Gators split games in doubleheader

The SF State baseball team hosted the Holy Names Hawks for a doubleheader Saturday, Feb. 6, losing the first game 9-2 and winning the second 4-3. The home opener for the Gators did not start as expected.

After falling to a 1-0 deficit in the first inning, the Gators would play from behind for the game’s duration.

Offensively, the Gators couldn’t catch any breaks. Multiple players hit hard line drives but just couldn’t find any gaps.

It was not much better on the defensive side. The Gators committed a total of five errors and surrendered 11 hits.

Head coach Tony Schifano said the ability to limit the number of mistakes in the second game led to a game in which they controlled.

“Pretty much I told them they have to obviously wash that (first) game away,” Schifano said. “Forget about it, but learn from it.”

 SF State Gator outfielder Zack Zevenbergen slides home for the winning run after a wild pitch during SF State’s Gators’ second game of a doubleheader at Maloney Field at SF State on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. The Gators defeated Holy Names University 4-3 in the second game of its doubleheader. (George Morin/Xpress)

SF State Gator outfielder Zack Zevenbergen slides home for the winning run after a wild pitch during SF State’s Gators’ second game of a doubleheader at Maloney Field at SF State on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. The Gators defeated Holy Names University 4-3 in the second game of its doubleheader. (George Morin/Xpress)

The Gators cut the number of errors down to three in the second game, and only gave up three hits as well.

Unlike the first game, the Gators were able to find some rhythm offensively. A rally in the third inning resulted in three runs and a 3-1 Gator lead.

When the Hawks were able to tie the game at three, the Gators found a way to score again. Center fielder Nick Jackson stole third base with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, which then led to him scoring on  a wild pitch. The Gators would maintain a 4-3 lead for the remainder of the game.

Third basemen Connor Fraser said the momentum the team had in the third inning helped them put some pressure on the defense, allowing them to take an early lead.

“I think Nick Jackson, or somebody, got on base,” Fraser said. “Being able to stack a hit after that to get some momentum building, get the dugout intensified after that, everything starts to roll a little easier.”

Fraser went 1 for 2 with one RBI in the second game of the doubleheader, but more importantly, he laid down the sacrifice bunt to move Jackson to second base, eventually scoring the winning run.

Jackson said the Gators were able to bounce back from the poor performance in the first game by playing smart, situational baseball.

“We got a little bit to work on the defensive side,” Jackson said. “Overall, the first game was a tough one. Flush it, let it go. The second game we came back and battled.”

Jackson went 1 for 3 in the second game, and scored two runs, one of which was the game winner.

The Gators will play Fresno Pacific University at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12 in Fresno.

SF State Gator pitcher Peter Reyes is congratulated by his teammates after striking out a Holy Names University player in the sixth inning of SF State’s Gators’ second game of a doubleheader at Maloney Field at SF State on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. The Gators defeated the Hawks 4-3 in the second game of its doubleheader. (George Morin)

SF State Gator pitcher Peter Reyes is congratulated by his teammates after striking out a Holy Names University player in the sixth inning of SF State’s Gators’ second game of a doubleheader at Maloney Field at SF State on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. The Gators defeated the Hawks 4-3 in the second game of its doubleheader. (George Morin/Xpress)

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