The University of Redlands baseball team battled late but came up short by a score of 5-6 in the first game of a three-game series against Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) foe, No. 29 Cal Lutheran University, on Friday afternoon at The Yard.
The Bulldogs averted danger early with tough defense to leave three Kingsmen stranded in the top of the first inning. With one out and the bases loaded, senior left fielder Eduardo Martinez-Razo (Rialto, CA) fielded a fly ball for the second out and held the runner at third with a well-placed ball to the infield. The Bulldogs made a play at first to retire the side and keep Cal Lutheran off the board.
Both teams made the necessary plays to keep each other scoreless until the top of the fourth when the Kingsmen pushed across two runs.
However, the Maroon and Gray evened the tally with a productive fifth inning that was led off by sophomore right fielder Cal Bridges' (Fremont, CA) double. Senior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) sent him home with a single through the right side, while sophomore third baseman Anthony Acosta (Simi Valley, CA) blasted an RBI triple to right field to plate Singh for the equalizer.
Although the Kingsmen registered three runs in the top of the seventh, the Bulldogs came back to within one run after Acosta's two-RBI double in the bottom of the frame made it, 4-5.
In the eighth inning, the Bulldogs recorded the first two outs, but Cal Lutheran managed a run before the half inning was over to push the visitors' lead to 6-4.
In the bottom of the frame, sophomore second baseman Trevor Smith (Coronado, CA) hit a sacrifice fly to allow junior designated hitter Joey Wozniak (San Diego, CA) to touch home, but it was not enough to cover the deficit in the game-one loss.
Acosta went 3-for-5 at the plate, including a triple and a double for three RBI, while Bridges was a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs. On the mound, sophomore pitcher Matt Crow (Lake Elsinore, CA) threw four strikeouts in 2.0 innings pitched.
Redlands (14-20-1, 8-11 SCIAC) looks for redemption against Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks on Saturday, April 20, beginning at 11 a.m.