The University of Redlands baseball team lost the opening game and tied the second of a non-conference doubleheader against the Gents of Centenary College (LA) on Saturday afternoon at The Yard. After leading for the majority of the first game, the Bulldogs struggled to close it out and suffered a 3-5 loss. During the nightcap, they came from behind for a 6-6 tie before it was cut short due to insufficient light.
Amidst a pitchers' duel that remained scoreless through 3.5 innings, senior designated hitter Eduardo Martinez-Razo (Rialto, CA) set up Bulldog runners on second and third with a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the fourth. On the next at-bat, first-year catcher Sammy Diaz (Palm Desert, CA) registered an RBI with a groundout to the shortstop that pushed across junior second baseman Andrew Renteria (Van Nuys, CA) for the first run of the game.
After sophomore pitcher Chris Fousek Jr. (San Diego, CA) sat down another three consecutive batters in the top of the fifth, the Bulldogs extended their lead with a run from senior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA). When the Gents attempted to pick him off at first, Singh made it all the way home on an errant Centenary throw for Redlands' 2-0 lead.
Following another efficient inning from Fousek in the top of the sixth, Diaz singled to center field to score junior third baseman Anthony Acosta (Simi Valley, CA) to put the Bulldogs up, 3-0.
However, the Gents made up a run in the seventh and then scored four in the ninth to pull ahead for a 5-3 win in game one.
Fousek matched a career-high eight strikeouts and pitched three, 1-2-3 innings in the process.
In game two, the Gents scored first with two runs in the top of the third. But the Bulldogs' bats came alive in the bottom of the frame to pull ahead, 3-2. Senior catcher Bart In den Kleef (Oosterhout, Netherlands), first-year centerfielder Payton Walsh (Santa Ana, CA), and Singh each singled on the first three at-bats to load the bases with no outs. After In den Kleef scored on a wild pitch, sophomore right fielder Cal Bridges (Fremont, CA) provided a sacrifice fly to send Walsh home. With two outs and one on, Acosta singled to left field to push across Singh for the go-ahead run.
Redlands appeared to be on cruise control, with solid defense and pitching keeping it ahead through seven innings. But by the ninth inning, the Gents scored three to put the Maroon and Gray in a 3-6 hole. The Bulldogs grinded out three runs to tie the game at 6-6, but the game was called due to darkness. To get things going, Bridges singled to left center, which brought in Walsh to make it 4-6. With two outs, Acosta came up clutch with a single to right field to bring in the game-tying runs. Now with runners on first and second, Martinez-Razo singled to right field, but the Gents threw out the runner at home just in time to end the inning and the game.
Overall, Singh came up big by going 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs while also anchoring the defense with seven assists and a putout. Walsh also played well with a 2-for-3 showing at the plate.
Redlands (7-11-1) remains home for another non-conference showdown on Friday, March 15, at 3 p.m. against Ithaca College (NY).