Despite a quick slip into first place, the Sonoma State baseball team drops back to fourth in the CCAA division standings after losing six of seven in this week’s conference matchups.
Under last Monday morning’s overcast skies, The Otters kicked off the first game with a single in the top of the first, a lead that was quickly tied in the bottom of the second when Adam Manzer touched home on a wild pitch.
The remaining six innings left the score untouched until Monterey Bay took advantage in the eighth with another single. Unfortunately, the Seawolves couldn’t ignite their offense, and Monterey took the first victory of the day, 2-1.
In his longest outing of the season, Junior pitcher Matt Hammonds (2-1) held the Otter’s offense steady for seven innings, striking out his season high seven, and only allowing four hits and one walk.
“I felt really comfortable on the mound, a feeling that I have been looking forward to for a while,” said Hammond. “Neve was putting down the fingers and the defense was playing great behind me. It was a confidence booster going forward.”
After a scoreless first inning in game two, the Otters swam onto the scoreboard with a double to right field. The Seawolves responded, scoring Cody Morris early in the bottom of the second. Sonoma State would remain stagnant on offense in the remaining seven innings, while Monterey Bay tacked on runs in the third and seventh. Unfortunately, the Otters came to play with an intensity that was unmatched by Sonoma State, taking the 3-1 victory to sweep the doubleheader.
The Seawolves’ woes continued at Cal State San Marcos on Saturday, despite gaining the early 4-0 lead in the first matchup after keeping Cal State inactive on offense. The Cougars pounced in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two runs off of a single. The attack continued when San Marcos homered to deep center to take the 5-4 advantage.
Luckily, the Cougars slipped defensively in the top of the sixth, walking Manzer to score Spencer Neve, tying the game. Grant St. Martin hit a homerun to add to the lead in the seventh, before Manzer tacked the final Seawolf run with a homer of his own to right center, giving Sonoma State a promising 2-run lead lead.
The bottom of the eighth proved devastating for Sonoma State, when the feisty Cougars ambushed the Seawolves, scoring four felines with back-to-back home runs. Sonoma State couldn’t answer in the last inning, handing the Seawolves an unsettling 9-7 loss.
“We were expecting to hold the lead through the ninth inning but they waited for good pitches and capitalized on our mistakes,” said Manzer.
Saturday’s second game proved similar to the first, with the Seawolves losing their lead late. A 5-4 advantage became a 3-run deficit in the blink of an eye, when the Cougars snatched three runs in the seventh inning for another late-inning victory.
In the Seawolves’ final game against Cal State on Sunday, an early 1-1 tie was shattered in the third inning, when the Cougars scored four times against Matt Hammonds to complete the sweep, 5-1. This week’s losses put the Seawolves at a 13-21 overall record, dipping them to one game under .500 in the CCAA with a 11-12 record.
“Our team is in a little bit of a hole right now,” said Hammonds, “but I’m confident that we have the talent and leadership to push through this skid and get back to playing our game.”
The boys will be back on the Seawolf Diamond this week, with a chance to redeem themselves against Monterey Bay and challenge Chico State for the first time this season.