Menlo College splits, DH with host CSU San Marcos
Date of competition: Saturday, February 4, 2012
In one of the more unlikely comebacks in program history, Menlo rallied from a 8-0 deficit in the 7th, and then a 10-6 deficit in the 9th, to pull out a miraculous 12-11 victory at Cal State San Marcos in game two of an afternoon doubleheader.
The Oaks dropped the opener 4-1 behind sterling Cougars’ pitching that saw four San Marcos hurlers combine to allow just one unearned on only three hits. Junior Scott Myers earned the “W” with five solid innings of two hit ball, while Menlo’s Tristan Heckerl was saddled with his first loss of the season.
Game two of the double dip is what everyone will be talking about, after the Oaks trailed by eight in the 7th and four in the 9th, before putting together a comeback of truly epic proportions.
Menlo had just two hits over the game’s first six innings against Cougars’ starting pitcher James Dykstra and middle reliever Richard Martin. Then in the top of the 7th, everything changed. First baseman Will Pierce and right fielder Aaron Suarez-Lopez opened the frame with consecutive singles. After a strikeout to designated hitter Burke Seifrit for the first out of the inning, the next four Oaks reached base with a walk to Coleman Cox, a hit by pitch to John Hanley, forcing in a run, a walk to Ryan Buscemi to plate a second run, and an RBI single by Mickey Phelps to make it an 8-3 ball game.
San Marcos reliever Geoffrey Landry struck out James Threw for the second out of the inning, and all of a sudden the Cougars were one out away from avoiding further disaster. Up stepped Menlo third baseman Michael Brandi with the bases juiced and two men down. Brandi was able to come up with one of the biggest knocks of the day, clearing the bases with a three-run triple to bring the Oaks within two, at 8-6.
San Marcos would go on to score two insurance runs in the bottom of the 7th to give themselves a 10-6 advantage as the game headed into the top of the 9th. Menlo catcher Ty Finley led off the 9th with a hit by pitch, but Cougars’ closer Andrew Larson struck out the next two, putting San Marcos within one out away from picking up the win.
The Oak wouldn’t be denied however, as pinch hitter C.J. Dailey singled to left to score pinch runner John Hanley, who advanced to second on a Larson balk. Now down 10-7, Michael Brandi singled to right, a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, and then Will Pierce singled in Dailey to make it a 10-8 game. Aaron Suarez-Lopez was then hit with a pitch to load the bases, and in the process ended Larson’s day, as the Cougars brought in freshman Kevin Hilton.
Up stepped newcomer Burke Seifrit with a chance to make an early mark in his Menlo career. The 6’2” junior from Edmonton singled to right field, bringing home Brandi and Pierce to deadlock the score at 10-10. Coleman Cox followed Seifrit’s heroics with some of his own, slamming a two-run double to left field to give the Oaks an improbable 12-10 lead.
Menlo junior reliever Joey Webb came in to shut the door on the Oaks thrilling comeback, and after allowing a run and putting the potential tying run on first, Webb came back to get Kyle Secciani to ground out to third to put a bow on things.
Junior Kaimi Haina earned his first win of the season with 1.2 innings of scoreless ball, and Larson was tagged with his first loss on the year.
After the game, Menlo first year Head Coach Stefan McGovern spoke on his team’s ability to comeback. “We finally gained some confidence on offense and battled with two outs,” said McGovern. “We scored nine of our runs with two outs and gained a lot of momentum going into next week. It was also a total team effort on the mount to pick up [Derek] Rodrigues.”
The Oaks’ bullpen combined for six innings of two-run, four hit work after Rodrigues was only able to get through three.
Menlo ends their series against San Marcos with a 1-2 mark and will come back home for its home opener Friday against Azusa Pacific at 11 a.m., and Westmont at 2:30 p.m.
-- Dylan Vazzano, Menlo College Athletics
posted by re on Feb 4, 2012 at 10:17 pm
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