SF State men's baseball splits Sunday doubleheader against CSU Monterey Bay

The SF State men’s baseball team experienced both highs and lows in the double header against California State University Monterey Bay Sunday afternoon. The Gators earned a win in the first game, beating the Otters 13-7, but failed to come back in an 8-2 loss in the second game of the day.

After being swept in game one and two Saturday against the Otters, the Gators decided to flip the script and focus on their batting. But they were unable to bring that same fire for the last game of the series.

“After yesterday’s losses we just wanted to come out and play better ball than we did ,” said AJ Almaraz, second baseman. “We had a strong mindset that we could go out and beat this team and that’s what we did.”

The Otters scored first run at the top of the second inning of the first game when designated hitter David Garcia stole home on a double play.  Garcia would help put up another run for the Otters in the bottom of the third with a single to center field that batted in second baseman Ronnie Fhurong.

The Gators finally answered the call in the bottom of the third inning with the bases loaded. Right-fielder Ivan Otsuka, first baseman Andrew Suvunnachuen and third baseman Miguel Flores all waited on-base for their chance to score.

“The bases were loaded and the pressure was on them,” Suvunnachuen said. “We took advantage of that and we kept the pressure going.”

Designated hitter Mark Lindsay hit a single, sending Otsuka to home plate.  Suvunnachuen, Flores and Lindsay would quickly follow suit along with three other Gators.  As the batting rotation came back to the top of the order, Otsuka’s grounder to second base would put an end to the seven-run inning.

The Otters didn’t put up another run until the top of the fifth inning when third baseman Danny Nelson scored on Flores’ throwing error.

The Gators snuck a few more runs through in the bottom of the sixth inning when Suvunnachuen picked up another run during a double play.  Catcher Matt Quintero and Almaraz worked together on the following play. Almarez faked like he was stealing second, providing a distraction the Gators needed so Quintero could steal home.

“I was just waiting for the catcher to throw the ball,” Quintero said.  “As soon as he threw it I just ran home because there was no way they were going to get me after that.”

After a late home run by Monterey Bay in the seventh innning, the Gators sent the Otters back to the dugout with a double play in the final inning, defeating the team 13-7.

Though the Gators allowed the high of their win to trickle over in the first two innings of the second game, with runs from outfielder Dustin Wold and Almaraz, the last game of the series proved unsuccessful for the Gators.

In the top of the fourth inning, Gator pitcher Jack Jorgensen would stumble over a few fielding errors that allowed the Otters to get on base and pick up three runs.  Eric Watts would come in to relieve Jorgensen at the top of the fifth inning. Watts couldn’t slow the Otters’ momentum after they picked up four more runs and put an end to the Gators’ chance of a comeback.

“(Jorgensen) kind of got behind and was walking a tight rope there for a little bit,” said Mike Cummins, Gator head coach. “They’re a good hitting club. You keep getting behind you’re going to give them better counts to hit and that’s what happened.”

The final game came to an end in the bottom of the ninth inning when pinch hitter Mark Johnson grounded out to the Otters’ shortstop, putting an end to the four-game series.

“That’s just baseball,” Quintero said. “You’re going to have a good game and then turn around and stuff is not going to fall for you. Not every hit is going to fall. You’re going to make physical errors, that’s just part of the game.”

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