The Lassen College Cougars baseball team opened up conference play at home in a three game series against the Redwood Corsairs. Starting Friday, Feb. 21 in a double header, the Cougars came out with bats ablaze in back-to-back victories. The first game was a crushing 16-1, and the second was a more humble 6-1.
Then following on Saturday, Feb. 22, the Cougars made a repeat of the first game with a sweeping 18-5 game for a 3-0 entrance into the Golden Valley Conference.
The first game Friday started with the Corsairs putting three up and the Cougars sending those three out and back into the dug out.
The Cougars started with sending Chase Cripps up to bat who slid a single rolling past the first baseman. Another single from Tradd Richardson and Tyler Rund getting walked set the stage for a run, and Rafael Gutierrez didn’t disappoint, hitting a ground ball sliding between first and second that earned him an RBI bringing Cripps home for the Cougars’ first run.
The Cougars’ bats heated up in the second inning, scoring three runs before the Corsairs ended the inning with a double play. This put the Cougars 4-0 heading into the third.
In the top of the third, the Corsairs were able to finally land a run off a sacrifice fly to centerfield, but that would end their scoring for the game with the Cougars coming back to the plate in the bottom half of the third inning. Cougars kept the heat up with a seven run inning starting with Cripps landing a single to right field for two RBIs.
Then Richardson would bring in Nate Morgan, and Rund would double to bring in Cripps. That was followed up by Gutierrez slamming a double out to centerfield for two more. The last one would be hit by Mateo Martinez bringing in Gutierrez. This put the Cougars way ahead of the Corsairs at 11-1 heading into the fourth inning.
Both the fourth and fifth innings were quick events with both teams’ pitching leading the way. But the Cougars would play one final crushing inning in the bottom of the sixth where the Cougars brought in five more runs to finish the first game of the double header 16-1.
Heading into game two of Friday’s double-header, the Cougars again wasted no time in the bottom of the first putting one on the board. With Cripps making it to third off a sacrifice ground ball to the Corsair pitcher by Richardson, then Gutierrez grounded out to third base but not before bringing Cripps home for the Cougars’ first run of the game.
The Cougars would land their second run in the bottom of the third with Richardson again sacrificing this time with a fly ball to right field, bringing Morgan home for an unearned RBI, and putting the Cougars at 2-0.
Corsairs would manage their lone run of the second game in the top of the fourth, but the Cougars would bring a big response heading into the bottom of the sixth, where the Cougars would land three more runs.
This included an RBI off a triple put up by sophomore Jesse Dunham. Dunham would also make the final RBI for the Cougars in the bottom of the eighth, hitting a double to right field bringing Rund home for a 6-1 win.
The Saturday afternoon game continued the Cougars’ domination of the visiting Corsairs. After an uneventful first inning the Cougars’ bats picked up in the bottom of the second.
Dunham landed a single then advanced to third thanks to Donovan Gonzalez sinking a single over first base. Kyle Norton would then take the plate and land the Cougars’ first RBI, flying the ball out to right field on a sacrifice bringing Dunham in from third.
Gonzalez would eventually make it to third on a couple of wild pitches, while Austin Majorsky would be able to make his way all the way to third on two errors by the Corsairs’ shortstop while Gonzalez was able to run the Cougars’ second run.
Cripps then stepped up, but was struck by a pitch. Richardson stepped up to the plate, and Cripps stole second, then advanced to third on a wild pitch, while Majorsky scored. Richardson would bring the final run for the inning in with a single for an RBI to bring Cripps in, putting the Cougars 4-0 over the Corsairs.
In the fourth inning the Cougars would repeat this with four more runs thanks to Cripps, Rund, Dunham and Gonzalez, each earning RBIs bringing the Cougars to 8-0. But they weren’t finished, as the bottom of the fifth would again prove too much for the visiting Corsairs. The Cougars again laid the hammer down bringing in three more runs, including one big triple by Majorsky, running Layne Thacker in for an 11-0 lead.
The Corsairs, after making some adjustments in their line up, were finally able to get some runs on the board in the top of the seventh and eighth, but the Cougars would widen the gap further heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.
The bottom of the eighth was the Cougars putting the final nail in the proverbial coffin, putting up seven more runs before heading to the final inning landing the Cougars at a 18-5 win.
This put the Cougars at a 13-5 overall so far for the season and lands them 3-0 in conference.
The Cougars headed to Weed, California to take on the College of Siskiyous in a double header Friday, Feb. 28 with a follow-up game Saturday, Feb. 29.
Results were unavailable at press time, but look for the results in the Tuesday, March 10 issue of the Lassen County Times.