Baseball goes out on top

Back to Article
Back to Article

Baseball goes out on top

PHOTOS BY KRISTIANA FEDERE/THE PIONEER

PHOTOS BY KRISTIANA FEDERE/THE PIONEER

PHOTOS BY KRISTIANA FEDERE/THE PIONEER

Louis LaVenture,
Sports and Campus Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Despite being eliminated from the postseason, the Cal State East Bay baseball team didn’t let that ruin their final home series of the 2015 regular season and senior day.

The Pioneers swept Cal State Stanislaus that included Sunday’s senior day game, which marked the last appearance for nine CSUEB seniors. CSUEB closed out their season with six consecutive wins and a 13-3 record in their last 16 games.

Things got started with a bang on Friday in the series opener when the Pioneers (21-26 overall, 18-22 conference) came back in the bottom of the eighth inning to edge out the Warriors 6-5. CSUEB had a 4-2 lead going into the inning, but CSUS scored three runs in the top half to take a one run lead, 5-4.

CSUEB junior infielder Ryan Wheat lays down a bunt against Cal State Stanislaus on Sunday.

PHOTOS BY KRISTIANA FEDERE/THE PIONEER
CSUEB junior infielder Ryan Wheat lays down a bunt against Cal State Stanislaus on Sunday.

CSUEB sophomore outfielder Marcus Wise scored on a fielder’s choice from second base to secure the victory. Senior pitcher Michael Pope pitched seven strong innings but senior Julian Garcia picked up the win and junior reliever Cole Compton picked up the save. Wise had three hits in five plate appearances and also drove in a run in the win.

That momentum carried over to Saturday for the Pioneers and the managed to secure victories in both games of the double header 14-7 and 6-4. CSUEB was down 6-1 going into the fourth inning but scored at least one run in every inning for the rest of the game to pull away 14-7. Senior pitcher Justin Harr picked up the win on the mound for CSUEB and Rudy Navarro and Ryan Wheat led the way offensively as they combined for six hits and seven of the Pioneers 14 runs.

Game two of the doubleheader was a little bit tighter throughout and CSUEB trailed the Warriors 2-1 after three innings. However, the Pioneer exploded for five runs in the fourth inning to put them up for good. CSUEB senior Jason Fletcher knocked in a run and scored in the inning that helped secure the win for the Pioneers. CSUEB freshman pitcher Alex Vesia picked up his fifth win of the season on the hill for the Pioneers after he pitched five complete innings.

That set up senior day on Sunday, which marked the final game for Daniel Carney, Fletcher, Garcia, Harr, Devin Higgins, Ryan Kochan, Pope, Jacob Phillips, and Kelly Starnes. The seniors got to end their careers in dramatic fashion with a walk-off single by Wheat in the bottom of the thirteenth inning.

CSUEB freshman pitcher Donavon Ramirez celebrates with his teammates on Sunday after a win over CSUS.

PHOTOS BY KRISTIANA FEDERE/THE PIONEER
CSUEB freshman pitcher Donavon Ramirez celebrates with his teammates on Sunday after a win over CSUS.

“They are real tough especially at home,” CSUS senior pitcher Aaron Godinez said. “Definitely not the way we wanted to end the season, especially in such a close game.”

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Navarro hammered a home run to left field that tied the game at five.

The game remained tied until the bottom of the thirteenth inning when Navarro singled to right field to start off the inning. Navarro advanced to second base on a sacrifice and Wheat came through with the game-winning hit to secure the win 6-5.

Junior Michael Frantz picked up his first victory of the year on the hill for the Pioneers. Navarro led the way on offense with three hits, two runs batted in, and scored twice.

“I am just really thankful for my family, teammates and coaches,” Starnes said. “There is no way I could have gotten to this point without all of them.”