The Cal State Monterey Bay Otters traveled up to Rohnert Park this weekend to play in a four-game series against the red hot Sonoma State Seawolves, who are the 30th ranked team in the nation.
To the Otter’s dismay, Sonoma’s ace pitcher George Asmus stayed hot in the first game of the series, throwing a complete game, surrendering four hits and one earned run while striking out 10 Monterey batters on the way to improving his record to a perfect 5-0. Asmus is also currently leading the nation in earned run average at an incredible 0.50, and had a strong no-hit bid until it was broken up in the seventh inning.
The Otters stayed off of the scoreboard until the top of the ninth when Mark Hurley shot a single up the middle, scoring Brian Hamm. SSU also had a mild day offensively, collecting only six hits distributed by six different batters.
The Seawolves had to endure a painful Friday double header, as they would be defeated in each game by two runs. Starter Jon Richards had a rough day on the mound, throwing four and a third innings and surrendering nine hits, seven runs (only four earned) and one walk, while failing to collect a strike out.
The Seawolves did everything they could to rally back in the ninth of the first game, scoring three runs, but fell short with a final score of 10-8. Eric Ehlow and Garrett Schwartz led the way for Sonoma State, each contributing two hits, including a double, a run, and a RBI. The Otters were led by third baseman Matt Urakami who had a very strong performance, finishing the day 4-5 with a triple and four runs batted in. Travis Bonner also had a big day, collecting two hits, including a double and a grand slam.
The tone didn’t change for the ‘Wolves in the second game of the day, as the Otters would come out victorious 3-1. Sonoma would only be able to give their starter Haydon Turpin one run of support on six hits. Turpin arguably pitched well enough for the win, throwing five innings, giving up five hits, three runs (two earned), and a walk. His record fell to 1-1 on the season.
“I feel like I struggled early; had a few mental mistakes.” said Turpin. “I kept my composure and settled back in the fourth and fifth innings after getting out of the jam in the third. Having no strikeouts in the game, I really trusted my defense behind me to make plays; and they did. The Otters pitched really well commanding the zone and keeping our hitters off balance.”
Freshman Daniel Caresio and senior Jackson Stogner each collected a pair of hits, and Stogner tallied Sonoma State’s only RBI.
Mark Hurley finished the day with a double and a RBI, and Richie Johnson finished 1-2 with a run and a RBI.
Sonoma State sent out Freshman Matt Hammonds to the mound to start the final game of the series on Sunday. He was lucky to have the Seawolves’ offense. The ‘Wolves main offensive contributor was Justin Serrao, who finished the day with a pair of hits, a double, and drove in three runs. Alex Crosby also added three hits, including two doubles, a run, and a RBI.
Hammonds had a solid outing, tossing five and a third innings, while giving up four hits, three runs (two earned), and struck three Otter batters out on the way to his first victory of his collegiate career, 6-3.
“It was an overall great team win. Our offense was putting runs on the board and the defense was making plays behind me,” said Hammonds.
The game ended with a spectacular catch by Caresio, colliding into the wall after making the catch that stranded runners at second and third in the bottom of the ninth.