Bear Cubs complete comeback amidst three rain delays


Attila LS Gero

Bear Cubs players wait in their dugout for the rain to cease during the first rain delay of the game.

Attila LS Gero, Staff Writer

The Santa Rosa Junior College baseball team endured an early deficit and three hours worth of rain delays on Saturday; in a comeback victory against Solano Community College 7-3 at a wet Cook Sypher Field.

The start of the game was pushed back an hour because of rain. The first inning was as tumultuous as the weather for the Bear Cubs.                                 

Starting pitcher Carson Snyder walked four of the eight batters he faced in the first inning.  Solano used three walked batters to load the bases, then scored the first run of the game after Snyder issued a fourth walk that forced in a run.

Solano struck again with an RBI single just past Bear Cubs’ shortstop Juan Lopez-Rios to keep the bases loaded and stack their lead 2-0.

Snyder threw a wild pitch out of catcher Cole Brodnansky’s reach, who was not able to tag the runner and stop him from scoring Solano’s third run of the inning.

“Obviously Carson has done a great job for us, but unfortunately he did not today,” said pitching coach John Nadale.

The normally potent Bear Cub offense was notably ineffective for the beginning of the game. Catcher Cole Brodnansky registered the only hit for the first four innings.

The second rain delay of the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning, when the cubs were up to bat. Assistant coach Francois stressed to the team how important it was to stay focused mentally during the long breaks in game play.

After an hour long break, third baseman Vinnie Riggio woke up the crowd in the fifth inning with a leadoff triple, splitting the right and center fielders.

Unfortunately the Cubs could not capitalize on their runner in scoring position and Riggio was left stranded at third base. The final rain delay came in the bottom of the sixth.

“When you have that many rain delays its easy to lose focus,” Nadale said. “Baseball is one of those games if you don’t have your mental edge locked in throughout you’ll lose.”

Right fielder Blake Berry connected on the second single of the game after two Bear Cubs batters recorded outs to open the inning.

First baseman Joe Canepa stepped up to bat with two outs and Berry on first. Then the ball was on the other side of the fence. Canepa’s two run home run was his fourth homer of the season and the first runs on the board for SRJC.

Canepa is tied with Hance Smith for the team lead in home runs with four, but is the leader in RBIs with 21.

After three hours worth of rain delays and abysmal offensive play, a sign of good fortune appeared in the sky. A bright rainbow arced high across the grey backdrop at Cook Sypher Field.

From that moment on in the seventh inning, the tide turned for the Bear Cubs.  

Pitcher Ryan Calderon entered the game at the start of the seventh inning. He pitched three full innings and recorded four strikeouts on 36 total pitches.

Calderon had a highlight-reel defensive play when he caught a bouncing short ball barehanded and threw it off balance to first base, getting the last out.

“Any time I can fill up the [strike]zone and give my offense the opportunity to come back in the game, I have no doubt in my mind that they always will,” Calderon said.

The Bear cubs took advantage of their opportunity to do so. The Cubs loaded the bases quickly in the seventh inning. Riggio drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly ball to deep center field.

A wild pitch from Solano’s pitcher allowed Ben Sanderson to score a run that would give the Cubs a 4-3 lead.

Lopez-Rios hit an RBI single, bringing the lead to 5-3 before the seventh inning. The rainbow faded, but the Bear Cubs lead would not.

At the bottom of the eighth inning Sanderson smacked a double between two Solano infielders, driving in two runs to make the score 7-3 for the final nail in the coffin of the Bear Cubs’ come from behind victory.


Up Next:

The Bear Cubs(10-3)  begin conference play against Modesto Junior College(10-6) at 2:30 p.m. March 6 in Modesto California.