Gators win 6-3 in rainy season opener
- Despite two rain delays, the baseball team won its abbreviated season opener on Saturday against the Concordia Cavaliers 6-3 in seven innings.
The game started Friday morning but was postponed during the top of the fourth due to rain and resumed on Saturday at 11 p.m.
The Cavaliers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning but the Gators came back and put up four runs in the third to take the lead.
Sophomore Joshua Romero was on the mound when the game was postponed and he returned to pitch when the game resumed. Romero had a strong season debut, getting the win in relief for the Gators with three innings, three hits, no runs and two strikeouts.
“I felt really good out there.” Romero said.” All my pitches were working. Fastball, splitter, curve.”
The Gators added to their lead in the fourth when senior David Mansell scored off of a Harley Lopez double.
Lopez, a senior, returned to the plate in the seventh and quickly fell into a 0-2 count. Concordia pitcher Isaac Mitchum left a fastball over the middle and Lopez turned on it and belted it over the right field wall, giving the Gators a 6-3 lead.
“Honestly, I was just trying not to strike out,” Lopez said. “He piped a fastball, so I was able to get a good pitch and put a good swing on it.”
Many of the Gators did not think the game was going to happen because of how much the rain damages Maloney Field.
“The field is brutal. The rain here at SF really messes up our field,” Lopez said. “We didn’t think we were going to get it in, but we were lucky to get a few innings in and get a W.”
The field was in rough condition. Multiple players slipped during the game, including Gators outfielders, Jack Harris and Riley Cleary who both slipped trying to field a ball in the eighth inning leading to two Concordia runs as they cut the lead to one.
The Cavaliers regained momentum as the rain returned. The harder the rain fell, the louder the team from Portland got. With two outs in the top of the eighth, the game was postponed once again.
SF State quickly put the tarp on the field and waited thirty minutes until the storm was over, but the umpires and coaches agreed that the game should be called. Since the last full inning was the seventh, the game finished 6-3 rather than 6-5.
“The field just couldn’t take any more water,” SF State head coach Tony Schifano said. “I’m glad we got our feet wet this weekend and we’ll do our best to play Simpson [University]. We might have to travel up there to play. I’d like to play before we get into conference.”
The Gators are scheduled to play a double header against the Simpson Red Hawks on Feb. 12, but weather could affect that series as well.
SF State begins conference play next weekend when they take on Sonoma State. The series will begin in Sonoma on Feb. 15, then a double header at SF State on Feb. 16 before traveling to Sonoma on Feb. 17 for the conclusion of the series.