Baseball falls to conference rival SFSU Gators

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

The Cal State East Bay baseball team fell to rival San Francisco State in a game with very little offense on Tuesday afternoon.East Bay was fresh off a road trip in Southern California last weekend, where they faced UC San Diego (29-17 overall, 18-15 conference) in a three-game series winning two, 5-2 and 6-1, and losing one 7-6.

With one day of rest, East Bay was back on the field against SFSU (22-22 overall, 14-18 conference). The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth inning, when Gators infielder Andrew Breen hit a single that scored junior center fielder Jake Faulkner, putting SFSU up 1-0.

East Bay would then tie the contest in the bottom of the fourth inning when sophomore second baseman Dakota Conners grounded into double play to second base, which led to a score by senior third baseman Rudy Navarro.

Unfortunately, that would be the only run scored by the Pioneers in the whole game.

The game stayed tied until the seventh inning, when Gators’ designated hitter Ryan Burke singled to right field, that scored junior outfielder Ryan Taylor for the game-winning run that made the final 2-1.

“It’s disappointing to lose, but we are keeping our heads up high because we know how special our team is,” said sophomore pitcher Jacob Call. “We have to continue to play towards our strengths (the small things).”

The loss put the Pioneers’ record at 27-17 overall and 18-15 in California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference games, which means they still have a chance to make the postseason.

They face the first place team in CCAA North Division, Cal State Monterey Bay (31-14 overall, 20-13 conference) in a four-game series, their last of the regular season, which starts tomorrow in Hayward at 3 p.m.
  “This last series won’t be a walk in the park; we have to bring our A-game,” said Navarro. “It’s going to take all around team effort, starting with pitching, defense and timely hitting when the opportunities present themselves.”

In the win against San Diego in the first game on Saturday, senior outfielder Myles Babitt went 3 for 4 with 2 runs in the game, and continued his exceptional hitting as in the past few games.

“I just keep putting in the extra work in the cages outside of practice,” said Babitt. “I’m doing my best to consistently have success on the plate, and that only comes from getting as many reps as I can.”

Sophomore pitcher Alex Vesia also had a great game as he pitched 8 innings, giving up just 2 runs on 7 hits in the 5-2 win.

The second game against the Tritons saw East Bay fall in a close game, 7-6 but bounced back in the third game to claim a 6-1 triumph, thanks to a strong pitching performance from Call.

“I felt great out there,” said Call. “I have a great defense behind me that made plays. Everytime I step on the mound, my goal is to just give my team a chance to win, game-planning against the hitters and remaining confident.”

The Pioneers didn’t score until the third inning, when Raymond Jones singled to left field, giving Michael Frantz the score.

They would continue to score only allowing the Tritons to put one on the board and secure the 6-1 win. Junior outfielders Marcus Wise and Jones, as well as Navarro, all had 2 hits and RBIs.