GEORGE FOX 11, CAL ST-EAST BAY 10: Bruins Rally in Last Two Innings to Surprise Pioneers
NEWBERG, Ore. – Down by five runs with only six outs left, the George Fox University Bruins scored seven runs in the last two innings to pull out an 11-10 win over the California State University-East Bay Pioneers in a non-conference baseball game Sunday afternoon here at Morse Field.
By taking two out of three from the Pioneers, who are moving to the NCAA Division II level next year, the Bruins improved to 15-4 on the season. Cal State-East Bay dropped to 9-15.
East Bay controlled the game early, taking advantage of some wildness by George Fox righthander Shane Dalgleish. Stephen Gatehouse was hit with the second pitch of the game and Tyler Shook drew a walk, and both moved up on a sacrifice by Devin Grigg. Mark Marelich delivered the two runners with a single to right, stole second, and scored on a Joey Luoma double. The Pioneers made it 4-0 in the 2nd when Shook’s sacrifice fly scored Jake Walter, who had reached on a forceout and gone to third on a Gatehouse single.
The Bruins’ efforts at a comeback were thwarted in both the 1st and 2nd innings when they had a runner tagged out in a rundown between third and home in each inning. However, they did push across a run in the 2nd when Jason Brown singled and scored on Perry Knudson’s double to right-center.
A double by Marelich and an RBI single by Brian Lloyd made it 5-1 in the 3rd, but the Bruins got two back in the home half on RBI singles by Dan Winterstein and Seth Anderson. After trading runs in the 4th (Gatehouse scored on a wild pitch and Cody Curtin’s sacrifice fly scored Brent Trask for the Bruins), the Pioneers began to pull away. Grigg singled in Gatehouse in the 7th, and the visitors made it a 9-4 game with a pair in the 8th, Luoma scoring on a force out at second and Shook singling in Jeff Croft.
The Bruins tied it with a five-run outburst in the 8th against East Bay starter Kenneth Cedillo and reliever Bobby Rodenbach. Winterstein and Anderson singled to start the rally and Brown doubled down the right field line to plate the first run. Knudson’s grounder to second scored Anderson, and Michael Woo singled in Brown, bringing on Rodenbach. After a forceout at second, Cody Curtin and Matt Wyckoff singled to score Taylor Hunter, and Pat Bailey dumped a single into right to score Curtin with the tying run. Pioneer relief ace Cody Hazen came on and got out of the jam by getting Winterstein on a grounder to short.
East Bay regained the lead in the top of the 9th off southpaw Wyckoff (1-0) as Marelich doubled and scored on Croft’s two-out single up the middle that just eluded a diving Curtin at short. The Bruins, however, struck again in the last of the 9th to pin the loss on Hazen, dropping him to 0-3.
Anderson doubled off the fence in deep right-center to start the winning rally, and Eric Gantenbein got an infield hit when his sacrifice bunt got past both Hazen and Marelich charging from third. Kyle Kuenzi pinch-ran for Gantenbein and moved into scoring position at second on Knudson’s ground single through the right side that plated Anderson with the tying run. Pinch hitter Todd Siler then dropped a soft single into shallow center as Kuenzi raced home with the winning run.
The Bruins doubled up the Pioneers in hits 18-9, but East Bay was able to take advantage of 10 walks and two hit batsmen by George Fox hurlers, with six of their 10 runs coming by runners who had reached in those ways. Marelich was the only Pioneer with multiple hits, going 3-4 with three runs scored, and Gatehouse also scored three times. Anderson was 3-5 for the Bruins, while Wyckoff, Winterstein, Brown and Knudson had two hits each. Knudson collected three RBIs.
George Fox was scheduled to host Corban College Tuesday, but that game has been postponed, with no makeup date yet announced, so the Bruins can complete a Northwest Conference series Wednesday with Willamette University that has been delayed by rain. The Bruins and Bearcats will play a doubleheader with a pair of seven-inning games in Salem, Ore., but the time is still pending. Cal State-East Bay is set for a three-game series at Linfield College next weekend, starting with a 3:00 p.m. game Friday.