Baseball team falls in first game of conference play

Sophomore outfielder Joshua Pigg gets walked by Sierra College freshman pitcher Wyatt DAlessio to load the bases in the bottom of the eighth on March 11.

Stephan Starnes

Sophomore outfielder Joshua Pigg gets walked by Sierra College freshman pitcher Wyatt D’Alessio to load the bases in the bottom of the eighth on March 11.

Stephan Starnes, Staff Writer

The Hawks’ baseball team finished non-conference play with a 12-3 record, but in the first game of conference play against Sierra College, the Hawks were down 7-1 after seven innings on Tuesday.

After a no-score first inning, the second inning start- ed off with an error for the Hawks. Sierra sophomore infielder Dalton Blaser made it to third base after a throwing error to first that went over the Hawks’ first baseman’s head.

“There were no excuses, we should have made the routine plays,” said Cosumnes River College head coach Tony Bloomfield.

Blaser was batted in two men later by freshman infielder Kyle Dixon for Sierra’s first run of the game.

The Hawks waited until the bottom of the third inning to retaliate, when third baseman Hunter Carolan was walked and eventually batted in by sophomore outfielder Josh Cosio to tie the game at one run apiece.

The game remained at a standstill until the seventh inning, with freshman pitcher Tyler Milani on the mound for Sierra and sophomore Kyle Von Ruden throwing for the Hawks.

Sierra ran away with the game, forcing the Hawks to pull Von Ruden, who gave up six runs, for freshman pitcher Elway Santistevan.

“It was a good game, a one-nothing game for a while until that inning, and the errors got to him and it just snowballed on us,” Bloomfield said. “Other than that, I don’t think anybody did well except for Von Ruden. He kept us in the game, gave us a chance to still be in the game.”

The first of the six runs came from from the first two batters, with two back-to-back singles.

Freshman catcher Mike Phelan hit a double to bat in Dixon after another teammate scored the third run of the in- ning.

The fifth and sixth runs of the inning were batted in by sophomore infielder Brandon Flynton to bring the score to 6-1.

“[The team didn’t play] to our potential at all. Some rough at bats, and then pitching wise, just got a little tired and left balls up towards the end,” Von Ruden said.

Milani pitched into the bottom of the eighth inning for Sierra College.

“I don’t want to talk about myself,” Milani said. “It’s obviously a team win and you can’t win without runs, and that’s what we’ve been lacking lately.”

Sierra relieved Milani with freshman Wyatt D’Alessio, who took the mound with the bases loaded. Freshman catcher for the Hawks, Logan Marston, stepped to bat and hit an RBI single, bringing sophomore outfielder Adam Castelan home to bring the score to 7-2.

Freshman infielder Drake Atlee would bat in another runner before Santistevan hit into a double play to end the inning, and the game would continue on to end 7-3 with Castelan hitting into a double play to end the game.

“It means a lot the way we’ve been playing lately,” said Sierra head coach Rob Willson. “I think it proves we can play in this conference, because last friday around 4:15 I wasn’t sure. Today I think we can. There’s going to be bumps in the road, there’s going to be be challenges, but I think we proved to ourselves that we belong here.”

Marston said that CRC played well, but they need to get past the game against Sierra and the errors they made to play better in the next game.

The game was a learning experience that the players can look back to, Bloomfield said. He said the team wouldn’t win very many games in the Big 8 Conference when they give up three or more runs.

“We’re 0-1. The preseason doesn’t really matter,” Bloomfield said. “We’ve got to get ready to play Thursday and see if we can get the game Thursday and try to win the series on Friday.”