Approaching the midway point of their season, the CSU East Bay baseball team has found itself in last place just three games behind San Francisco State University.
With a 5-18 record in CCAA play and a 3-13 overall record, the Pioneers realize there is still plenty of baseball left to be played this spring.
The Pioneers were out in action on Sunday, March 13 in efforts to begin their climb up the ladder back into the mix in the CCAA Division II.
They squared off against fifth place CSU San Bernardino in a close match up. Despite rallying in the bottom of the eighth inning to make it a one run deficit after entering the inning down three runs, the Pioneers couldn’t pull off the upset, as San Bernardino went on to defeat them 6-5.
“It was a tough loss,” said Associate Head Baseball coach, John Carrion.
“We need to work on executing better offensively and score runs. The strength of our team right now is our pitching.”
The starting pitcher of Sunday’s game was A.J Gallardo (3-3), who went six innings, allowing four earned runs while striking out three batters. Despite being handed a loss, Gallardo still holds the top spot for wins on the team among pitchers and has also tossed the most complete games with three.
Gallardo still feels optimistic about the direction of this team.
“We’re working hard,” said Gallardo. “We’ve just been catching too many bad breaks in games, such as costly errors.”
“We need to execute the small plays and take what the game gives us. We need to piece the puzzle together.”
In his first year at CSUEB, the junior from Ventura is showing he can be a go-to player that head coach Dick Morrison can utilize in future games.
“I feel good about my performances lately,” said Gallardo.
“My arm is getting a lot stronger and I’m able to go a lot deeper into games.”
The starting pitcher received 2nd Team All-Conference recognition in his last year at Ventura College as a sophomore, and has been playing baseball since the age of four.
First basemen Nick McManus went two for four against San Bernardino on Sunday with a walk and an RBI.
The senior currently leads the team in batting with a .353 average and 14 runs batted in for the Pioneers.
McManus and Gallardo, along with the rest of the team, seek to improve on their previous performances and get their season back on track.
The Pioneers are set to begin a four-game series against San Francisco State on March 18 on the Pioneer Field.