Donovan Gonzalez readies his bat for the Redwoods pitch during the home opener Friday, Feb. 21. Photo by Brian Walters

Cougars continue hot streak against Siskiyous

The Lassen Cougars baseball team has kept the brooms handy, sweeping the College of Siskiyous in a three-game series. Starting Friday, Feb. 28, the Cougars and the Eagles faced off in a double header with the Cougars pulling out a 13-8 win. Game two headed into extra innings, but the Cougars brought a 7-4 win in the 10th inning.

Then Saturday, Feb. 29, the Cougars finished off the Eagles with a 5-1 victory to finish the weekend games.

Game one
The Cougars started off the top of the first inning wasting no time as Chase Cripps stepped up smacking a double to left field. As Tradd Richardson followed Cripps at bat, Cripps made a run for third base, stealing it. Richardson, with a runner on third, hit a single in the pocket behind first bringing Cripps home.

The Eagles’ first inning was not nearly as successful with three up, and three out with Cougars pitcher Jesse Dunham striking out the Eagles’ third batter to finish the inning.

Entering into the top of the second, the Cougars put two up and two out real fast, but Austin Majorsky was able to reach first on a error by the Eagles. Then Nate Morgan stepped up and put another run up for the Cougars, hitting a triple to the fence for an RBI with Majorsky.

In the bottom of the second, the Eagles made their response with a double to right field and then scored a run off an error by Cougar shortstop Majorsky bringing the game to 2-1 heading into the top of the third.

The top of the third saw the Cougars’ bats light up as Tyler Rund was walked, then Rafael Gutierrez stepped up hitting a double to put two on base. Then to top it all off, Donovan Gonzalez came in with a homerun for three RBIs widening the game to 4-1 over the Eagles.

The Cougars’ bats kept going, but the Eagles were finally able to come out with some batting action in the bottom of the seventh inning after the Cougars had created a strong 10-2 lead. The Eagles recorded four runs, shortening the gap to 10-6 before heading into the top of the eighth inning.

The final nail in the coffin occurred in the top of the eighth inning when Gutierrez started things off with a triple to right field. After Gonzalez was struck out, Brandon Springer stepped up with a single in the center field pocket for an RBI to bring Gutierrez home.

Springer managed to steal second before Majorsky put a single to right field and sent Springer back home for the Cougars’ 12th run. Then to finish the top of the eighth for the Cougars was Morgan who cranked a double giving plenty of time for Majorsky to find his way back home for the Cougars to bring the score to 13-6.

But before the game was finished, the Eagles were able to bring home two more runs, one in the bottom of the eighth, and the last one in the bottom of the ninth bringing a 13-8 win for the Cougars.

The Cougars recorded 20 hits over the Eagles’ 12. Gonzalez led the Cougars in RBIs bringing in four, while Morgan followed with two.

Game two
After the first game and the Cougars’ overwhelming win, the second played very differently. The Eagles got things started this time around in the bottom of the first, being able to work around Cougars’ pitcher Kyle Norton and scoring two runs to leave the Cougars behind at 2-0.

But Norton was able to step up and hold back the Eagles’ batting until he was finally swithched with Braiden Bellum in the bottom of the fifth.
The top of the sixth started out with Majorsky up to bat, but he was walked on a four-ball count. Morgan followed but grounded into a double play sending both back to the dugout.

Cripps came out singling to left field, then stealing second as Richardson stepped up to bat. Richardson, however, was not ready to surrender, putting a single to left field for the Cougars’ first run of the game bringing Cripps home.

Richardson followed Cripps’ example stealing second once Rund was at bat, and Rund followed Richardson with a single to center field for the Cougars, sending Richardson home and recording the Cougars’ second run tying the game 2-2.

In the top of the seventh, the Cougars managed to get the bases loaded, and with one out on the board, Cripps stepped in and popped a ball up in the infield for a sacrifice and RBI, bringing Emilio Martinez home to give the Cougars the 3-2 lead.

The Cougars’ lead would not last. In the bottom of the eighth, the Eagles would score two more runs to take a 4-3 lead heading into the ninth inning.
Top of the ninth Cripps mimicked his seventh inning play with Morgan on second and Majorsky on third. Cripps flied the ball out to center field for a sacrifice allowing Majorsky to come home for the game tying 4-4 run.

The game headed into an extra 10th inning, the Cougars pulling out all the stops in the top of the inning. Layne Thacker landed the first RBI sending Trevor Shannon in for the Cougars’ fifth run. Then Cripps led the final efforts of the game with a double to left field for two RBIs, scoring in Morgan and Evan Cutshall to bring the game to a 7-4 win for the Cougars.

Game three
The Saturday, Feb. 29 game was a slower ball game as both teams’ pitching led the game.

The Cougars were able to get their first run on the board. In the top of the second, Gonzalez and Gutierrez took up positions on second and third base as Norton stepped up to bat and hit a single to right field bringing both runners in for two runs to start things off.

The two teams’ pitching led to quick innings leading up to the top of the seventh where Donovan Gonzalez and Rund sat on first and third, and Mateo Martinez got up and hit what looked to be a ground out to the short stop. But the Eagles’ shortstop on his second error let Rund make it home for the Cougars’ third run.

Then to finish the top of the seventh inning, Norton stepped up and doubled to centerfield bringing in Martinez putting the Cougars ahead of the Eagles 4-0.

The Eagles were able to battle for one run in the bottom of the eighth inning off a sacrifice fly ball to center field; however, the Cougars would take the three game series finishing the top of the ninth with one final run by Morgan smashing a double to left field to bring Martinez home for a final score of 5-1.

The Cougars played against the second place team in the Golden Valley Conference Butte College Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7. Results were unavailable at press time, but look for the results in the Tuesday, March 17 issue of the Lassen County Times.