Johnson outduels Reedley College


Nick Vides

Bear Cubs pitcher Evan Johnson is all smiles after pitching out of a bumpy seventh inning against Reedley College on Friday, May 12, 2023 in Santa Rosa.

Nick Vides, Photo Editor

It was a pitchers’ duel Friday afternoon as the Bear Cubs starting pitcher Evan Johnson threw a shutout eight innings against the Reedley College Tigers. He worked his way out of a funk in the top of the seventh, giving up two hits with two outs before closing the door on the Tigers.

“It wasn’t quite a jam,” said Johnson. “I gave them a lot of [game] time to see me, I did what I had to do to get them out.” 

The Bear Cubs’ bats woke up at the bottom of the seventh after outfielder Jake McCoy was plunked by a pitch to lead off the inning. Outfielder Bryce Cannon went on to hit a double, knocking in McCoy. Cannon himself would come home after outfielder Alex Leopard hit an RBI single to right field. The inning ended with the Bear Cubs up 2-0 against the Tigers.

Johnson was poised to close out the briskly played, small-ball style game, but statistics prevailed as Head Coach Damon Neidlinger opted for two-way player Connor Charpiot to close out the game in the top of the ninth. “The guy in the third spot coming up was 2-3 against me,” said Johnson. “I was looking forward to closing out, but I’m happy for my team’s win today.”

Charpiot kept it lively in the top of the ninth, coughing up two hits down the line to center field, but the Bear Cubs prevailed against The Tigers as the last batter grounded out back to Charpiot. The final score remained 2-0.

The Bear Cubs face Reedley College again on Saturday, May 13, at 11 a.m. If a tiebreaker game is necessary, a second game will be played 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.