By Ryan Navaroli |Staff Writer
The Coyotes men’s baseball team split the final two games in their double-header against the San Francisco State Gators on Sunday.
The Coyotes could not hold on losing 4-3 to the Gators in their first game of their double-header. Freshman pitcher Jake Meloche went the distance in his longest outing as a Coyote.
Meloche pitched the entire game, yielding 7 hits, 2 walks, and 4 earned runs in his eight innings of work. “SFSU was a very aggressive hitting team; they swung at the first pitch a lot which kept my pitch count down,”said Meloche. Meloche thought pitching in San Francisco’s larger ballpark was an advantage.
“Throwing in a large ballpark is a little easier for the pitchers. I did not have to be as fine with my pitches as I do when we play at home,” said Meloche. The game was a pitcher’s duel, as it was tied 2-2 through 7 innings.
Senior first baseman Trevor McMaster would lead off the top of the 8th inning with a single. Junior second baseman Kevin Meriwether would then give the Coyotes a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth inning on a two-out double down the left-field line scoring McMaster. “I was just trying to stay relaxed at the plate and not overthink the situation,” said Meriwether.
However, the Gator’s Grady Espinosa hit a 2-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give them the come from behind victory. The Coyotes got the upper-hand winning 4-3 in their final game of the series. Freshman pitcher Tyler Wells gave the Coyotes a strong performance on the mound. Wells yielded 7 hits, 2 walks, and 2 earned runs in his six innings of work.
“I was really trying to get them to swing and hit the ball on the ground or get an easy fly ball to the outfield. I noticed that they were aggressive first pitch hitters. This allowed me to get outs early in the count,” said Wells. The game was evenly played as the Coyotes and Gators were tied 2-2 through six innings.
Junior shortstop Will Ouellete would give the Coyotes a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh inning with his RBI-single to left field scoring senior outfielder Nolan Almodovar who reached on a fielder’s choice.
The pesky Gators would come back to tie the game, forcing extra innings. Senior closer pitcher Brian Jipp would give up a two-out single to center to Gator’s Carter Loud in the seventh inning. The Coyotes would retain their lead in the top of the eighth inning. Senior first baseman Richard Mount would reach after being hit by a pitch. Junior catcher Jose Hernandez would reach base on another hit-by-pitch before Almodovar’s RBI single up the middle.
Jipp battled on the mound earning the win. He had 2 strikeouts, no walks, and gave up four hits in two innings. The Coyotes look to turn this season around on the road against Cal State Stanislaus on Friday Mar. 14, Saturday Mar. 15, and Sunday Mar. 16.