Gators early game error costly in defeat to Pioneers

The SF State baseball team returned to Maloney Field Wednesday looking to end its four-game losing streak, but a rough start pushed the Cal State East Bay Pioneers over the Gators, 6-2.

“To play like that in the first couple innings is not fun,” assistant coach Tyler LaTorre said. “We try to prepare ourselves as bet as possible and we just didn’t have it today.”

The Pioneers came out swinging in the first, as they loaded the bases with no outs. A ground ball, along with a throwing error on a pickoff play from starting pitcher Peter Reyes, put East Bay up 2-0.

Reyes didn’t fair much better in the second. The Pioneers took him for two more runs and he would be pulled after two innings of work, in which he gave up a total of six hits and three earned runs.

Designated hitter Ryan Burke’s 4-for-4 day was certainly overshadowed. The senior knocked in one of the Gators’ two runs in what was his best day of the season.

“We were chasing runs all day,” Burke said. “I was just trying to be a base runner. We don’t need to hit home runs.”

Wednesday was Burke’s second multi-hit game in the past three. He went 3-for-5 in Saturday’s loss to No. 16 UC San Diego, and now posts the Gators’ third highest batting average.

It took a while for the the Gators to figure out the Pioneers’ sidewinder Andrew Fernandez. In four innings, the sophomore struck out five Gators while giving up only one run.

Bryce Brooks was the only other Gator that came through with runners in scoring position. The Junior managed to take Pioneers’ starter Jacob Call up the middle to score Andrew Breen from second.

LaTorre said it was disappointing to come back like that, especially after a competitive series against San Diego.

“It’s disappointing to come off such a competitive weekend, and play like that against a team we’ve had success against in the past,” LaTorre said.

The Gators will look to end the five-game slide against Stanislaus State on Friday, April 22 at 3 p.m. in Turlock.