By Wes McCurtis
CYPRESS, CA – The Cypress College baseball team (2-0) opened up their season at home with a Friday/Saturday double-header against the Cabrillo College Seahawks. The Chargers entered Friday's game ranked No. 1 in Southern California and No. 16 in the nation, while Cabrillo came in ranked No. 8 in Northern California. The Chargers picked up wins in each of the two meetings, including a 7-1 victory on Friday followed by a 5-4 walk-off win on Saturday.
Game 1: Andrew Quezada (1-0) pitched 5 innings to pick up a win in his season debut. Quezada recorded 5 strikeouts, while surrendering only 2 hits and 1 walk. Alex Trautner (0-1) received the loss for Cabrillo after surrendering 3 runs on 5 five hits and 4 walks. Freshman catcher Chase Sebby (2-for-3) finished with 2RBI, 1 run, and 1 walk in his first game as a Charger.
Both teams got off to slow starts offensively as it remained scoreless through 3 innings. Cypress recorded their first run of the year on a Pierson Loska (1-for-2) SAC fly that brought home Willie Aguilar (1-for-4, 2RBI) from third. The Chargers posted 2 more runs in the fifth with an RBI single from Aguilar followed by a SAC fly from Garrett Calvert (1-for-3, RBI). Trailing 3-0, the Seahawks responded with a run of their own in the sixth inning. Nick Ciandro (1-for-4, RBI) hit an RBI single scoring Clayton Andrews (1-for-4), who advanced to second on a passed ball. However, Cypress regained control, adding 2 runs in each the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings, capped off by a Sebby 2RBI single to take a 7-1 lead.
Game 2: Henry Martinez received the Saturday start for the Chargers. Martinez pitched 5 innings, recording 7 strikeouts, while surrendering just 3 hits. Freshman Jake Mahood (1-0) went the final 3.2 innings to receive the win in relief for the Chargers. Mahood allowed 6 hits and 2 earned runs, while notching 3 strikeouts in his debut on the mound. Clayton Andrews (0-1) received the loss for Cabrillo after surrendering 2 runs and 2 hits in 1.2 innings.
Saturday's match-up was a much closer affair. However, an RBI double in the third from Cory Wildhagen (1-for-4, 2RBI) and a 2RBI triple in the fourth from Matt Schmidt (1-for-2, 2RBI) gave the Chargers a 3-0 lead heading into the top of the sixth inning. Much like Friday's game, Nick Ciandro (2-for-4, RBI) answered the call with an RBI single to score Clayton Andrews (2-for-3) in the sixth. Adam Rossit (1-for-3, RBI) followed that up with an RBI single. With a 3-2 lead, the Chargers added an insurance run in the eighth inning as Paul Gomez (2-for-4, RBI) crushed an RBI double to center field.
Trailing 4-2 with 2 outs in the top of the ninth, the Seahawks evened the game at 4 apiece after an RBI single form Colton Crabtree (2-for-4) followed by an RBI single from Jordan Peabody (1-for-1, RBI). With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Chase Sebby (1-for-1) hit a line drive double to left field and would advance to third on a Cabrillo error in left field. Wildhagen stepped to the plate and made contact for a walk-off SAC fly to center as the Charger dugout rushed the field to celebrate an early season 5-4 victory.
Baseball will return to action this Thursday-Saturday as they travel to College of the Desert for the 7th Annual David Buttles Memorial Tournament. The Chargers open up against San Bernardino on Thursday, February 2 at 6:00 p.m.
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