A season-high nine-run inning propels the Bear Cubs to a victory over Cosumnes River 14-4


Nick Vides

Bear Cubs outfielder Michael O’Daniel is met with a crowd of his teammates after hitting a three-run shot in the bottom of the fourth inning against Consumnes River College on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 in Santa Rosa.

Tony Moeckel, Sports Editor

Behind home runs by Michael O’Daniel and Alex Leopard the Bear Cubs swung the momentum in their favor and rode the swing until the end, beating Cosumnes River 14-4 March 7 at Sypher field. 

Infielder Aidan Lombardi led off the bottom of the fourth with a line-drive single right in front of the Hawks’ left fielder. After Hawks’ pitcher Mike Freitas walked infielder Connor Charpiot, first baseman Ian Avalos beat out the throw at first base to load the bases. 

Outfielder Jake McCoy showed up with bases loaded and drove a pitch right over the Hawks’ infielders. McCoy batted in two RBIs on the hit and beat out the throw at first base. 

After McCoy’s at bat, O’Daniel sent a three-run bomb deep over the left-field fence. O’Daniels home run solidified the momentum shift from McCoy’s single and lifted the morale of his fellow teammates.

Infielder Alex Dehzad and catcher Ty Blakely managed to get on base on the next two at bats after O’Daniel. With Dehzad and Blakely on base, Leopard hit the second three-run home run of the inning. Cosumnes River’s coaching staff switched pitchers after Freitas let up a quick eight runs in just nine at bats. Despite the pitching change, infielder Joe Brown hit a RBI single and pushed the Bear Cubs to a monstrous total of nine runs in the inning. 

Hekili Robello dominates on the mound

Right-handed pitcher Hekili Robello pitched an impressive seven inning quality start against the Hawks, only giving up two runs. In the top of the second, Robello gave up a two-run homer to Hawks outfielder Michael Grijalva. Despite allowing the home run, Robello stayed in the game until the eighth inning and didn’t disappoint. 

Across seven innings, Robello struck out nine Cosumnes River batters and didn’t allow a single run in six of the seven innings he pitched. Robello’s nine strikeouts is a season high and is a step in the right direction after struggling in his past two games at the mound. 

Head coach Damon Neidlinger mixed up the pitching rotation from his usual rotation. Instead of having an opener and rotation by committee, Nedilinger opted for Robello to carry the majority of the load against the Hawks. Eli Yamanka and Alex Leopard chipped in during the final two innings, each pitching an inning to close out the win for the Bear Cubs. 

The Bear Cubs now sit at 12-4 on the season and 3-1 in conference play after the win against Cosumnes River. The three-game series between Santa Rosa and Cosumnes River continues at 2 p.m March 8 at Cosumnes River and the third game will be played at 1 p.m March 11 at Sypher Field.