Santa Rosa sweeps doubleheader, advances to Super Regionals

Will Mathis , Assistant Sports Editor

Santa Rosa Junior College faced two elimination games and came out victorious in both. SRJC defeated Reedley College 6-2 in the final game of a three-game series May 7 at Cook Sypher Field to advance to the California Community College Athletic Association Super Regionals.

SRJC relief pitcher Jared Noonan entered the game in the top of the fifth inning after a two-RBI triple tied the game 2-2. With nobody out and a runner on third base, the Bear Cubs brought the infield in. Noonan got the first batter to hit a ground ball to second baseman Matt Kimura, who recorded the out at first with no advance from the runner at third base. The next batter hit a hard ground ball to shortstop Jake Scheiner. The runner at third base broke home and Scheiner threw the runner out at the plate. Noonan got the next batter to pop out to end the inning and keep the decisive Game 3 tied.

“I knew I had to pick [Ezio] Bruchler up,” Noonan said. “That’s the best he’s thrown all year, he just made one bad pitch. Everybody came ready to play two today, and it feels good to get it done.” Noonan didn’t allow a hit in 3 innings of work. He walked two and struck out one batter.

In the bottom of the fifth inning left fielder Mitch West reached first after being hit by a pitch. He stole second base and eventually scored on a passed ball to give SRJC a 3-2 lead.

Later in the inning, with the bases loaded and two out, third baseman George Foster legged out an infield single for his second hit and second RBI of the game to increase the lead to two runs.

“I was showing off my wheels,” Foster said. “We were able to string some hits together and finally get some runs across the board and back up our pitchers.” Foster went 3 for 4 with two RBIs in the final game of the series.

Bruchler pitched four solid innings for SRJC to start the game. He gave up a single and a walk to start the top of the fifth inning. SRJC brought the corners in to protect against a sacrifice bunt but a Reedley batter slapped one past first baseman Ryder Kuhns, just inside the first base line for a game-tying triple. Bruchler gave up six hits, struck out three and walked one batter.

SRJC added to its lead in the bottom of the seventh inning with a RBI-single from right fielder Jeff Bart and a walk from designated hitter Matt Bone to force in a run and make the score 6-2.

Anthony Bender pitched the final two innings. He walked two and struck out two batters.

Scheiner drove in the game’s first run with a deep sacrifice fly to the center field wall, inches away from his second home run of the day after homering in the first inning of the first game of the doubleheader.

No. 1 SRJC will play No. 14 Folsom Lake College in the Super Regionals May 13-15 at Cook Sypher Field. Folsom swept No. 3 Sacramento City College in the first round of the playoffs.