The University of Redlands baseball team rallied from down five runs to push past Pomona-Pitzer Colleges by a score of 11-9 in Friday's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) thriller in Claremont.
At the top of the lineup, senior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) led off the game with an explosive triple to left field. Junior third baseman Anthony Acosta (Simi Valley, CA) cleaned up with a single to center field to push Singh across for the first run of the game.
Although the Sagehens scored two in the bottom of the first, first-year catcher Sammy Diaz (Palm Desert, CA) started off the second inning with a single through the left side. He then stole third and made it home on a pop fly to knot the game at two-all.
However, Pomona-Pitzer gained momentum in the third and fourth innings and carried a 7-2 lead into the fifth.
The tide turned as the Bulldogs' bats heated up in the top of the fifth. Acosta and junior second baseman Andrew Renteria (Van Nuys, CA) each singled to center field, before senior first baseman Brendan Moore (Murrieta, CA) and Diaz each doubled to account for three runs. Diaz tacked on another on a wild pitch to move the Maroon and Gray within one run at 6-7. The defense got the job done in the bottom of the inning with three consecutive outs to leave two runners on base for the Sagehens.
Redlands continued to roll with three runs in another big inning in the sixth. First-year centerfielder Payton Walsh (Santa Ana, CA) led off with a double to right center and Singh earned a free pass on the next at-bat. On a throwing error by the Pomona-Pitzer pitcher, Walsh made his way home to tie the game at seven apiece. Singh then scored the go-ahead run on a groundout to nab an 8-7 advantage. Diaz remained hot at the plate by blasting a single through the right side, which allowed the Bulldogs' ninth run of the game to touch home plate.
Although the Sagehens knotted the game once again in the bottom of the sixth, the Bulldogs avoided further damage with tough defense that left two stranded on base.
In the top of the eighth, Redlands gained control when Renteria ripped a double to left field that sent Singh home for a 10-8 lead. The Bulldogs tacked on another run in the top of the ninth when sophomore right fielder Cal Bridges (Fremont, CA) came home on a wild pitch.
Bridges then climbed the hill in the bottom of the ninth to seal the 11-9 victory for the Bulldogs.
Diaz went 3-for-5 from the plate with three RBI and two runs, while Renteria tallied two hits and two RBI.
Redlands (10-15-1, 4-6 SCIAC) continues the series against the Sagehens on Saturday, March 30, at the Yard, with an 11 a.m. doubleheader.