Gators bats come alive in battle against Menlo Oaks

SF State Gator Myles Franklin runs to home base during the home game versus the Menlo Oaks on April 4, 2017. (Tate Drucker/Xpress)

The SF State Gators baseball team’s bats came alive on Tuesday afternoon at Maloney Field as they crushed the Menlo Oaks 17-2.

The parade of runs started early as the Gators batted around the order, scoring six runs in the first inning. After starting pitcher Grant Vogenthaler pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top half of the first, senior outfielder Myles Franklin got things started with a single up the middle. After a hit-and-run single by Jackson Kritsch advanced Franklin to third, senior centerfielder Jacob Lopez singled him in.

“Myles did a great job getting on base,” Kritsch said. “Coach gave me a hit-and-run and the pitcher threw me a nice, juicy fastball and I put it into the gap.”

After a sacrifice fly, 2 RBI doubles by Johnny Juarez and Robbie Carling, and a 2 RBI single by Noeh Martinez, the Gators had a comfortable 6-0 lead heading into the top of the second inning.

The Oaks refused to go quietly, however, as they started the second inning with a leadoff home run. Things got even dicier for the Gators as pitcher Jack Cornish surrendered two singles and a walk, loading the bases with no outs.

Cornish and the Gators would get out of the gem without surrendering any more runs, preserving a 6-1 lead.

“When you’re in that situation you tell your pitcher and your defense let’s minimize here, let’s see if we can hold them to one run,” head coach Tony Schifano said. “We ended up giving up zero runs from that situation which was pretty incredible.”

SF State broke the game wide open in the fourth inning, scoring eight runs on five hits, thanks to RBI singles by Carling and Chris Nicholson. Martinez hit a deep sac fly to left field shortly after and Jackson Kritsch officially put the game out of reach for Menlo with a 2 RBI double, making the score 15-1 heading into the fifth.

Menlo scored one more run in the sixth, but it was too-little-too-late as the Gators added two more runs from a triple to left center by freshman outfielder Jack Harris, making the score 17-2 heading into the final inning.

The Gators used nine pitchers, with no individual pitching more than 1.33 innings. The pitcher by committee approached surrendered seven hits and no runs past the 6th inning.

“We wanted to get our bullpen guys some work tonight,” Schifano said. “Our starters have been going deep into the games the last couple weekends, we had a lot of arms that needed to throw.”

The Gators look to continue their winning streak on Saturday in Los Angeles as they square off against conference rival Cal State Dominguez Hills.

“We were just trying to be aggressive today,” Franklin said. “This win was huge for us.”