Menlo College 6, Vanguard 3
Date of competition: Friday, March 17, 2017
It was the premiere series of the weekend in the Golden State Athletic Conference. The two top teams in the GSAC began a three-game series in the Bay Area as #16 Vanguard made the trip up to take on #6 Menlo College.
The Lions entered the series 11-1 in conference play while the Oaks were 8-2. Both teams know the importance of this series, and game one lived up to the hype. At the end of the day, it was two home runs from Jordan Getzelman and a three-run eighth inning that put Menlo in front, 6-3, for the win. The Oaks are now 20-5 overall this season and the Lions are 19-10, with Vanguard still up by one game in the conference standings.
Both teams traded blows in the second inning with solo home runs, when Trai Patrick went yard to left center for the Lions, and Getzelman did the same for Menlo in the bottom of the frame. For Getzelman, it was his 14th home run of the season, the most in the entire NAIA. After the home runs in the second, both pitchers settled into rhythms that made this game appear as if it might stay 1-1 for the remainder of the game. Jason Alexander and Monty McCasland were wheeling and dealing, and doing so with the number of pitches not being a factor. Through five innings, both pitchers were hardly breaking a sweat. The Lions only had three hits against Alexander at that point, and Menlo only had two hits.
The sixth inning is where the pace of the game began to drop, and both teams began to find some type of offensive flow. Dalton Maxwell led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, and two batters later, Getzelman sent another baseball into orbit. His second of the game and 15th of the season brought home two and put Menlo up 3-1, their first lead of the game. Unfortunately, that lead would not last long, as the Lions answered right back in the top of the seventh, showing why they are one of the top programs in the country. After a leadoff single from Josh Weeks, two consecutive strikeouts put their inning in jeopardy. Brandon Sandoval doubled to move Weeks to third, and the Oaks brought in Kevin George to slam the door shut. Tanner Perry opened that door back up with a single through the left side. It scored one, but Nick Quejado bobbled the ball in left field and that allowed Sandoval to score, tying the game at 3-3.
The score would remain tied until the bottom of the eighth, when Menlo took over for good. Getzelman led off by getting hit in the knee, and Eduardo Sanchez singled to left field, moving Getzelman to third. Sanchez himself moved to second on the throw to third, and was run for at second by Justin Bruce. Dean Aliamus hit a bouncing ball to short, and Getzelman got in a run down between the plate and third. He somehow beat the tag back to third base and everyone was safe, loading the bases for pinch-hitter Justin Cooney-Sylk. After an at bat that featured over ten pitches, Cooney-Sylk worked a walk to break the tie and put Menlo up 4-3. A sacrifice fly from Reed Kienle made it 5-3, and Joe Gillette added a sacrifice fly of his own to make it 6-3. George would pitch a harmless ninth and the Oaks pull within one game of the top spot in the Golden State Athletic Conference
The series wraps up Saturday with a doubleheader at Canada College in Woodside. The doubleheader begins at 11 am and both games will be streamed live on the Menlo College Sports Network.
posted by Menlo Athletics on Mar 17, 2017 at 11:14 pm
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