Following their two games against Fresno Pacific University on Sunday, Sonoma State’s Baseball record is 1-1 to start the season. The team was able to pick up a win in their second game with strong defensive efforts. Senior reliever, Michael Byerline, emphasized his teams strengths and weaknesses goals in a post-game interview.
“We were able to throw a lot of strikes on the mound today which limited the amount of free bases we gave up,” Byerline said. “On the other hand, we got caught in a few base running mistakes that costed us some outs.”
The Seawolves lost their first game against Fresno Pacific 7-5 but managed to bounce back in the next game, winning 1-0.
“We should be a little more patient at the plate.”, Byerline said. “Our hitters got caught off balance and chased balls out of the zone a few times, but that’s to be expected in our first series of the season. Otherwise, we were pretty solid defensively.”
The pitching staff shutdown Fresno Pacific during game two of Sunday’s double-header. Junior, Robert Towne, had five strikeouts while Tyson Canfield, Senior, closed the game leaving Fresno Pacific scoreless.
“Our team works amazing together this season,” Byerline added. “This is the best team chemistry we have had out of my four years by far. Everyone loves playing with the guy next to him and that is really going to help us during the long season.”
With a 26-24 record last season, the seawolves were just shy of making the postseason in 2018.
“Our team last year underachieved in my opinion,” said the senior reliever. “We had a lot of talent but it never really meshed at the right time and it resulted in us missing playoffs by half a game.”
Byerline has been of great help on the field during his time at Sonoma State with a 2.70 ERA during his freshman year. Now in his final season as a Seawolf, Byerline expects to continue supporting his team with a positive mindset.
“One of the biggest challenges is staying positive and resilient when things aren’t going our way individually or as a team,” Byerline also added.
The team is optimistic about this upcoming season with hopes of winning the national championship. Catcher Patrick Tolbert is confident he can help carry his team to the postseason following the team’s win on Sunday.
“My individual goal is to drive as many runners in that I can,” Tolbert said. “Our goal is to win a national championship. As a senior captain on this team I have a large impact on that becoming a reality.”
Looking to bring his veteran experience to the field, Tolbert is prepared to conquer the team’s defensive struggles.
“The team works very well together on and off the field.”, the Catcher explained. “The team struggled last season with some of the defensive consistency. If our pitchers hit the spots they need to hit, there is no stopping them.”
“I will personally face the individual challenge of increased playing time which will demand that I keep my body in the best possible shape,” Tolbert concluded.
Sonoma State’s baseball team has an exciting season ahead of them and appear prepared to overcome defensive obstacles. With significant support from team veterans including Michael Byerline and Patrick Tolbert, the Seawolves should have their eyes set on the postseason.