Scheiner’s walk-off home run improves Bear Cubs to 9-0

Will Mathis, Assistant Sports Editor

Down by two runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, shortstop Jake Scheiner blasted a no-doubt three-run home run to left field to lift the Santa Rosa Junior College baseball team [21-2, 9-0] to a 5-4 win over American River College [9-15, 3-6] March 31 at Cook Sypher Field.

It looked like the Bear Cub’s perfect start to Big 8 Conference play would come to an end, but pinch hitter Nick Robinson’s walk and left fielder Mitch West’s hit by pitch got the tying run to the plate. Scheiner delivered with his third home run in the past four games and his fifth this season.

“I know he was ready for it,” said third baseman George Foster. “He’s the man for the job.”

The win gives the Bear Cubs sole possession of first place in the Big 8 for the first time this season as Sacramento City College [20-4, 8-1] dropped its first conference game of the season to San Joaquin Delta [19-5, 5-4] 3-2 in extra innings. The Bear Cubs and Sac City will face off April 12 at Cook Sypher Field.

The win gives the Bear Cubs a perfect 10-0 record for the month of March and matches the team’s season high 10-game win streak set in February.

SRJC now sets their sights on their next series with Modesto Junior College [8-16. 2-7] who is tied for last place.

“It’s hard to get ahead of yourself,” said starting pitcher Ezio Bruchler. “You have to be ready for everybody.”

Bruchler cruised through his first five innings not allowing a single base runner and striking out four batters. However, with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, Bruchler gave up his second single and hit a batter to load the bases and eventually allow a two-RBI single to right field to give up the Bear Cubs 2-0 lead.

“That’s baseball,” Bruchler said, “Five innings not nine innings.”

Bruchler’s day finished after six and one-third innings allowing three earned runs on five hits, one walk and four strikeouts. Bruchler’s ERA went up to 2.82.

Relief pitcher Jared Noonan came on in the seventh inning and allowed two RBI singles, giving ARC a 4-2 lead.

Jackson Ketron came on in relief of Noonan and retired all seven batters he faced and struck out four.

First Baseman Ryder Kuhns drove in his 19th run of the season with a two-out single up the middle in the bottom of the first inning.

Center fielder Bryce Nagata got his bat going again with a 3 for 5 day including a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the second inning after going 0 for 11 in the first two games of the series.

The Bear Cubs begin their three-game series with MJC at 1 p.m. April 2 at MJC.