Fresno Pacific snaps Seawolves’ four-game win streak

As the second weekend of the collegiate baseball season came to a close, Sonoma State University walked away with one victory and two losses against Fresno Pacific, with each game of the series concluding as anything other than a pitcher’s duel.

In the first game of the weekend, Sonoma State unleashed its offensive firepower, defeating Fresno Pacific 14-2 in similar fashion to opening day when the Seawolves blanked Holy Names University 12-0.

On the afternoon, a slew of hitters were responsible for the offensive onslaught. Senior outfielder Bryce Nagata opened the scoring with a third-inning solo home run to left field – his first of three hits on the day. 

In the following inning, Grant St. Martin smacked his second home run of the season, a two-run bomb to left field that set the score at 3-0. From there, the Seawolves wouldn’t look back. 

To continue with the theme of the long ball, senior Jake Sahagian came to the plate in the sixth looking to increase Sonoma State’s commanding 5-0 lead.

With the bases juiced and one out, Sahagian drove an outside fastball to the opposite field, resulting in a grand-slam that pushed the lead to 9-0. He finished the day going two for five with five RBIs to his name.

In swatting the homer, Sahagian’s approach stayed consistent throughout the at-bat.

“In that at-bat, I was just trying to get a hit to help the team out in any way that I could and not try to do too much,” Sahagian said. “I just needed a pitch that I could get the job done with and drive in some runs.”

Sahagian’s blast erased any hope Fresno Pacific had of breaking back into the game, as the 9-0 deficit became too much to overcome in the late innings.

Although the offense is mainly to thank for the win, the pitching staff also came ready to play, limiting the Fresno offense to two runs on four hits and four walks. 

Dominic Garihan took the mound to start the game, hurling five innings of one-hit ball without allowing a runner to cross the plate. Succeeding Garihan, Michael Warning pitched the sixth and seventh innings, giving up two runs on three hits and and three walks. Ultimately, the two runs credited to him wouldn’t matter, as Nicolas Vega shut the door for the final six outs – helping Garihan earn his first victory of the season.

With Friday’s 14-2 triumph in the rearview mirror, Saturday’s double-header provided fans with a bit of a different tune – a tune that included multiple pummelings at the hands of Fresno Pacific’s offense. 

In his second start on the bump this season, junior pitcher Tyson Canfield struggled to find the strike zone, hitting two batters in the bottom of the third inning, which eventually resulted in a three-run home run off the bat of senior infielder Hunter Villanueva to provide the Sunbirds with a 3-0 lead.

Following the homer, Canfield took the mound in the fourth but continued to stumble after allowing a double and a single three batters into the inning. He was then replaced by sophomore pitcher Kyle Stevenson, who was ineffective as well and got knocked around for six runs in an attempt to limit the damage. From that point on, Fresno continued to smack the ball all over the yard, and before they knew it, the Seawolves found themselves trailing 16-0 at the end of the sixth inning. 

Although Sonoma State could not replicate its offensive success from the night before for the majority of the game, the bats did not surrender quietly, scoring eight runs in the final two innings despite an 18-run deficit. Home runs from Anthony Clyma, Alex Emerick, and St. Martin helped bring the score to 19-9. 

Even with the attempted comeback, 19 runs was more than enough to hand Sonoma State its first loss of the season. 

In the subsequent game of the doubleheader, the Sunbirds’ once again lit up Sonoma State pitching, doing so immediately with an 11-run bottom of the first. Surprisingly, the pitching staff managed to hold Fresno to only four runs for the remainder of the game.

On the offensive side of the ball, Sonoma State carried its momentum from the final innings of the previous game into this one – scoring seven runs over the course of nine innings. But, the Sunbirds’ gongshow from the first inning became too difficult to overcome – earning themselves a 15-7 win and series victory. The loss drops the Seawolves to 4-2 on the season with a home showdown against Chico State on the horizon over the weekend.

Even with the series loss, Sahagian remained positive about what’s next to come for the boys in blue and white.

“We have a great vibe going on right now,” Sahagian said. “Everyone is trusting one another and it’s a great sight to see. We just have to stay positive heading into this next series and prepare ourselves for a fun, tough weekend against this competitive conference.”