The Menlo College baseball team loves to play at home and showed why, again, on Tuesday, beating visiting NCAA Division II Hawaii Hilo, 11-1, in non-conference action to improve to 17-2 on the Oaks home field.
Menlo (23-10 overall) got strong seven inning from freshman starter Nick Bonniksen and used a seven-run third inning to cruise to the victory.
The Oaks hit two more home runs to put themselves in a three-way tie for first place in dingers in the NAIA with 43.
Reed Keinle and Jon Nelson each hit three-run shots for the bulk of the offense. Keinle's blast, in the third, followed a two-run double from Max Dutto. Menlo scored seven runs on five hits and took advantage of four walks.
Menlo added insurance runs in the eighth. Dalton Maxwell and Nick Quejado each walked to openthe frame, ahead of Nelson's line drive homer to left. Justin Cooney-Sylk doubled to right and came around to score on a pinch-hit RBI single to left by Nate Dodson.
Bonniksen improved to 5-1 on the campaign with another quality start. The righthander allowed the lead off runner aboard in each of the first five inning but never allowed that runner to get past second base.
Overall, he gave up a run on seven hits, while striking out five and walking none.
Menlo found out it had received votes in the most recent NAIA Coaches Top 25 Poll for the first time in program history during Tuesday's Golden State Athletic Conference doubleheader split.
The Oaks gave the voters more fodder, dropping a 1-0 decision, in nine innings, in game one and then earning a 4-1 victory in game two over visiting William Jessup.
Menlo (13-13, 5-4 GSAC) got a tremendous effort from pitching ace Jessie Salsbury in the opener.
Salsbury allowed an unearned run on eight hits and faced just six batters over the minimum in the tough-luck loss.
Menlo had opportunities to crack the scoring column but left eight total runners stranded in the contest.
William Jessup took an early 1-0 lead with an RBI double in the second game, but starter Jordan Kennedy shut down the Warriors the rest of the way. She allowed the one run on four hits, while striking out one and walking one, in the complete game effort.
Mary Hall, who drove in two run in the game, doubled in a run and scored on a Brooke Shigematsu's groundout to put Menlo ahead to stay in the third. Jessica Madison added an RBI.
Hall and Megan Wright each had two hits.
Menlo returns to conference action on Wednesday for a rescheduled doubleheader with GSAC-leading No. 14 San Diego Christian. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 11 a.m.