The second-seeded University of Redlands Baseball team hosted the No. 3 seed Panthers of Chapman University for game one of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament. Thirteen hits backed by solid pitching lifted the Maroon and Gray to a 13-6 victory.
The Bulldogs sent senior Felix Minjarez (Riverside, CA) to the mound for the Friday matchup. Although twelve baserunners reached while Minjarez toed the rubber, only one crossed the plate as he successfully completed 7.2 innings, while recording nine strikeouts en route to earning the winning decision.
After a perfect top of the first by Minjarez, the Bulldogs grabbed an early 2-0 lead on an RBI single to left by junior first baseman Brendan Moore (Murrieta, CA). An RBI double to left center off the bat of junior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) immediately followed. That double put Singh just one shy of tying the single season doubles record at the University of Redlands.
The Bulldogs tallied another two run inning in the second with the help of a Panther error and a sacrifice fly for a 4-0 Bulldog advantage through two complete innings.
With some fantastic defense behind him, Minjarez continued to roll through the Panther lineup early. To lead off the top of the third, senior catcher Rainier Aguilar (San Bernardino, CA) tracked down a pop-foul that went back to the back-stop, he leapt up onto the fence and gloved it. But the play didn't end there, the ball popped out of his glove and while falling back to the ground, Aguilar reached out and snagged it bare handed for a highlight-reel first out. Senior centerfielder Kyle Kabeary (Indio, CA) secured the next out with a fantastic running catch to deep right center. Kabeary put his head down on contact and sprinted straight back and secured the catch on the run, just steps in front of the warning track.
The Maroon and Gray immediately added to their lead in the bottom half of the third with a home run by Singh on the first pitch of the inning. Soon after, a two out double by senior second baseman Will Hall (Seattle, WA) scored two more.
Although Minjarez allowed one run in the fifth, the Bulldogs erupted once again for six runs in the bottom half of that frame. The awesome inning was capped off by a massive three run homer by Aguilar.
Despite a five run ninth for the Panthers, the Bulldogs closed out the victory by a final score of 13-6.
A tip of the cap to senior third baseman Brendan Gardiner (Mission Viejo) who went 4-for-5 on the day, which ties him for the most hits in a single season in Redlands Baseball history. Gardiner also added an RBI and scored two runs.
Aguilar tallied five RBIs on the day, with three coming on his home run while Singh added a 2-for-5 line and a home run of his own.
The Bulldogs (32-9, 19-5) will hit the road on Saturday, May 5, to take on the University of La Verne Leopards in game four of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament. First pitch is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Ben Hines Field in La Verne. Video and live stats will be available through the SCIAC portal.