Menlo keeps on rolling, this time into the record books thanks to a doubleheader sweep over the visiting Golden Eagles of La Sierra. The Oaks have now won 25 games on the season which ties the 2003 ball club as the most in program history. Menlo has now won nine in a row and as far as today is concerned it was the stellar pitching that led the charge.
In the opener, seniors John Franco and Adam Koontz, along with sophomore Kaimi Haina combined for a three-hit shutout in the Oaks 5-0 victory. Koontz's three hitless innings gave him his second win in as many games to boost his record to 4-3. Haina's three scoreless innings netted him his first save of the season as well.
Offensively, Menlo was led by none other than shortstop Chris Mazza. In the bottom of the first he jump started the scoring with a three run inside-the-park home run to give the Oaks a 3-0 lead. "I got a good pitch to hit and drove it over the centerfielder's head, luckily our fence is 425 feet so I just kept on running," commented the junior from Clayton, CA on his first ever inside-the-park round tripper. The home run gives Mazza five on the season, but more importantly gives him a tie with Jimmy Goethals for the all-time career record of 19.
In the second game, Menlo was able to capitalize on some outstanding play by a few of their role players to help propel them to a 5-2 "W." Junior Tristan Heckerl started in only his second game of the season and dominated on the mound. Heckerl tossed seven innings of three hit ball, allowing just one run while striking out six to earn his first win of the season, evening his record to 1-1.
After the game, it was all about redemption for the native of South Korea. "I have had a couple disappointing outings, including my first start of the season so I was glad to get another chance and neutralize what had gone wrong," remarked Heckerl. "I was proud of my defense today and proud of the offense and their ability to score when it counted most."
As far as the bats were concerned, the Oaks picked up significant contributions from sophomore Tyler Wilson. In what was only his first start of the season, Wilson went 3 for 4 with a double and a run scored, and for the sophomore from Littleton, CO it was all about seizing the moment. "Being the first start of the season, I was trying to make the best of it," claimed Wilson. "I went out there trying to have some fun and looking to remind everyone what I can do out there from last season."
Today's doubleheader sweep was really a team effort; just ask Manager Matt Daily, who referred to today's two victories as "A testament to how well rounded these group of kids are." "We have a lot of depth and today really showed the talent we have across the board," said Daily.
Menlo will go into tomorrow's doubleheader (April 16) against Patten, needing just one victory to clinch the Cascade South Conference Title, a first in Oaks' history. "It is something special, this baseball team has never won a conference in the program's history," claimed Daily. "Anytime we play Patten there is always a lot of passion and emotion, let's hope we can keep doing whatever we are doing."
The first game is scheduled to begin at 12:00pm at Cartan Field.