It’s the top of the sixth. Bases are loaded. Two outs. The count is 0-2. The pitch fires from the mound. CRACK! And the Sonoma Seawolves score a 3-RBI double to cinch a win against SF State Friday, May 6.
The SF State men’s baseball team missed the win for their first game of a weekend series against Sonoma State, after the Seawolves pounded the Gators for five runs in the sixth inning.
With a solid .356 batting average, 14 runs and 19 RBIs for the season so far, senior Gator first baseman Ryan Burke came out strong in the bottom of the first, smashing an RBI double.
“I was 0-1. He threw a fastball behind me on the first pitch,” Burke said. “And then on the second pitch, he came back with another one, he left it out over the plate and I just put a good swing on it. (I) put it in the gap.”
But The Gators couldn’t rally.
“Obviously we came out and took the lead in the top of the first,” Burke said. “And then they kind of answered back.”
And answer back they did. Like a card shark waiting for just the right moment to attack, Sonoma State unleashed the fury during the sixth inning, hitting a home run and scoring with a 3-RBI double. Keeping his chin up, and giving credit where credit is due, head coach Tony Schifano recognized his Gators’ missed opportunities, and commended Sonoma State on their win.
“We left some opportunities on there and then they had the opportunity with the bases loaded with two outs, and they got the big hit,” coach Schifano said. “You can call it bad luck, but you can also credit Sonoma State for making the right swing, and us not making the right pitches, or not making the plays when we should’ve made the plays.”
SF State sophomore starting pitcher Dillon Houser threw for the majority of the game, until being replaced soon after giving up one home run and a 3-RBI double in the top of the sixth. Although, he doesn’t blame the loss on bad luck.
“Not really luck. It was more my fault. Like, if they call a fastball in; throwing the fastball away, or something like that — or leaving a pitch up,” Houser said. “I missed a few spots and ended up giving up runs, but it is what it is, and we’ve got to go back and play tomorrow.”
Sonoma State crushed The Gators 11-4 by the end of the ninth. SF State gets a second chance at the Sonoma State Seawolves twice Saturday, May 7, in a doubleheader, and then they’re back again for another rematch in The Swamp Sunday, May 8. The Gators want revenge, and Houser is confident they can deliver the goods.
“I think we have a good shot. Our team is good,” Houser said. We had our shot today. A couple of things didn’t go our way, and they ended up scoring more runs, but we definitely have a good chance of winning this series.”