Mens Baseball

Menlo 10, Arizona Christian 2

Date of competition: Friday, March 3, 2017

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The Menlo College Oaks have been one of the hottest teams in the nation to begin the 2017 Baseball season, and even a series-opener in Phoenix was not hotter than this Menlo team. A Menlo team that already is in the middle of the best start in program history continued the upward trend to begin the season by flashing the long ball once again. Three home runs and two players with four-RBI games propelled the Oaks to a 10-2 victory against the Firestorm of Arizona Christian. The win for Menlo improves them to an impressive 15-2 on the season while Arizona Christian now owns a record of 13-8. More importantly, Menlo is 4-0 in conference play while the Firestorm are 4-4.

As is so often the case with the Menlo offense, they are prone to strike at any moment, especially early in a ballgame. This was on display once again Friday, as Nick Quejado led off with a single up the middle. He was followed by Joe Gillette, who began what would wind up being the a massive ballgame for himself. He blasted a homer to straightaway centerfield to give Menlo a very early 2-0 advantage. He would not be done, making his way back to the plate in the top of the third inning with one and the result was very much the same. This time, the baseball landed somewhere outside the fence in left-center, his second home run of the game, and Menlo was up 3-0, all on blasts from Gillette. That third inning was not quite done with runs, as the Oaks continued to swing the bats well via the extra-base hits. Dalton Maxwell followed the home run with a double down the left field line, and Julian Jarrard deposited a ball to the exact same spot to score Maxwell and make it 4-0. Jordan Getzelman did was his teammates before him did and doubled to left field, scoring Jarrard and making it 5-0.

That turned out to plenty of run support for the Menlo starting pitcher, Jason Alexander. As he has done so many times already this season, he set the tone early in the game and the series by getting ahead and throwing strikes. This proved to be one of his more gritty outings on the season, indicated by 112 pitches through 7 innings, but he was very effective nonetheless. He did allow 8 hits in the game, and walked 2 men, but he only allowed 1 unearned run in the bottom of the fourth, and struck out 9.

The Menlo offense went quiet for the middle innings of the game, but came alive again in the final two to provide run support for the Menlo bullpen. Reed Kienle hit a single through the left side to score pinch runner Sam Morgan, making it a 6-1 game in the top of the eighth. Then Joe Gillette came through yet again for the Oaks, registering his third hit of the game via a single to left, and it scored Chance Tindall. In the top of the ninth, Maxwell singled, Jarrard singled, and Getzelman launched one to left-center field for a big fly to score three runs and cap the Menlo scoring at 10. His seventh home run of the year tied him with Jarrard for the most on the team, and provided all the offense Menlo needed. Kevin George and Brian Ransom locked down the final two innings to move Menlo to 4-0 in conference play.

Also worth noting, the win in the series opener was the 112th in the career of Head Coach Jake McKinley, surpassing Ken Bowman for the most wins as coach of the Oaks. He and the Oaks will look to add to that total tomorrow in a doubleheader to wrap up the series. First pitch in game one will begin at approximately 11 am.

-- Menlo Athletics

posted by Rick on Mar 4, 2017 at 1:58 am

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