Pioneers tame Toros in home series

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

The California State East Bay Baseball team improved their record, to 20-10 overall and 11-7 in conference games, over the weekend after they went 2-1 against the Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros (7-24 overall, 5-16 conference) in a three-game series.

On Saturday, the two teams split games in their doubleheader against each other.

“Baseball is a very strange game, you literally have to execute and be on point every single game or another team will get the upper hand on you,” junior utility player Dallas Dey said.

In the first game, East Bay took control as they scored early with 3 runs in the bottom of the second inning. Sophomore catcher Matt Cantelme helped the Pioneers get their first run when he was able to advance to second base on a wild pitch, which helped senior pitcher Wyatt Foreman head home and put the Pioneers up 1-0.

Shortly after senior outfielder Marcus Wise singled to right center field and was able to advance to second base after an error by the Toros centerfielder, which also gave the Pioneers 2 runs by Cantelme and sophomore utility player Joey Dice.

Both teams went scoreless in the third inning but in the top of the fourth Dominguez Hills answered back and scored 2 runs to make the score 3-2. East Bay responded with another run in the bottom of the fifth inning when senior infielder Michael Thomas doubled to left field and Wise scored.

The Pioneers continued to make plays on offense as they put up 4 more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and secured the 8-3 win. Junior pitcher Alex Vesia had five strikeouts and did not allow any earned runs in the victory.

In the second game of the double header, Dey and Dice led the way for the Pioneers. Dey went for a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate and added 2 runs and 2 steals in the game. Dice hit a homerun, and went 2-for-4 at bat.  

“It felt good to put up those type of numbers, despite the loss,” Dey said. “Just trying to produce quality plays to help my team, no matter where I am on the field, it is important I give my best effort to try to put us in winning positions.”

Despite the duo’s strong performances it was not enough to get a win for the Pioneers. The Toros, just as East bay had in the previous game, got ahead early in the game as they scored 3 runs in the top of the second inning.

East Bay responded by scoring in four straight innings but the Toros continued to have the upper hand as they scored 3 runs in the top of the ninth inning to seal the victory 8-4.

In the third game of the series both teams were scoreless through five innings, led by dominant performances by Pioneer pitcher junior Jacob Call and Dominguez Hills’ senior pitcher Ethan Etchebarren.

“They had a very crafty lefty [in Ethan Etchebarren], he was hitting the right spots very well to prevent us from converting plays,” senior infielder Michael Thomas said. “We were also doing too much and weren’t relaxed, which prevented us from putting up runs early.”

Thomas put the Pioneers in scoring position when he tripled to left center field. Senior first baseman Troy Resch then singled up the middle, which scored Thomas and put East Bay up 1-0.

The Pioneers scored 3 more runs in the inning by Resch, Dice and Foreman to extend the lead to 4-0.

Although they did not score any more runs after the sixth inning, the Pioneers only allowed 1 run by the Toros in the top of the seventh inning, which helped them secure a 4-1 win.

East Bay is currently in third place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association North Division and will travel to Southern California to play Cal Poly Pomona (16-16, 12-9) at Scolinos Field on Saturday and Sunday.