Diego Ramirez and UTRGV picked up a series sweep over Northern Illinois this past weekend. Photo courtesy David Pike/UTRGV Athletics.

UTRGV, CBU Continue to Roll Early in Baseball Season

Timely hits are contagious and part of the reason teams continue to win. WAC preseason favorite UTRGV continues to stay hot early in the 2020-21 season. The Vaqueros have won five straight after sweeping Northern Illinois this weekend. CBU has won four straight after sweeping UC Davis. Here is a recap from another weekend from the diamond.

Sacramento State at Santa Clara 

The Hornets dropped the opener on Thursday Night, 6-0. Cole Kitchen went five innings in relief, only allowing one hit for the Broncos. Keith Torres and Jorge Bojorquez had all three hits for Sacramento State. The Hornets looked like they were in danger of dropping the second game on Friday. The rally began in the eighth while trailing 1-0. Steven Moretto went deep in the eighth to tie the game, and a Matt Smith RBI double brought home the game-winning run. Sacramento State picked up a 2-1 victory, with Stone Curby picking up his fourth save of the year.

On Saturday, Sacramento State’s offense finally came alive. It is what the Hornets have been looking for all year with a 10-0 victory over Santa Clara. A six-run fifth inning was key in the Hornets to victory. Keith Torres hit a two-run single, and Jorge Bojorquez hit a 3-run home run in the inning and added a 2-run double in the seventh. Travis Adams went seven innings, allowing two hits for Sacramento State in the win. 

The Broncos got the 10-6 win in the series finale. A 4-run first inning and 6-run fourth propelled the Broncos to the win. Eammon Lance went 2-5 with a home run and four RBI’s in the game. Dawson Brigman was 3-4 in the win. 

Sacramento State now heads to Tarleton to take on the Texans in the WAC opener for Tarleton. 

Northern Illinois at UTRGV 

UTRGV used the 10-run rule to its advantage in the first two games of the series-winning 11-1 and 15-2. In game one on Friday, an eight-run fourth inning secured the victory. The Vaqueros had seven hits in the inning. Joseph Impeduglia went 2-2 on the day, and Christian Sepulveda added a 3-3 game with a home run. Kevin Stevens got the win with 10 strikeouts on the day. 

In the second game, UTRGV used a 9-run third inning to get the victory. The Vaqueros took advantage of walks and wild pitches to move runners and added a couple of timely doubles to break open the game. Elijah Alexander cleared the bases with a double down the right field line. Diego Ramirez was 3-4 in the ballgame. 

Northern Illinois fought back to start game three of the series and held a 2-0 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth inning. UTRGV would rally. Coleman Grubbs, and Joseph Impeduglia both hit singles. Christian Sepulveda had an RBI single, and Freddy Rojas Jr. provided the key hit with a two-run double to give the Vaqueros a 3-2 lead. NIU respond and tied the game with a run in the seventh. UTRGV would end up walking it off it in the bottom of the eighth with a De’Andre Shelton RBI single. 

The series finale went to UTRGV 5-4. Max Balderrama Jr went five innings with 10 strikeouts on the day. UTRGV scored four runs in the first inning and then held on despite Northern Illinois scoring two runs in the sixth and two in the seventh before coming up short. Conrado Diaz had an RBI single in the first. Coleman Grubbs added an RBI single followed by Diego Ramirez, who had a two-run RBI double. 

UTRGV heads to Phoenix next week for the WAC opening series at Grand Canyon. It is only the first weekend, but this series has the WAC Tournament seeding on the line. 

North Dakota State at Northern Colorado

The Bears started the series off with a win over the Bison on Friday. Jake Gitter went deep twice in the ballgame for the Bears. Gitter’s first-inning home run to right gave the Bears a 1-0 lead. The second, also to right field, increased the lead to 6-4. UNC added a couple more insurance runs in the seventh on a Josh Glenn SAC fly and an RBI groundout from Ben Mckay. 

The Bison evened the score in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday with an 11-1 win in seven innings. NDSU limited UNC to only two hits in the game and used a seven-run sixth inning capped off by a Hunter Koep three-run home run. 

UNC responded in game two of the Saturday doubleheader, winning 14-4 in an eight-inning contest. The Bears hit four home runs to win the ballgame getting big flies from Sam Leach, Blake Tweedt, Matt Burkhart, and a no-doubt grand slam from Josh Glenn. 

The series finale went to the Bison by an 11-1 final. Ben Smith went 6.1 innings for NDSU, only giving up one run. Jack Simonsen went 3-for-3 with a home run, and three RBI’s on the day.

Northern Colorado opens WAC play next weekend at California Baptist. 

Dixie State at Wichita State 

Dixie State dropped the opening game of the weekend series, 2-1. Corrigan Bartlett hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to lift Wichita State to the victory. Dixie State outhit the Shockers on the day. The Trailblazers threatened in the fourth inning with a couple of runners on base but lined into an inning-ending double play. Jake Schulz had an RBI single in the sixth to tie the game. Dixie State was not able to bring home another run in the inning or ballgame. Jimmy Borzone took the ball and went seven innings with nine strikeouts. 

Wichita State got more offense in the 15-3 game two victory. A six-run sixth inning opened up the ballgame. Wichita State scored in the three in the first and added three more in both the third and fourth innings. Garrett Kocis scored four runs in the game, added a home run, and drove home seven runs. Six Trailblazers had hits in the game. 

The Shockers completed the sweep with a 15-7 win on Sunday. The Trailblazers led 4-1 heading to the bottom of the third. Wichita State came roaring back, adding seven runs in the inning. Garrett Kocis went deep in the third for WSU and then add a second home run later in the sixth. Corrigan Bartlett had three hits in the game and drove home four runs. 

Dixie State now prepares to start WAC play against New Mexico State. The series starts Friday with a 6:00 p.m. first pitch. 

Grand Canyon at Oklahoma State 

Grand Canyon dropped the opening game of the series at Oklahoma State, 11-5. The Cowboys used some big innings to pull away from the Lopes. GCU was leading 1-0 in the fourth when OSU got three runs of their own from a Christian Encarnacion-Strand home run. In the sixth, the Cowboys took advantage of a hit batter and a double to score more runs with a sacrifice fly and a throwing error from GCU. The eighth inning saw the insurance runs scoring, including two on wild pitches. Channy Ortiz hit a 3-run home run in the ninth to cut into the lead, but GCU was unable to rally. 

The second game was a classic pitcher’s duel. Justin Wrobleski struck out 13 GCU hitters, only allowing a Nick Hansen single to center. The Cowboys got a third-inning RBI single from Caeden Trenkle to give OSU a 1-0 lead. It ended up being the game-winner for the Cowboys. Pierson Ohl pitched very well, going seven innings only allowing one run. Nick Hull came in to relieve Ohl and gave up two runs on two pitches. A solo home run from Brock Mathis and, after a Cade Cabiness triple, Frankie Scalzo gave up an RBI double to Trenkle to plate Cabiness. 

The series finale in Stillwater lived up to the hype. The offenses jumped out early, with five combined runs scored in the first. Channy Ortiz scored on a wild pitch, and Juan Calato added a SAC fly to give the Lopes an early 2-0 lead. Christian Encarnacion-Strand hit his second home run of the series, this time a three-run shot to take the lead back in the bottom of the first. GCU and OSU stayed tied until the ninth when Jacob Wilson hit a double to right-center field to score a run to give the Lopes a 3-2 lead. The Cowboys were down to the game’s final strike when Brock Mathis took Brodie Cooper-Vassalakis to deep left-center to tie the game. And that is how the game ended, in a 4-4 tie. 

California Baptist at UC Davis 

The Lancers won the opening game of the series, 6-1. Chris Burica was tough on the Aggies, going seven innings and allowing just two hits. Chad Castillo had three RBI’s on the day, including a 2-run single in the fifth inning to help CBU get the opening series win. 

The second game went ten innings and eventually went to CBU, 5-4. Chad Castillo left off where he did in game one adding three more RBI’s to his stat line and a home run in the game. Michael Carpentier added two hits for the Lancers, who benefited from a two-hit game from John Glenn, who had the game-winning hit with a 10th-inning solo home run. Jacob McCarvel went 3.1 innings, only allowing one UC Davis hit in relief. 

CBU completed the sweep on Sunday afternoon in Davis, California. The Lancers got a 6-5 win. California Baptist scored four runs in the second inning that featured a Joe Glenn RBI double. Grady Tuohy went 2-5 with three RBI’s. Rory Smith was 2-3 on the afternoon. 

The Lancers will now head home to Riverside, California, and open up conference play against Northern Colorado.  

Seattle U at Washington State 

Washington State won the first game of the series at home by a 6-1 final. WSU had 13 hits in the game. Colin Montez and Jack Smith both went 3-4 in the game. Kyle Manzardo went deep the Cougars. Julian Kodama had a three-hit game for the Redhawks. 

The bats came alive on both sides in game two. WSU ended up winning 14-7. Gavin Rork went 3-3 with an RBI for Seattle U. The Redhawks used a passed ball and wild pitch to score twice in the fourth to take a 5-3 lead. WSU responded though, scoring multiple runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth to win the game. Jake Meyer and Justin Van de brake each had three hits in the game to lead WSU. 

Seattle U won the finale against in-state rival Washington State in Pullman, 6-2. Julian Kodama went 2-4 with a pair of RBI’s to help push Seattle U over WSU. Morgan White picked up the win going five strong, only allowing two hits. The Seattle U bullpen did a good job, only surrendering the two runs to the Cougar offense. 

Seattle U will now stay in Seattle and play Washington State in Seattle and then face the University of Washington beginning Thursday. 

Tarleton at Central Arkansas Tournament (Central Arkansas and Missouri State)

Tarleton dropped the opening game of the Central Arkansas Tournament to Central Arkansas 6-1. The Texans had seven hits in the game. UCA used a four-run third inning to increase the 2-0 lead to win the opening game. Tyler Fowler and Jordan Parker had two hits in the game for the Texans. 

The Saturday doubleheader was spilt by Tarleton beating Missouri State but losing to Central Arkansas. In game one, a 7-5 win over Missouri State. Tarleton used a five-run eighth inning and Colby Seltzer’s pinch-hit grand slam in the inning to give the Texans the win. Tarleton was down to the final out in the eighth when Cody Vannoy drew a walk, Wade Raburn singled up the middle, and Tyler Fowler walked to set the stage for the Seltzer grand slam. 

In game two, Central Arkansas scored eight runs in the first inning to take control and win the game, 19-2. UCA scored in bunches in the game. They added a pair of five-run innings in the third and seventh. Kade Turnage and Cody Vannoy each had two hits for Tarleton. 

The Texans will host Lamar University on Wednesday before hosting Sacramento State to begin WAC play on Friday at 2:00 p.m. CST. 

New Mexico State at Texas A&M

The A&M pitching staff kept the bats quiet for New Mexico State in game one. Dustin Saenz went 7.2 innings with nine strikeouts to help Texas A&M get the game one victory. Will Frizzell kept the hot bat going with a 2-4 game with three RBI’s. Jake Baer was 2-3 for New Mexico State. 

Game two was almost an exact repeat of game one. Bryce Miller only allowed four hits and had 15 punch-outs of New Mexico State hitters to help Texas A&M to a 5-0 win. Will Frizzell went 5-5 in the game. The final nine outs were recorded via strikeout for the Texas A&M Aggies. Zerek Saenz was 2-4 in the game for New Mexico State, who had chances with runners on base but could never get the much-needed hit. 

The Texas A&M Aggies finished off a New Mexico State sweep with a 7-1 win on Sunday. The lone New Mexico State run came via a solo home run by Jason Bush. Austin Duffy went 2-3. Texas A&M used a balanced attack to get the victory. Logan Britt was 3-5 with four RBI’s in the ballgame for the A&M. 

New Mexico State will now get ready for conference play to meet Dixie State starting on Friday. 

Utah Valley at Cal Poly 

After a week break, the Wolverines were back in action, and the opener did not go as planned for Utah Valley. Ace Jesse Schmit gave up eight earned runs in the start, as the Mustangs had a 13-run fifth inning. Brooks Lee went 3-6 with a home run for Cal Poly in the victory. 

The offensive struggles for Utah Valley continued in game two. Travis Weston threw a complete game, only giving up two hits and one earned run. The Wolverines pushed a run across on a Mick Madsen double and later a Jake Plecas double to bring home Madsen. Cal Poly used a four-run first inning, which was all they needed in the 5-1 victory. 

Cal Poly completed the sweep by beating Utah Valley 6-0 on Sunday. The Mustangs continued to pitch well as the Wolverines only got four hits in the game. Alexander Marco and Mitch Morales each had two hits. 

The Wolverines will head to the Pacific Northwest and play the University of Portland in the weekend series in Oregon beginning on Friday. 


About the author

Kyle McDonald

Love everything about WAC Hoops so decided I wanted to write more about it and cover this amazing conference that just keeps getting better. Follow us on Twitter @wachoopsdigest for information, game analysis and much more.

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