Bear Cubs baseball: six in a row after blowout win

Parker Dangers Oncken, Staff Writer

The Santa Rosa Junior College Bear Cubs baseball team continued its strong start to the season defeating the Los Medanos College Mustangs 11-1 Feb. 14 at Sypher Field.

In a nail biter of a game through the first several innings, it was the Bear Cubs sterling defense that kept them in the game until their offense took control.

LMC scored first, using a pair of singles and a RBI ground out by catcher Joey Lingenfelter, to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

Then Bear Cub starting pitcher Dustin Oliver settled in, tossing six innings of a 4-hit ball, using his full repertoire of pitches to keep LMC’s hitters off balance all afternoon.

The Bear Cubs got the run back in the bottom half of the inning, courtesy of a one-out walk and strong base running by West Mitchell, who stole second and took third on a wild pitch before scoring on a fielder’s choice, tying the game at 1 point apiece.

Tight defense and pitching by both teams kept the score knotted until the bottom of the fourth, when the Bear Cubs’ bats heated up. A four-run inning, highlighted by a two-run double from DH Ryan Walsh, gave SRJC plenty of breathing room, as Oliver continued to mow down helpless Mustang hitters with high 80’s heat.

Strong relief pitching, and a flawless performance by SRJC’s defense put the game on ice, giving the Bear Cubs the 11-1 win.

Bear Cubs’ assistant coach Tom Francois was effusive in praising the team’s performance so far this season, describing how proud he is of how his extremely young team has grown together in just a few short months.

He said he hopes his team will look at this game as a blueprint for future success, explaining the key to the win was simple: “We got clutch hits, played flawless defense and pitched as well as we have all year,” Francois said. “Replicate this performance and we will be very tough to beat.”

With the win, the Bear Cubs improve to 6-1, and now are on an early season six-game win streak.

They host Contra Costa College at 2 p.m. Tuesday, February 17th, at Sypher Field in Santa Rosa.