Baseball wins home opener


Photo by Kedar Dutt/The PIoneer

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

After four long months of presea- son practice, the California State East Bay men’s baseball team kicked off its season against the Academy of Art (1-3 overall) on Thursday and Friday.

“Our goal is to pick up right where we left last year,” senior Troy Resch said. “Winning the North Division and getting to regionals are two things everyone on the team is trying to accomplish again.”

On Thursday the Pioneers fell to the Urban Knights 4-2 in what was both of the team’s first preseason game. East Bay allowed 8 walks and made a throwing error, which led to the loss. Despite the loss, junior pitcher Alex Vesia was solid on the mound for the Pioneers. He allowed one hit, 2 walks and had three strikeouts in three innings of work for the hurler.

The next day, East Bay continued their series against the Urban Knights. They came out strong in the first inning when first baseman Resch singled to right field, which led to a fielding error by the Academy of Art right fielder that put the Pioneers up 1-0 after senior outfielder Kris Bartlett scored on the play.

Shortly after, junior infielder Dakota Conners grounded out to shortstop, but Resch scored a run and put the team up 2-0. East Bay and the Academy of Art both went scoreless until the fifth inning when the Pioneers scored on a single to the left field by Resch that put them up 3-0. The Urban Knights caught some rhythm when senior infielder Erik Luna singled up the middle, and senior outfielder Cameron Jones scored to put them on the board. Academy of Art went on to score 4 more runs in the fifth inning, which gave them a 5-3 lead. But in the sixth inning, East Bay came alive again when senior outfielder Daniel Goodrich doubled to left center field and senior catcher Zack Perugia scored, right after Goodrich scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 5-5.

Resch was the only Pioneer player who had multiple hits, as he finished 2-for-4 and got the game-winning hit when he flied out to center field and gave senior outfielder Marcus Wise the game-winning run. “It just felt great to get out there after practicing and training all fall, I was just excited to finally play,” said Resch.

The next day, the Pioneers finally got to play their much-anticipated home opener with two back-to-back games against AAU, that ended with a pair of victories. The first game featured muddy fields and two East Bay players were walked when they got hit with the baseball at bat, but despite that the Pioneers had a very strong performance.

On Saturday, the men played against AAU on their home turf, which was wet and muddy from the rain the night before.

“The field was a little muddy, but not enough to really make a huge impact on the game,” Wise said. “We adjusted well and we are used to practicing in the morning with worse conditions so we know how to handle ourselves. To an extent, we use the conditions as a home field advantage.”

East Bay’s batting was filled with accuracy. Bartlett, senior catcher Wyatt Foreman and junior infielder Pablo Artero all had three hits in the first game which provided East Bay with the opportunity to put points on the scoreboard.

The Pioneers led 4-0 going into the fourth inning, but at the top of the fourth, the Academy of Art’s junior infielder Brennan Mauchline hit a home run to left field with bases loaded to tie the game up 4-4. East Bay did not let the Urban Knights score again. They dominated the rest of the game and scored 7 more runs to give them the 11-4 win.

After the victory, the Pioneers played the Urban Knights again directly afterward. East Bay started out strong again as they took a 5-0 lead in the first two innings. They went on to win 7-4, with 6 different players who scored a run.

Wise had a total of 2 hits, 1 run, 2 RBIs and three steals in the game. “I want to be the table setter for my team and lead by example,” Wise said. “I want to be able to consistently go out there and put myself in good positions offensively to allow my teammates to succeed.”

Despite the muddy conditions, East Bay looked very good out on the field and they are now 3-1 to start off the season. They host Central Washington on Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m.