The University of Redlands baseball team made the short trip to Pomona-Pitzer Colleges for game one of the last Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) regular-season series. Behind solid pitching and quality at-bats, the Bulldogs took home the huge, 12-4 win to stay in contention for the regular-season title.
Both pitchers got off to a good start by making quick work of the first inning. With two outs in the top of the second, senior designated hitter Joey Warner (Indio, CA) singled to right field. After a hit-by-pitch, Warner was sent home on senior left fielder Nick Ono's (Yorba Linda, CA) base hit for the Bulldogs' early lead. After a walk, senior third baseman Brendan Gardiner (Mission Viejo, CA) stepped up to the plate, stayed back, and connected to send the ball over the right-field fence for a grand slam and a 5-0 Redlands advantage.
Although senior hurler Felix Minjarez (Riverside, CA) allowed a baserunner in the bottom of the frame, his defense backed him up and rolled up the double play as he sat the next batter for the quick third out.
Fast-forward to the fifth inning, with one out, senior catcher Rainier Aguilar (San Bernardino, CA) launched a double to center field. Following another out, junior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) traded places with Aguilar on an RBI-double.
Minjarez remained steady with two more strikeouts in the bottom of the fifth.
The Sagehens jumped on the board in the bottom of the sixth, but Redlands matched that run on an Aguilar sacrifice fly to hold a 7-1 lead headed into the bottom of the seventh.
Although the Bulldogs sat well in front, they distanced the spread even more by tacking on five more runs on three hits and a Sagehen miscue in the top of the eighth. The Maroon and Gray took advantage of three-straight walks that was followed by an error with the bases still loaded. Aguilar subsequently laced a bases-clearing double down the left-field line for three RBI. He touched home on junior first baseman Brendan Moore's (Murrieta, CA) base knock to extend the score to 12-1.
Pomona-Pitzer attempted the comeback by adding three runs on three hits in the bottom of the eighth. However, when Aguilar fired to third to pick off the lead-off runner, the Bulldogs limited the late-game damage.
First-year pitcher Matt Crow (Lake Elsinore, CA) was called in to close out the bottom of the ninth. He went three up, three down, bookending the inning with two strikeouts.
Aguilar and Gardiner impressed with four RBI each in the win.
Redlands (29-9, 17-5 SCIAC) returns to The Yard on Saturday, April 28, for a SCIAC doubleheader against Pomona-Pitzer to close out the conference regular season. The Bulldogs will celebrate the careers of their 10 seniors before tomorrow's first pitch. Game times are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.