The Gators are on a four-game winning streak and have a winning record after they trounced the Cal State East Bay Pioneers 14-3.
The Gators’ bats came to life as they went on a hitting spree to the tune of 23 hits. Most of those hits came in the bottom of the fourth inning, as they scored six runs off eight hits that included two doubles.
“I’m really proud of our hitters,” head coach Tony Schifano said. “We struggled early in the season and usually the hitting is the second thing to come during the season.”
Pioneers’ pitcher Donavon Ramirez took over during the fourth after Brandon Acosta held the Gators quiet through three innings. Ramirez would struggle, giving up two singles to Gator leadoff batters Myles Franklin and Joe Chedid.
A double to centerfield by catcher Carter Gambrell would bring both runners in and force Ramirez out after giving up two runs and no outs.
Pioneer’s pitcher Joshua Kubiske had no answer either for the Gators fourth inning onslaught. The Gators scored four more runs, grabbed five more hits, and even one more double before pitcher Michael Frantz would sub in for the Pioneers and get them out of the inning.
“The team really came out swinging today,” Gambrell said. “Just had a really good approach. We worked really hard this week at practice. The guys really stepped up today.”
But the hitting didn’t stop in the fourth. The Gators scored at least two runs in each of the following three innings, bringing their total to 14 by the seventh inning.
Lefty Dillon Houser had a solid outing for the Gators, allowing only two runs and giving up six hits in four and one-third innings.
“My last couple (outings) have been good,” Houser said. “It’s just been good knowing that my team is there for me and that I can throw pitches across the plate and they’re going to make plays behind me.”
The Gators had one tense moment when Houser reached his pitch count with the bases loaded at the top of the fifth inning. With only one out, relief pitcher Jackson Gentes came into the game and got the Pioneers to pop up and strikeout, escaping the inning with only one run scored.
“I don’t think (Houser) had his best stuff today,” Schifano said. “However, as a good pitcher you have to figure out to win without your best stuff.”
With this fourth consecutive league win, the Gators are now fourth in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings, with a tough weekend series against conference foe Cal State San Bernardino up next.