Cleats are being strapped on. Jerseys are getting dirty. It’s baseball season. America’s pastime has returned to Sonoma State for the 2014 season, as Western Oregon University traveled down to the Seawolf Diamond for a five-game non-conference matchup. Unfortunately, the rain would not cease to pour, and only games one and two were played.
For the first game, the Seawolves sent senior pitcher George Asmus out to the mound, who just got his fifth year of eligibility approved. Asmus threw four strong innings, giving up one hit, not surrendering a run, and collecting four strikeouts. Sonoma State pitcher Blake Sack, who also threw four shutout innings, only gave up two hits.
Oregon State’s offense wasn’t too productive in the first game. They were led by second baseman Parker Miles, who put forth the Wolves’ only multi-hit performance, going 2-4 for the game. Designated hitter Tim Rausch also added a hit, and WOU’s only RBI on the day.
The Seawolves were led by walk-on freshman outfielder Daniel Caresio who was making his college debut. Caresio ended the game 2-3 with a walk, a double, two RBIs, and a run. He wasn’t the only force in the game though. Senior second baseman Jackson Stogner also added two hits, a double, a run, and an RBI. Alex Crosby went 2-4 with a run and an RBI. Justin Serrao added two hits and a run, and Devin Alexander contributed a clutch two-RBI single to a final 7-1 Seawolf victory. This marked the 14th consecutive season with a win in their first game.
“I was honestly really surprised and honored to be starting on opening day. It was good to get the jitters out early in the season,” said Caresio. “This year we have a lot of young talent and great returning leaders to take us a long way. If we do everything right, we will be in Cary, NC at the College World Series.”
After a short break to clean up the field, game two was underway. Western Oregon’s offense was singing a different song in this game, as they put up three hits and a run in the first inning. (They had three hits through the first eight innings of game one.) It was a one run game after the sixth, but ultimately, Western Oregon triumphed over the Seawolves 5-3. WOU was led by Tim Rausch, who went 2-2 with a sacrifice and an RBI. Matt Taylor also contributed a pair of hits. First baseman Nathan Etheridge went 1-4 with a run and an RBI. The winning pitcher was Taylor Hetrick.
The Seawolves’ big stat to watch is going to be their strikeouts. Sonoma struck out eight times in the first game, and nine times in the second game. Their main contributor was senior Garrett Schwartz who went 2-4 with a run and an RBI. Justin Serrao put up another multi-hit game, going 2-3, and Brandon Baranzini added a clutch two RBI single.
This weekend, the Seawolves travel to Los Angeles to play a four game series against Cal State L.A. in a conference matchup.
One game will be played Friday at 2 p.m. A doubleheader will be played Saturday, starting at 11 a.m., and one game will be played Sunday at 11 a.m.