Unable to defend its home turf, the Cal State Stanislaus baseball team lost both ends of a crucial CCAA doubleheader to Sonoma State on Sunday.
In an entertaining and eventful opener, the Warriors ninth inning magic came up short in a 7-6 loss. Sonoma State used a five-run second to rout Stanislaus, 11-3, in the seven-inning nightcap.
With a 1-3 weekend series, Cal State Stanislaus now finds itself in a tough hole as far as trying to qualify for the conference tournament. The Warriors, now 26-20 overall and 19-17 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, will likely have to sweep Chico State this week and hope to get a lot of help from other teams to finish in the top four of the conference standings.
Sonoma State (22-22, 20-16 CCAA), on the other hand, positioned itself to make the final run with four games at home against Cal State Monterey Bay.
In game one on Sunday, the game started with a bang. Garrett Gooselaw gave Sonoma State a 2-0 lead with a two-run triple with two outs in the top of the first. In the home half of the first, back-to-back doubles by Ross Gonsalves and Colton Beatty to deep centerfield appeared to have scored a Warrior run, but Gonsalves was called out at the plate on a controversial call.
The displeasure of the umpiring crew continued throughout the game by both sides in a game that had playoff-type intensity on and off the field since it was a "most-win" for both teams to stay in the chase.
Trailing 5-0, the Warriors got back into the game in a hurry after escaping further damage in the Sonoma fifth, when the Seawolves scored twice and left two more runners on base while chasing CSUS starter Byron Lemon.
In the bottom of the fifth, a leadoff walk and four straight hits scored four runs. DJ Arellano followed a Joe Medeiros double to scored Craig Beevers, who had walked. Michael Turay then hammered a triple to the right-center wall to score two runs to make it 5-3. Eli Davis then singled up the middle to plate Turay to cap the rally.
In the sixth, however, Sonoma State designated hitter Devon Zenn blasted a long two-run home run down the right-field line to give the Seawolves a 7-4 lead. After admiring his bomb before his trot, Zenn reportedly was doing some talking as he rounded the bases causing the dugouts to empty. Both teams were warned after some words were exchanged.
All of this action followed an eight-minute delay in the fourth as medical attention was provided to a fan, a family member of a SSU player, who was struck by a foul ball.
In the bottom of the ninth, Medeiros singled and reached second on an error. However, SSU reliever Paul Anaya got two quick outs before facing Davis. Davis provided more action with a two-run bomb to left center to pull the Warriors within one. But Anaya managed to get a strikeout to end the game.
Davis ended up 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Justin Manci and Medeiros each had two hits in the first game.
Davis opened game two with his eighth homer of the year to give Stanislaus a 2-0 lead. But that was just about all of the offense the Warriors had left against Sonoma starter Harmen Sidhu.
The Seawolves capitalized on two-run Warrior errors to score five runs in the second and three in the third. All eight runs were scored with two outs and six of them were unearned.