Wildcats sweep Pioneers after the rain


Grant Larson delivers a pitch to a Stanislaus State Warriors batter in Sunday’s game on Feb. 17, 2019. Photo credit: Olyvia Simpson

Wildcats baseball won three games within six hours Monday afternoon against Cal State East Bay, making it five straight wins for the team.

Game one:

On Sunday Turner Olson hit a three-run home run in the top of the seventh inning giving the Wildcats an 8-5 lead. In the bottom half of the inning, the game was suspended when it started raining.

The Wildcats and Pioneers had to finish Sunday’s game on Monday, and the Wildcats responded by outscoring the Pioneers 26-5 in the final 18 innings of the series.

Pitcher Grant Larson shut down the pioneers and catcher Tyler Stofiel hit a two-run home run. The Wildcats won game one 10-5.

“Our pitching did an amazing job of coming up with big pitches at key moments, the defense was solid and offense kept coming through to give some comfort,” outfielder Brandon Hernandez said.

Grant Larson pitches during the second game on May 4, 2018, against Stanislaus State. Larson pitched five innings, gave up no earned runs while allowing two hits. Photo credit: Martin Chang

Game two:

In the second game, Alex DeVito scored on a passed ball in the first inning.

In the fourth inning, the Wildcats put together a rally that allowed them to score two runs. In the sixth inning, Myles Moran hit a two-run home run giving the Wildcats a 5-1 lead.

Starting pitcher Andrew Lopez threw five innings allowing one run and striking out four Pioneer batters before handing it over to the bullpen.

The bullpen shut down the Pioneers allowing one run on three hits. The final score of game two was 6-2.

Game three:

The Wildcats did not trail the Pioneers all day Monday and came out ready to win the day. They scored four runs in the first inning with an RBI triple by Dustin Miller that got the Wildcats rolling. Outfielder Eddie Zavala hit a double that scored Olson and DeVito.

The Pioneers fought back in the bottom half of the first inning by scoring three runs. Wildcats pitcher Kenton Carruthers came in to relieve starting pitcher Dalton Smith and escape a bases-loaded jam.

The Wildcats scored five runs in the second inning with a triple by Hernandez scoring two. Then Zavala hits a two-run home run that gave the Wildcats a 9-3 lead.

“Our scouting report really helped,” Zavala said. “I was fortunate enough to barrel a hanging breaking ball after seeing one prior to that pitch”

Wildcat focusing for his at-bat in a game earlier this season. Photo credit: Ricardo Tovar

With the lead, Carruthers went on to pitch three more innings without allowing a run. Then pitchers Connor Sealey, Ellis Stevens, and Daniel Foret all pitched one inning each without allowing a run to close out the game.

In the fifth inning, DeVito hit a bases-loaded triple that gave the Wildcats a 12-3 lead. The Wildcats went on to win the game 13-3 in seven innings.

“Winning three games was huge for us, our goal entering the day was to win every inning and that’s exactly what we did,” Zavala said.

The Wildcats have a four-game series at San Bernadino scheduled for Friday, March 15, through Sunday, March 17.

“These group of guys are very special and we’re really excited to keep this train rollin’,” Zavala said. “Now it’s time to carry this momentum into San Bern (Bernadino) next week.”

Brandon Downs can be reached at [email protected] or @downsbrandon2 on Twitter.