Behind a day to remember by Oaks pitcher Sean Sweeney, Menlo made it three in a row against the Owls of Oregon Tech. Both teams came to the ballpark this morning with some unfinished business to take care of after darkness halted last night's extra inning thriller with the score deadlocked at six. The Oaks called on starting pitcher Sean Sweeney to begin the continuation as play resumed in the top of the 10th. To say Sweeney was up for the challenge would be an understatement with the sophomore from Sonoma tossing three scoreless innings to send the game into the bottom of the 12th still tied at six.
The inning began with a leadoff single by Oaks' third baseman Michael Brandi, and after a two out knock by catcher Ty Finley and a walk to second baseman C.J. Dailey, Menlo had load the bases for senior right fielder Joel Hull. With the winning run just 90 feet away, Hull ran the count to 3-2 before lining a single to left to give the Oaks their second straight walk-off win. "I told myself to be aggressive," commented Hull on his game-winner. "When I got the hit it was the best feeling in the world in baseball."
Sweeney's three shutout innings gave him his fourth win of the season to push his record to a perfect 4-0, however his day was only beginning. Building off his earlier performance, Sweeney started the following game and did not disappoint. The sophomore went eight strong, allowing just one run on five hits while walking one and striking out four in the Oaks' 5-1 victory. Sweeney is now a perfect 5-0 on the season after the day's eleven innings of brilliance, but still managed to give most of the credit to his teammates. "My main goal today was just to throw strikes and let the defense play behind me," claimed Sweeney. "Our offense put it together too so we really played well in all three phases of the game."
For manager Matt Daily, Sweeney's memorable performance helped jumpstart Menlo to their perfect 2-0 day. "When you have a guy like that like who can compete the way he did you are definitely going to feed off of that," remarked Daily. "That was a tough thing that Sweeney was able to do today and he deserves all the credit in the world."
The offense was led by the resurgence of leftfielder Collin Forgey, who helped spark the Oaks to a five run third inning. The freshman from San Diego was in the midst of a tough slump but his three run homerun off reigning Cascade Conference Player of the Week Dylan Bedortha gave Menlo the comfortable 5-1 lead. After the game, the relieved Forgey talked about his effective approach to the plate that led to his clutch blast. "I was able to put a good swing on it and the ball carried out. It feels really good to help the team out after having a rough go of late," said Forgey.The Oaks now improve to 9-7 on the young season with a chance to complete the four game sweep against Oregon Tech tomorrow March 7 at Cartan Field. Menlo ace Adam Koontz is expected to make his much anticipated return to the mound after a thumb injury sidelined him last weekend. First pitch is slated for 11:00am.