A combination of sloppy defense and a wind-shortened left-field porch combined to help sink the SF State baseball team 6-4 against Cal State Dominguez Hills in the first game of a four-game series April 29.
Though SF State recorded a season-high 12 hits, five Gators committed six errors throughout the contest, and reliever Steven Dea capped a haphazard eighth inning by surrendering the decisive three-run home run to the Toros’ Kyle Pond on a blustery day when three balls made it over the left field wall at Maloney Field.
“The ball got up and traveled a little more than it usually does today,” said SF State head coach Mike Cummins. “Nevertheless, we lost the game because we did not do the little things. We did not run the bases well, put pitchers in tough situations and extended innings, and made six errors. Our pitchers kept it close and allowed us to compete, but they took advantage.”
The teams traded leads early in the game on home runs by the Toros’ Barrett Ceverha and SF State’s Trever Pasiecznik, one of his three hits in the game. Andrew Suvunnachuen, Kevin Dultz and Dustin Wold also notched two hits apiece in the Gators’ 12-hit effort.
Junior pitcher Branden Petrangelo pitched seven innings for the Gators and received a no decision, allowing three earned runs on eight hits while both walking and striking out four. The offense backed him with four runs and a 4-3 lead before Dea blew the save in the eighth amid a cacophony of errors and slipshod play.
With one out in the top of the eighth, the Toros’ Kevin Logan reached first on an error, stole second and advanced to third on another Gator throwing error. Dea walked Carlos Leyva to put runners at the corners before Pond launched a 1-0 pitch over the left-field wall, his second of the season.
“Branden threw well today,” Pasiecznik said. “If we played an errorless game, then we would have won. It leaves a sour taste in your mouth when you play hard, but give the game away. The ball just hasn’t bounced our way this season. We have lost a lot of close games.”
Wold, who entered the first game of the series with a team-high .292 batting average, did not seem concerned about the team’s pitching and defensive struggles.
“I am not worried about our pitching,” Wold said. “Branden and the rest of the pitching staff battle. We simply had some little mistakes with runners getting picked off. Still, we want to come out with more fire and salvage the rest of the season. We are trying to win our last seven games.”
The Gators’ remaining schedule has them playing four conference games versus the Cal State Stanislaus Warriors. SF State will host the Warriors May 6 and May 8, with the May 8 contest being Senior Day, the final regular season game for eight senior Gator players.
“We are obviously sick of losing,” Pasiecznik said. “We want to do whatever we can to win a game.”