A trip down to Southern California left the Sonoma State University baseball team in a split against competitor Cal State Los Angeles.
From the SSU series sweep against Cal State San Bernardino to losing the first game of the series, the Seawolves came back and battled it out in the games against the Golden Eagles.
Starting off for the Seawolves was a right-handed pitcher, No. 5 Dominic Garihan, who in the last series against San Bernardino Garihan pitched a complete game. Sadly, during this series he only went to four innings, giving up seven runs.
With the bases loaded, seniors Nicco Toni and Nathan Mann tied up the game 2-2. On the top of the fourth, Sonoma State’s shortstop’s error allowed Cal State Los Angeles to substantially take the lead. Headed into the sixth with bases loaded, Sonoma State walked in some of the Golden Eagles players, and was unable to match their runs.
In the eighth, junior Joshua Lenney’s solo shot and Evan Seidell’s RBI allowed Sonoma State two more runs. Unfortunately, game one ended in a tough loss for the Seawolves with the final score at 9-4.
Starting off for the Seawolves Saturday morning was senior pitcher Michael Warning, who went for 3.2 innings. During the first inning, Cal State LA earned three runs off of Warning.
Coming back during the fourth, Sonoma State player Daniel Hawkins’ groundout put SSU on the board. Junior Grant St. Martin hit the first homer of the series to right field. The Eagles had a one run lead at this time.
This is Martin’s fourth homer of the year and first in conference.
“It was definitely nice to get a good start to the weekend,” he said. Being a utility player, he came in to finish off the game and get his fifth save of the year.
“My mentality is just to come back in and be a rock for my teammates wherever I am needed,” he said. “Whether it be at the plate or on the mound, I just want to do what I can to contribute to a win.”
Coming back in the sixth inning, SSU woke up with a 6-3 lead over the Golden Eagles, and then scored two more runs over Cal State LA during the ninth inning. With a win, Sonoma State said they were ready to take on game three of the series.
Junior pitcher Tyson Canfield came in for 4.1 innings.
“One thing that I have to have on the day I pitch is some music because it gets me ready to go,” he said. “I play some long toss and think about how I am going to pitch to the opposing team. Once I get to the field I make sure my lower back and legs are stretched out. I throw 20 pitches in the bullpen, making sure all my offspeed pitches are working, like my curveball, slider and change-up.”
Going into the second game of the day, Sonoma State grabbed a quick lead in the first. Matthew Richards singled to right as Joshua Montelongo came in with a 1-0 lead.
Following the fifth inning, Richards grounded out, scoring St. Martin. In the bottom of the fifth, Cal State LA came in, taking the lead from the Seawolves.
The Seawolves fell to Cal State LA during the second game, with the final score of 8-5.
The final game made Sonoma State history, with seven home runs and the SSU Seawolves’ final score of 21-15. Bryce Nagata went six-for-seven and St. Martin hit two more out of the park. During the third, Nagata was back up to the plate and hit a grand slam, advancing Sonoma State’s lead to 14-4 against Cal State LA.
However, the Golden Eagles came back hard with a 14-13 score in the sixth.
Starting pitcher Michael Byerline commented on this last game, saying, “It was definitely a game we needed to win. We put ourselves in a good position heading into the last few weeks, and as long as we keep playing the way we are then we should be fine.
“Today’s game was an anomaly because of how many home runs were hit. I am just glad that our hitters are in the groove; hopefully we can keep that up in these next few weeks.”
Sonoma State improves its standings to 22-16 overall and 18-14 CCAA. The Seawolves will come back home and play the No. 1 seed Cal State Monterey Bay this weekend. This four-game series begins April 20.