The Lassen College baseball team took to the road on Saturday, March 11 to face a double-header at Feather River College.
The Cougars ended the day with both a win and a loss and ultimately advanced their conference record to 4-2.
In the first game, Lassen clearly smoked the Golden Eagles with a final score of 9-1. Game two didn’t show as great of a performance from the Cougars as they left with the 11-6 loss.
Game one saw it’s first run at the top of the second inning with Lassen on the offense.
After Eric Carlson was awarded a walk, Kyle Whitted singled, so Carlson advanced to second.
Whitted and Carlson each advanced a base on a balk before Ryan Thomasy singled to bring Carlson in.
McClain O’Connor was next up to bat and certainly did his part. He singled to bring Whitted in and send Thomasy to second base.
Raymond Kerr hit a fly ball out to left field and the inning was called with two runs on the board for Lassen.
Just as in the bottom of the first inning, Gehrig Parks continued to head off the Lassen defense with great pitches throughout the first five innings.
Lassen’s third run was earned at the top of the fifth. Kerr was first at bat and singled. He then advanced to second from a fly ball.
After a walk was granted to Luke Smith, the two men made a bold move as Carlson stood at bat. Both Kerr and Smith stole the next base and gave the Golden Eagles reason to grit their teeth.
Carlson then singled to bring Kerr in and allow Smith to advance to third base.
Whitted was next to face the Feather River pitcher and after sacrificing himself, Smith scored and Carlson advanced to second.
Lassen made their third out and headed to the defense yet again.
Another great inning pitched by Parks sent to Lassen to bat. At the top of the sixth inning, the only success seen by the Cougars was a hit by Kerr.
Feather River saw their first run during the bottom of the sixth after three Golden Eagles singled. The first at bat took advantage of a fly ball later on and ended up being the only run for the team.
Lassen hit the jackpot during the eighth inning.
Thomasy was first to hit and singled. A pitcher’s error sent O’Connor to first base while Thomasy advanced to second.
Then, Kerr singled to officially load the bases with Thomasy on third and O’Connor on second.
Daniel Perry sent the crowd into an uproar of cheers and hit a homerun to double the Lassen score with completed runs by Kerr, O’Connor, Thomasy and himself.
After the cheers died down, Nathan Hedberg took his place at bat and earned a walk. He later advanced to second on a while pitch, and after Robert Lujan singled, Hedberg scored to bring Lassen to their final score of nine points.
The remainder of the game included no hits by either side. Jared Kiessling was the Lassen pitcher for the last two innings and prevented any Golden Eagles from advancing toward a base.
After the 9-1 win, the Cougars and Golden Eagles took a breather and reevaluated their strategy for game two.
Feather River heightened their focus for the second game and fans saw great improvement from their offensive and defensive strategies.
With Lassen at bat for the top of the first, the crowd saw Parks single before the Cougars took their turn on defense.
The bottom of the first saw three hits, two runs and a walk from the Golden Eagles.
The message was received loud and clear for the Cougars, and with a single hit by both Carlson and Whitted to be followed with a walk for Kevin Montgomery, the bases were loaded.
Adam Frandsen took his spot at bat and ultimately reached on a fielder’s choice. Whitted advanced to third and Carlson scored before the error was called, and once the error was declared, Whitted scored.
Feather River had another successful inning with two runs during the bottom of the second.
Defense became stronger for both sides of the scoreboard throughout the next three innings as the 4-2 score remained untainted until the bottom of the sixth.
Feather River added a pinch of energy to their pitchers and seemed to zap the same energy from Lassen’s defense. Within the bottom of the sixth inning, the Golden Eagles scored three runs to nearly double their previous score.
Lassen refused to forfeit just yet as the game was far from over.
At the top of the seventh Montgomrey singled to start of the Cougars with a positive note.
Afterward, Thomasy reached first after being hit by the pitch and Montgomery found his way to second base.
O’Connor earned a walk and once again, the Cougars had loaded bases.
Parks singled and with a great burst of adrenaline, O’Connor advanced to third and both Thomasy and Montgomery dashed across the home plate.
Feather River remained on top of their game, however. In the bottom of the seventh, the Golden Eagles scored three runs to bring their tally up to 11 points.
Lassen made their final comeback at the top of the ninth with two runners brought in thanks to Kiessling’s single. Perry used Kiessling’s success to advance to third base as both Parks and Schmidt were brought in to give Lassen their final score of 6 points.
While the second game was not an overwhelming success for Lassen, the Cougars still outscored the Golden Eagles 15-12 based on the sum of the two games.
The team will take on the Corsairs on Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25 at the College of the Redwoods.