Historic season comes to an end

Historic+season+comes+to+an+end

Graphic by Tam Duong Jr./The Pioneer

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

The Pioneers fell in two tough games on Thursday and Friday that put their record season, 33-22 overall, to an end.

East Bay traveled to Riverside on Thursday and competed against top tier California Baptist University, who ranked #7 for their first game of the NCAA Division II West regionals. The game did not go The Pioneers’ way, as they were shutout for the second time this season.

California Baptist put East Bay in a hole early in the bottom of the first inning. The Lancer’s first baseman Antonio Chavarria helped get them on the board when he popped up a ball to center field, giving right fielder AJ David the score. Cal Baptist continued to score as center fielder Ryan Williams and left fielder DJ Porter both hit home runs, giving the Lancers a 5-0 lead at the end of the first ending.

The Pioneers had no response in the second inning, but Cal Baptist continued their stellar hitting when second baseman Jake Gallaway homered to left field and put the Lancers up 6-0, going into the third inning. Throughout the third and fourth innings, both East Bay and Baptist were quiet as the scored remained stagnant.

“Our bats just were not getting warm, and Cal Baptist was on their game, so it’s tough to keep up when the other team is hitting like that,” said East Bay catcher Chris Porter.

Cal Baptist was definitely on their game and their momentum did not stop there. In the fifth and sixth innings, the Lancers combined for a total of three home runs by designated hitter Bryce Macy, David and for the second time of the game, Williams.

This gave the Lancers a 11-0 lead going into the seventh. East Bay’s hopes of making a comeback, as they have done so well this season, seemed unlikely. The Pioneers could not put anything on the board, as it was an offensively-challenged game and they ended up falling to the Lancers 14-0, their worst lost of the season. CSUEB’s Porter went 2-for-4 on the day and second baseman Dakota Conners went for 2-for-3 as well.

Despite the tough loss, The Pioneers were not out of the playoff run, and had a chance to redeem themselves the next day in the elimination game, as they faced another top team, Dixie State, 39-13 overall, which ranked #13 in the nation.

The game was scoreless throughout the first three innings, but East Bay put something on the board first, in the bottom of the fourth when first baseman Troy Resch grounded out to second base, leading to a Raymond Jones score.

Dixie State answered right back in the fifth inning as shortstop Tanner Morache singled through the left side and both right fielder Trey Kamachi and center fielder Jerome Hill II scored, which put the Trailblazers up 2-1.

Resch put The Pioneers back in the driver’s seat in the bottom of the seventh when he homered to right field, which plated third baseman Rudy Navarro.

“I have a lot of confidence in myself when I go up to bat, or just in the game in general and it shows when I play,” said Resch. “The hard work pays off.”

East Bay designated hitter Zack Perugi helped put another run on the board in the bottom of the seventh, when he flied out and left fielder Myles Babitt scored. The Pioneers took a 4-2 lead into the eighth inning, but could not hold on to it.

The Trailblazers fought back and scored 4 runs in the top of the eighth, which put them back in the lead. The game was put away when Hill II doubled to left center and Trey Kamachi scored, which gave Dixie the 6-4 win.

The loss eliminated East Bay from the playoffs and put an end to their historical season.

“Despite the losses, we had a lot of fun and it was an honor getting to be apart of playoffs for the first time,” said Porter. “Getting to compete at a high level and face great competition is always fun to do. We have proved so many people wrong this season; we were counted out and many did not think we could get here, but we did.”

East Bay ended their season with a record of 33-22 overall and 21-16 conference, the best season the program has ever had in a strong conference. With just 10 seniors, The Pioneers will return with 23 underclassmen who will go into next season with a good amount of postseason experience.

“We have made such a statement by all the success we have had this year, everything we did was a huge accomplishment and I am proud of the my team,” said Resch.