Men’s baseball begins playoff push

Attila LS Gero, Staff Writer

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With their backs against the wall, the Bear Cubs prevailed Tuesday defeating Sacramento City College 4-3 at Cooks Sypher Field.

“To get to the playoffs, we’re gonna have to sweep these series or win them and hope somebody else falls off, ” said assistant coach Tom Francois.

The finish line of the regular season is in sights with just five games left on the schedule. The two series remaining on the schedule are against tough Big 8 conference schools Sacramento City College (23-12) and Sierra College (25-9).

“The guys played well but we got a long ways to go. We have five games left, we got Sierra but we can’t look ahead,” Francois said. “This is a big win for us today.”

The team fired on all cylinders against Sac City.  The pitching staff limited the Sac City offense to only three runs.

“The hitting came through, the pitching came through, but when you have clean defense that’s good stuff. That’s what wins you baseball games,” Francois said.

SRJC Shortstop Juan Lopez-Rios led the infield, as they moved like a well oiled machine, fielding outs all day.  The team had its ninth game of the season without an error.

Lopez-Rios missed extensive time during the season due to a hamstring injury.

“Juan has been our go-to-guy at shortstop, but he’s had hamstring issues. This kid is pickpocket slick, he does really good work defensively,” Francois said.

Lopez-Rios’ prowess shined at the plate against Sac city. He hit an RBI double up the middle for the first score of the game. His fourth double on the season despite only playing in 20 games.

Starting pitcher Shamus Lyons needed only five full innings to strike out four batters.

“The biggest thing for me as a pitcher is getting the first guy out because it gives me more of an advantage,” Lyons said.

He dealt with tightness in his bicep and shoulder causing him to miss a couple weeks in the beginning of the season. He is making his way back into the starting rotation, with an appearance in a game every week.

“It caused me to miss a couple weeks, basically the entire preseason. But as soon as I got back I was feeling good,” Lyons said.

Three Bear Cubs hitters collected doubles. The team had seven hits total.

Right fielder Blake Berry has been a model of consistency and effort for the Bear Cubs. Berry leads the team in hits (45) and batting average(.352), and is second in home runs(5) and doubles(10).

Berry has an impressive slash line of .352/.487/.445 through the 32 games this season.

“I’m not making any predictions but if we play like this were gonna be hard to beat,” Francois said. “These next five games are going to be playoff games. They’re going to be battles, but it’s going to be fun.”

 

Up Next:

The Bear Cubs aim to keep their momentum going against Sac City College at 2:30 p.m. April 19 in Sacramento.

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