The Oaks seven-game winning streak came to a close on Saturday, as Menlo dropped both games of a doubleheader at College of Idaho. The Oaks lost a close one in the opener, 5-4, before the Coyotes came through with a 14-4 victory in the second game of the afternoon double dip. With the two losses Menlo falls to 17-13 in conference with an overall mark of 24-23.
Game one came right down to the wire after the score was deadlocked at 3-3 entering the top of the 7th. With two down and the potential go ahead run at second, John Hanley scorched a double into the left center field gap, scoring Taylor Cohn to give the Oaks a 4-3 lead.
Menlo starting pitcher Joey Webb kept the Coyotes off the board in the bottom of the 7th, but would run into trouble in the 8th. Jarel Lewis led off the frame with a double to left field, immediately giving C-of-I a chance to knot the score. After a groundout off the bat of Tanner Hodges advanced Lewis to third, Jeffrey Harris knocked him in with a grounder to second, tying the score at 4-4.
In the top of the 9th College of Idaho starting pitcher Chad Yeggy gave way to reliever Michael Garza, who promptly walked the leadoff man Mickey Phelps. Phelps would get as far as second base, but Garza danced out of trouble to send the game into the bottom of the 9th still tied at 4-4.
Webb came back out for the bottom of the 9th and put the winning run on base in the form of a leadoff single by Todd Griffiths. After a bunt got Griffiths to second with one down, Webb induced Zachary Fabricius on a comebacker to the box for the second out of the inning.
Inches away from sending the game into extra innings, Tyler Andazola bounced one to the shortstop Coleman Cox, but an errant throw to first allowed Griffiths to score, giving College of Idaho the walk-off win.
Despite going the distance, Webb was saddled with his first loss of the year while Garza picked up his fifth "W" of 2012.
The Coyotes carried the momentum from their dramatic opening win into the second tilt, piling on a 14-run, 18-hit attack. C-of-I raced out to an 8-0 1st inning lead, pounding out seven hits including two from leadoff hitter Tyler Andazola, who finished the game going 4-for-5 with two runs scored and three runs driven in.
The Coyotes did most of their damage off Menlo starting pitcher Derek Rodrigues, as the sophomore from Monte Sereno was unable to make it out of the first inning in suffering the loss.
The Oaks did manage to score three in third top of the 3rd, partly thanks to a two-run Michael Brandi home run, but a five-run Coyotes bottom of the 7th put the game out of reach.
Brandi was one of four Menlo players with a multi-hit performance, including C.J. Dailey who picked up four knocks and John Hanley who earned three.
For the second consecutive game College of Idaho's Michael Garza came in relief to notch a "W," tossing 5.1 innings without allowing an earned run on five hits.
These two teams will conclude their four-game weekend set on Sunday, April 22nd with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 11:00am.