Cougars start and end home series with wins
The Lassen Community College baseball team hosted a three-game series against the College of the Redwoods Corsairs Monday, March 26 and Tuesday, March 27.
The Cougars weren’t able to sweep the series, but they ultimately emerged victorious for two of three games.
Lassen started with a 14-6 win, followed with an 11-4 loss and ended with a 10-5 win.
Throughout the three games, Lassen had a total of 39 hits, including one home run, 28 runs and 25 RBIs.
Regarding the series as a whole, head coach Frank Avilla said, “We did all the little things to win and it worked out. It was a positive step in the right direction. We didn’t sweep, but we won the series, and I’m proud.”
During the first game, the Corsairs established a strong lead against the Cougars with three runs scored in the first inning.
After the Cougars failed to respond during the bottom of the first, Redwoods then brought in another run to bring their lead to 4-0.
However, the bottom of the second proved to be the beginning of the end as Lassen scored their first run.
Luke Smith made the run as he initially hit a double and sprinted home upon Lincoln Turner’s single.
Though Smith’s run was the only Cougar run earned in the second inning, Lassen was far from giving up.
In the third inning, the Corsairs were quick to hit three outs and give the Cougars another shot behind the bat.
Sami Baig started the bottom of the third with a single, and while Ryan Thomasy was at bat, Baig stole second.
Thomasy then singled and allowed Baig to advance to third.
Following Baig’s initial ambition, Thomasy stole second while Jordan Taylor stood at bat. Taylor then grounded out to first.
Robert Lujan was next at bat, and with a strong hit resulting in a double, both Baig and Thomasy were brought in.
Smith was hit by the pitch and reached second on a wild pitch. The same wild pitch also sent Lujan to third.
Turner found himself back at bat and after hitting a single, Lujan scored.
With the score tied 4-4, the Corsairs attempted to improve their luck during the top of the fourth. Unfortunately for them, though, the only success they saw during the top of the fourth was a walk.
During the bottom of the fourth, Jared Kiessling was hit by the pitch and advanced to second after Tiler Whiteaker singled.
Baig then singled to load the bases, and Thomasy stepped up to the plate.
Thomasy was able to reach on a fielder’s choice that took Baig off the diamond, but Kiessling still managed to score.
Taylor was then up to bat and singled to send Whiteaker in and Thomasy to third.
Lujan then hit a sacrifice fly to bring Thomasy in. With a 7-4 Cougar score on the board, the inning was called.
Inning five was unsuccessful for both sides of the board, but Redwoods was eager to get back in the game, so during the top of the sixth, a home run brought in two Corsairs to raise their run tally to six.
On the flip side, Lassen was unable to advance their score until the bottom of the seventh, in which a home run from Smith brought the Cougars to an 8-6 lead.
Then, in the eighth inning, Lassen left it all on the field with a total of six runs scored.
The bottom of the eighth began with Baig singling, stealing second, advancing to third on a wild pitch and scoring courtesy of Thomasy’s single.
Thomasy then sole second and was brought in thanks to a single hit by Taylor.
Aiden Leahy pinch ran for Taylor and after Lujan singled, Leahy advanced to second. A wild pitch sent both Leahy and Lujan one base ahead, and another wild pitch sent Leahy home and Lujan to third.
Smith ended up with a walk. Then, yet another wild pitch sent Smith to second and brought Lujan in.
Next, Turner grounded out to second base, but the act allowed Luke Smith to advance to third.
Jarryn Wee was next at bat and also ended up walking.
Then, Kiessling singled and both brought Smith in and sent Wee to second.
Caleb Ariaz walked to load the bases. Then, Baig was able to reach on a fielders’ choice that sent Ariaz out but allowed Wee to score.
By the end of the eighth inning, Lassen had advanced their score by six runs, had made five hits and had left three runners on base.
The lack of response from the Corsairs in the top of the ninth called the game.
On the mound for the first game was Connor Fleharty for six innings and Michael Wood for the remaining three.
Fleharty faced 27 batters and allowed a total of five hits, six runs, one of which was a home run, and two walks. Fleharty struck out three.
Wood faced 10 batters and only allowed one hit throughout the three innings.
Game two saw the tables turn as the Corsairs emerged the victors with a final score of 11-4.
Lassen was first to score with a run made by Kiessling and credited to Jack Bell during the bottom of the second inning.
The Corsairs responded quickly with four runs in the third inning, however, and their lead didn’t waiver from there.
Lassen scored a second run during the bottom of the third with Thomasy the runner and Turner credited with the RBI.
Inning four saw two more Corsair runs, inning five saw three and inning six saw two.
Lassen made their final attempt at the win during the bottom of the sixth with both Wee and Bell running in. Mitchell Menns and Baig were credited with the RBIs, respectively.
Lassen had quite the pitching roster for the second game with Taylor starting the Cougars off and Michael Sallee, Wood, Carter Click and Tony Goodman acting as relief pitchers.
The Cougars then regrouped and allowed a good night’s rest to take away any fatigue accrued on the field.
On Tuesday, Lassen was back on the diamond with their focus greater than before.
The Cougars were eager to settle the series as victors, and with hard work, their wish became a reality.
The final game began and ended with Lassen on top as the Cougars ended the first inning ahead 3-0 and ultimately ended the game ahead 10-5.
Lassen’s first three runs were the result of Lujan tripling to send both Taylor and Thomasy in, as well as Turner hitting a sacrifice fly to send Lujan home as well.
The Corsairs earned their first run in the second inning, but Lassen was quick to respond with a run of their own during the bottom of the second.
A sacrifice fly from Taylor brought Baig home and thus allowed inning three to begin with Lassen leading 4-1.
During the top of the third, Redwoods brought in two runs, but during the bottom of the third, Lassen negated the Corsair success with four runs.
In the bottom of the third inning, Menns singled to bring in Kiessling and Turner. Then, a wild throw in an attempt to get Menns out resulted in him advancing to second and Leahy sprinting home.
Then, Thomasy singled to bring Menns home and call the inning good.
Inning four didn’t see any runs from either team, but the Corsairs stepped it up for the top of inning five.
Some effort seen from Redwoods ended up raising their run tally to five, which wasn’t enough to steal the lead, but definitely proved they weren’t ready to throw in the towel.
However, though they kept fighting, the Corsairs were unable to score again for the remainder of the game.
Meanwhile, Lassen took the opportunity to bring in a couple more runs just to play it safe.
The bottom of the sixth saw Bell single to bring in Baig, and the bottom of the eighth saw Thomasy double to bring in Menns.
The pair of home wins was a perfect reminder for all orange and black fans that the Cougar baseball team has an action-packed season ahead of them.