The University of Redlands baseball team hit the road on Saturday to square off against Whittier College in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) doubleheader to complete the three-game series against the Poets. The Bulldogs faltered in a tight 0-2 result in the first game before rallying for a decisive 8-1 win in the nightcap.
In a defensive-heavy opener, first-year pitcher Andrew Rueter (San Diego, CA) sat down the first three batters in the first inning. Although the Poets recorded a hit to lead off the second, the Bulldogs turned a 4-6-3 double-play to clear the bases. Rueter finished the job by striking out the Poets' batter for the third out.
The Bulldogs displayed their defense once again when sophomore right-fielder Cal Bridges (Fremont, CA) caught a line drive to right field. He then threw down the runner at first base for the third out of the fourth inning.
Unfortunately, in the bottom of the fifth, the Poets hit a home run with one on to take a 2-0 lead.
Rueter only gave up one more hit for the remainder of the game, but the Bulldogs' bats could not make up the difference.
During the second game, first-year pitcher Cameron Kundig (Redlands, CA) climbed the hill for the Maroon and Gray. After giving up two hits in the bottom of the first inning, he settled in to retire the side in the subsequent three frames.
However, in the bottom of the fifth, Whittier managed to push one run across off a sacrifice fly.
Nonetheless, the small deficit appeared to inspire the Bulldogs, who put up three runs on three hits in the top of the sixth. Junior second baseman Andrew Renteria (Van Nuys, CA) initiated the two-out rally with a home run that rattled the Poet pitcher, as he immediately walked junior third baseman Anthony Acosta (Simi Valley, CA) during the next at-bat. After Acosta stole second, first-year designated hitter Alex Olague (Renton, WA) and first-year catcher Sammy Diaz (Palm Desert, CA) blasted back-to-back doubles for a run apiece.
Redlands tacked on four more in the seventh to create a 7-1 lead. After Bridges reached on an error, senior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) ripped a double to left center for the RBI. Now with two outs, the Bulldogs sent three unearned runs home. Acosta and Diaz each singled for RBI, while Renteria scored on a wild pitch during Olague's at-bat.
Singh capped off the scoring with a single to left field that plated first-year centerfielder Payton Walsh (Santa Ana, CA), who led off the frame with the team's fifth double of the game.
Kundig earned the win from the mound after fanning six, dispersing just two hits, and allowing only one run in 6.2 innings. Junior pitcher Austin Williams (Redlands, CA) and sophomore pitcher Matt Crow (Lake Elsinore, CA) combined for 2.1 innings of shutout relief to preserve the Bulldogs' victory.
Singh, Renteria, and Acosta accounted for half of the team's 12 hits, while Singh and Diaz each tallied two RBI.
Redlands (5-8, 1-2 SCIAC) heads to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Friday, March 1, for a 2:30 p.m. tilt against the Stags.