The Oaks avoided a four-game series sweep on Sunday, taking the second game of a doubleheader at College of Idaho in the regular season finale. The Coyotes used a five-run bottom of the 7th to snatch the opener, 6-3, but Menlo and starting pitcher James Jensen responded with a 6-4 "W" in the second one to come away with the split. The Oaks finish the regular season with a 25-24 overall record and an 18-14 Cascade Conference mark.
In the opening affair, Menlo called on starting pitcher Derek Martinez who dazzled over the game's first six innings. The junior from Palmdale blanked College of Idaho over the first six frames, surrendering just three hits while striking out seven Coyotes to preserve a 3-0 Oaks' lead.
Then in the bottom of the 7th things began to unravel. College of Idaho put the first six runners on in the inning, behind four singles, a walk, and a hit batter. Martinez departed the frame without recording an out and allowing four runs to score. The Coyotes would add a fifth run off Menlo reliever Alex Tenorio, thanks to an RBI single by Jarel Lewis.
When it was all said and done, C-of-I plated five runs in the inning and turned a 3-0 deficit into a 5-3 lead.
The Coyotes would add an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th on a Riley Humberger pinch hit RBI single to take a 6-3 advantage.
The Oaks threatened in the top of the 9th off reliever Isaac Garsez by putting two on with one down. Michael Brandi led off the frame with a walk and with one out C.J. Dailey singled to left center. In the midst of a tough jam, Garsez would depart in favor of closer Todd Griffiths who induced the first man he faced, Taylor Cohn on a game-ending 1-6-3 double play.
Garsez with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief earned the win while the Oaks' Derek Martinez was tagged with the loss. The College of Idaho victory marked the 400th career win for 12th year Head Coach Shawn Humberger.
Menlo salvaged a 6-4 victory in the finale, behind a gutsy showing by starting pitcher James Jensen. The native of Castro Valley notched his third victory of the year with a complete game performance, in which the junior righty surrendered four earned on nine hits, walking just one, and striking out four.
The Oaks jumped out to a quick start, posting four in the top of the 1st and two more in the top of the 3rd. In the opening frame, Menlo did the entirety of their damage with two out and no one on. Collin Forgey began the two-out thunder with a triple to right, which was followed by a Michael Brandi RBI double, a Will Pierce run-scoring single, a C.J. Dailey RBI double, and an error on a ball hit by Taylor Cohn that plated Dailey for the fourth run of the inning.
The Oaks capped off their scoring in the top of the 3rd with Forgey's second triple of the game, an RBI single by Brandi to plate Forgey, and another Coyotes' error to bring around Brandi. C-of-I starting pitcher Joshua Orr was unable to make it out of the frame in earning his third loss of the season.
Menlo with their 18-14 conference record is currently in position for the #3 seed in the NAIA West Regional Qualifier, which is set to begin May 2nd in Portland, Oregon.