GEORGE FOX 9-6, CAL ST-EAST BAY 8-8: Bruins Split Non-Conference Twinbill with Pioneers
NEWBERG, Ore. – After building up a big lead and then hanging on by a thread for a 9-8 win in the opener, the George Fox University Bruins could not hold off a second-game comeback by the California State University-East Bay Pioneers and fell 8-6 in a non-conference baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon here at Morse Field.
After each team scored an unearned run in the first game, the Pioneers in the 2nd and the Bruins in the 5th, George Fox erupted for four in the 6th. Kyle Kuenzi tripled in Taylor Hunter, who had been hit by a pitch, with the go-ahead run, and scored when Cody Curtin reached on an error at first. Matt Wyckoff doubled in Curtin and then scored on Pat Bailey’s sacrifice fly to center.
The Bruins added four more in the 7th on a two-run double by Wyckoff, an RBI single by Bailey, and a sacrifice fly by Dan Winterstein. A 9-1 lead looked comfortable, but it turned out to be anything but that.
After Nick Bratney had stifled the Pioneers for five innings, Chad Jones (3-0) came on and breezed through the 6ht and 7th frames. In the 8th, Brian Lloyd reached on an error, but Jones retired the next two and appeared about out of trouble. Jake Walter, Joey Luoma, and Stephen Gatehouse singled for two runs, and Tyler Shook unloaded with a three-run homer. Devin Grigg hit a solo shot to knock out Jones, and Mark Marelich greeted reliever Wyckoff with a third consecutive home run to cut the score to 9-8. Wyckoff settled down, however, and picked up his first save, allowing a one-out double in the 9th but getting the final two outs on a strikeout and ground out.
The Bruins touched five East Bay hurlers for 12 hits, pinning the loss on Matt McCormick (2-4). Kuenzi, Wyckoff, Bailey, Seth Anderson, and Todd Siler had two hits apiece for the Bruins, while Grigg was the only Pioneer with two hits.
In the second game, Bailey singled in Kuenzi for a 1-0 Bruin lead in the 1st, but Pioneers knotted it in the 2nd on a double by Lloyd and an RBI single by James McShane. East Bay took the lead with two in the 3rd on a two-run single by Grigg.
Bailey hit his seventh home run in the 3rd to pull the Bruins within one, and they tied it in the 4th when Hunter singled in Jason Brown, who had singled and advance on a walk. In the 5th, Wyckoff singled and Bailey walked, and they came in on a single by Winterstein and a ground out by Michael Woo. Curtin singled in Kuenzi with an unearned run in the 6th.
The Pioneers rallied to take the lead in the 7th against Bruin reliever Travis Schroeder (3-2). Gatehouse and Shook singled and Grigg tied it with a three-run homer. One out later, East Bay took the lead for good on a solo shot by Lloyd. The Pioneers added an insurance run in the 8th on a base-loaded walk to Marelich.
John Volk (2-1) notched the win in relief for East Bay with 2.1 shutout innings, while Cody Hazen picked up his third save with a 1-2-3- 9th.
Curtin, Bailey, and Brown had two hits apiece for the Bruins. Gatehouse, Shook, Grigg, and Lloyd had two hits each for the Pioneers, with Grigg driving in five.
George Fox (14-4) had its 12-game winning streak snapped by California State-East Bay (9-14). The two will conclude their three-game series with a single game at 1:00 p.m. Sunday in Newberg.