pirates by forcing a ground ball for the defense to roll up and execute a flawless double play to get out of the inning unscathed.
However, the Whitworth offense remained hot, as the Pirates added four in the eighth inning and two in the ninth, resulting in the 3-12 Bulldog defeat.
Redlands (3-6, 0-2) looks to return to the win column on Tuesday, February 21, when the squad travels to Orange to take on the Chapman University Panthers in a make-up conference game that was originally rained out on Friday. First pitch is slated for 2:30 p.m. at Hart Park.