Atherton, Calif. – Menlo and University of British Columbia split a pair of games on Saturday afternoon with Menlo winning game one 8-2 and losing game two 8-5. The Saturday split concludes Menlo's first conference series with a 2-2 record.
Menlo jumped out to an early lead in the game one and utilized another great pitching performance from left-hander Joey Webb to take the 8-2 win. Menlo scored a run in both the bottom of the first and second innings to take the 2-0 lead off UBC starter Jeremy Newton. That would be all of the scoring until the bottom of the fifth when Menlo further distanced themselves from the Thunderbirds with three runs in the inning. Corey Metoyer was a part of all three runs scored in the inning, driving in two runs with a single and later coming in to score on a sacrifice fly. At inning's end, Menlo led 5-0.
The Thunderbirds were finally able to get to Webb with a run in the top of the seventh via an RBI double off the bat of Tyson Popoff. However, Menlo quickly answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to extend their lead to 7-1. UBC tacked on one more run in the eighth by way of a Austin Fruson sac fly to move the score to 8-2 where it would remain.
Webb collected the win for Menlo. In seven innings of work, Webb allowed just one run on five hits, striking out seven. Newton took the loss for UBC allowing five runs and striking out four.
UBC took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when an Andrew Firth single off Menlo starter James Jensen drove in Popoff. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, Menlo answered in a big way when Metoyer continued his hot day at the plate with a three-run homer off Thunderbird starter Conor Lillis-White. At the end of the inning Menlo led 3-1.
Both teams traded runs once again in the second and third to bring the score to 4-2 before UBC came up with the big inning in the sixth to take the lead. In the sixth, the Menlo defense struggled, committing a pair of errors and UBC took advantage. The Thunderbirds translated two errors, a pair of RBI singles, and a sacrifice fly into five runs in the inning and a 7-4 advantage. They would tack on one more in the top of the seventh with a Mike Hole homer to left field to lead 8-4.
Menlo threatened in a big way in the bottom of the eighth. The Oaks loaded the bases for James Threw who ripped an RBi single to cut the lead to 8-5 and move everyone up one spot on the base paths for Daniel Comstock. Miles Verwheel got Comstock to ground out to end the inning. Verwheel worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth to earn the save and lock-up the 2-2 series split with the Oaks.
The win in game two improves UBC to 8-8 (2-2) and drops Menlo to 9-9 (2-2). Menlo will return to action on Friday when they go back on the road to take on Lewis-Clark State College for a four-game conference series. Friday's game will begin at 6:00pm.