The Oaks ended their season series against Simpson University with a bang, sweeping both games of a doubleheader to open up a seven game lead on the Red Hawks and a five game lead over Patten for Cascade South Conference supremacy. Menlo ends their 2011 battle 7-1 vs. Simpson including winning their last six in just a span of five days.
In the first game, junior Chris Mazza made history in the Oaks 3-1 victory. Thanks to a 1-2-3 seventh inning, Mazza notched his eighth career save to pass Kyle Kupiec and Matt White for the all time record. "It definitely means a lot," claimed Mazza on his record-breaking performance. "I have been real fortunate as a player and this school means a lot to me, so to be able to hold this record is very special. I just want to thank all the guys who have helped me get to this spot now."
Mazza's save closed out what was a stellar outing by Menlo starting pitcher Derek Rodriguez. Rodriguez tossed six inning of four hit ball to pick up his second win of the season to improve his record to 2-1. After the game, the freshman from Monte Sereno, CA discussed the significance of the victory. "Personally, it meant a lot. Today the defense had my back and we scored some runs. I knew I had to go out there and not give up a lot of runs to set the team up for a win," commented Rodriguez on his solid showing.
For Oaks' Manager Matt Daily the win by Rodriguez was something to be enthusiastic about. "It was fun to see ‘D-Rod' pitch the way he did. Even though he is only a freshman he plays like a mature player and we are lucky to have him and the rest of our freshmen play like that," said Daily.
As far as the second game is concerned, Menlo wrapped up their season long domination of the Red Hawks with a convincing 9-4 victory. The Oaks took care of business with the offense leading the charge. The big blows came off the bats of leftfielder Collin Forgey and third baseman Michael Brandi. Forgey's two run blast in the fourth gave Menlo a 5-1 lead and Brandi's bases clearing triple in the eighth put the game out of reach at 9-4.
With the doubleheader sweep, Menlo has now reduced their magic number to just two to clinch the Cascade South and as a result would host the 2011 Conference Tournament. The Oaks are on a current seven game winning streak and for Daily he chalks it up as a complete team effort. "It's hard to win that many in a row, but it's really been because of our ability for different people to contribute, it's not just one guy," remarked Daily. "Each player is putting in the hard work and I am proud of what they have done."
Menlo takes a brief break in their conference action with a doubleheader against La Sierra University scheduled for Friday April 15. The first game is set to get underway at 1:00pm.