Pioneer Baseball Makes East Bay History

Scarlet Schwenk, Managing Editor

East Bay’s first at-home sweep for the 2022 season and breaks the record for most stolen bases. 

Hayward, CALIF —Pioneer baseball swept California State University, Dominguez Hills in their four-game series at home on April 22-24, 2022, finalizing their victory with a walk-off win. The sweep marked the first at-home win in conference for the 2022 season. 

Brown Essex Jr. made East Bay history with the single-season record for stolen bases, stealing his 30th base of the season in the series against Cal State Bernadino (April 29-May 1, 2022). 

Samuel Esparza scored the winning run with Jacob Klinovsky finalized the game 4-3, hitting a double to left field. Sweeping Dominguez Hills, the Pioneers are now poised to make the CCAA tournament, securing one spot away from the sixth seed. The Pioneer’s pitching staff limited their opponents to a mere 12 runs over four games, registering the victories. 

“The offense did an amazing job, [answering] back in crucial innings to earn the sweep, including two walk-offs by freshmen that came to the plate with confidence,” explained Dylan Anderman, who announced the series. “Hopefully, they keep this rolling through the next two weeks and play that Pioneer baseball we saw all weekend long.” 

The team is a family that picks each other up, playing with energy, grit, and for each other, according to Anderman. 

The Pioneers are now tied for sixth with Sonoma State, both sporting a record of 16-16.  Sophomore Manny Garcia, awarded the Rising Star Award as the best sophomore male athlete, led the Pioneers in scoring, going 2-for-3. Garcia marked the first run in the final game off an RBI single from sophomore Matthew O’Mahony. 

“Having such a big series against one of the top teams solidifies that we can hang with anyone, we are playing [with confidence], and everyone trusts another to get the job done,” Garcia commented. “The path to the tournament is laid out in front of us; all we have to do is trust our preparation and leave everything we have out on the field.” 

One of those players leaving everything out on the field is sophomore pitcher Ethan Brodsky. Propelling the team to win their second game against Dominguez Hills, Brodsky marked a season-high record with ten strikeouts in seven innings. His record secured the second win in the series. 

“We knew that coming into the series that Dominguez Hills are free-swingers. I like to throw a lot of off-speed pitches, so I was expecting the matchup to go my way,” Brodsky discussed. “Thankfully, I had all four of my pitches working which allowed me to shut [them] down.” 

The team attributes their season-long success to the player’s “next man up” mentality, stepping up to the plate with confidence and Pioneer pride. The team is aiming to place in the CCAA D2 tournament, following other East Bay sports in their shoes.