Golden Eagles soar in Hayward

Louis LaVenture,
Sports and Campus Editor

Home was not kind to the Cal State East Bay baseball team last weekend.

The Pioneers’ losing streak was extended to seven games after the Cal State Los Angeles Golden Eagles swept a four-game series with CSUEB at Pioneer Baseball Field on the Hayward campus.

CSUEB is now 7-20 overall and 4-16 in California Collegiate Athletic Association conference games while CSULA improved to 19-9 overall and 14-6 in conference play. The Pioneers were outscored 21-8 by the Golden Eagles in the home stand.

Game one of the series against CSULA on Friday was the closest of the four games and the Pioneers eventually lost in extra innings by a final of 9-7. The Pioneers took a 7-5 lead in to the top of the ninth inning but a throwing error allowed the Golden Eagles to score two unearned runs, which tied the game at 7-7 and forced extra innings.

CSULA junior catcher Ryan Welker and senior outfielder Trent Zaks both drove in runs in the top of the tenth inning which secured the two-run victory for the Golden Eagles.

“Winning the first game of the series is huge because of the momentum going in to the next day,” CSUEB senior pitcher Michael Pope said.

CSUEB junior utility player Rudy Navarro was solid for the Pioneers in the loss as he amassed four hits in five plate appearances and drove in two runs.
“Rudy got it going this weekend,” CSUEB Assistant Coach Darren Lewis said. “We know he is a good hitter.”

The two teams played a doubleheader on Saturday and the results were the same, two victories for CSULA, 7-1 and 2-0. The Golden Eagles accumulated an impressive 17 hits in the 7-1 triumph over CSUEB. Zaks led the way offensively for the Golden Eagles with three hits, two RBI’s, and he also scored twice.

CSULA senior pitcher Icezack Flemming recorded a complete game victory and allowed just one run on five hits while he struck out 11 batters. Pioneers senior outfielder Kelly Starnes drove in the lone run of the game for CSUEB on a sacrifice fly to right field in the first inning against CSULA.

The great pitching continued for the Golden Eagles in game two of the doubleheader on Saturday and junior pitcher Ralph Ramirez recorded his fifth victory of the season on the mound for CSULA. Ramirez allowed just three hits in a complete game shutout for the senior hurler. Pioneers freshman pitcher Alex Vesia was also impressive on the mound and allowed just six hits and two runs in a complete game effort.

“Vesia came in big,” CSUEB senior infielder Ryan Cochan said. “He really impressed me.”

The final game of the series was on on Sunday and started as a pitcher’s duel until the fifth inning. CSULA got to Pioneer freshman starter Jacob Call in the fifth and sixth innings for the only three runs of the game. Golden Eagles Dakota Hernandez, Jesus Cuevas, and Trevor Meleski all drove in runs off of Call which was enough to secure the three-run victory.

CSULA returns home for their next series against Chico State (12-14 overall, 11-12 conference) April 2 through April 4 at Reeder Field in Los Angeles. The Pioneers will have to go on the road to Rohnert Park to take on Sonoma State (17-16, 11-13) at Seawolf Diamond April 2 through April 4.

“It’s only going to get tougher this weekend versus Sonoma. They have excellent arms too,” Lewis said. “Lets see if some of our other hitters who are struggling can get it going like Rudy did against CSULA?”