A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

SRJC Baseball underperforms in first conference matchup of the season against Folsom Lake

Nick Vides
Folsom Lake designated hitter Max Debiec, middle, celebrates his solo home run against Santa Rosa on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2024 in Santa Rosa.

The Santa Rosa Junior College baseball team fell victim to poor clutch hitting in a loss against the Folsom Lake College Falcons in their first conference matchup of the season at home on Tuesday.

Jordan Giacomini started on the mound for the Bear Cubs. He took the mound after giving up five runs in four and ⅔ innings during his last outing on Feb 21 against West Valley.

Giacomini pitched a clean top of the first, striking out two. Bear Cubs center fielder Alex Leopard beat out a grounder for an infield single in the bottom of the first but was left on base.

Folsom Lake’s Nate Vargas and Max Debiec hit a single and double respectively to open up the top of the second. Vargas scored on an RBI fielder’s choice to make it 1-0.

First baseman Josh Martin and catcher Mason Cox opened up the bottom of the second with the singles but were stranded on base.

Giacomini struggled with command in the top of the third, getting a strikeout but walking the bases loaded. A run scored when right fielder Quinn Medin made an error on a flyball.

Bear Cubs starting pitcher Jordan Giacomini throws a rocky 3 innings in their loss against Folsom Lake on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 in Santa Rosa. (Nick Vides)

Giacomini surrendered a fourth walk to bring in a run making it 3-0. After third baseman Keenan Morris threw out a runner at home for the second out, Falcons second baseman JJ Menesini hit a pop-up to left that fell in for a hit, and wound up going for a three-run double.

Giacomini got another strikeout to get out of the rough inning.

The Bear Cubs got two runs back in the bottom of the third when Alex Leopard launched a two-run homer, his fifth of the season.

Eli Yamanaka took over in the top of the fourth for Giacomini who allowed six runs on three hits, four walks, and a hit batter. Giacomini’s ERA is up to 9.33 in 18 and ⅓ innings on the season.

Yamanaka walked one but got out of the inning unscathed. Medin drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the fourth but was left stranded.

Debeic opened up the top of the fifth for Folsom Lake by launching a solo home run to increase the lead to 7-2. The next batter, Quincy Malbrough singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch then stole third. 

Menesini reached on a fielder’s choice, then stole second. In the process, Malbrough tried to steal home but was thrown out by second baseman Tyler Nordyke.

Yamanaka hit the next batter, then gave up a two-run triple to shortstop Logan Pruski to make it 9-2. Pruski then scored on a passed ball to make it 10-2.

Shortstop Aidan Lombardi drew a walk, followed by another walk from Leopard, but both were left on base in the bottom of the fifth.

Russell Freedheim took over in the top of the sixth for Eli Yamanaka, who allowed four runs on four hits, a walk, a hit batter, and two strikeouts. 

Freedheim allowed a single, then quickly induced a ground ball for a double play, followed by a lineout for the third out.

The Bear Cubs got a run back in the bottom of the sixth when Medin doubled down the left-field line and scored on a single from Nordyke to make it 10-3. Lombardi then struck out looking, stranding two runners.

Freedheim once again allowed a single then induced a ground ball for a double play. He got out of the top of the seventh, inducing a flyout.

The Bear Cubs got another run back when designated hitter Jake McCoy singled and scored after three straight walks.

Another run scored when Medin grounded into a fielders choice, making it 10-5. Medin stole second, but Morris struck out looking with runners on second and third.

Jacob Greiner took over in the top of the eighth for Freedheim, who went two scoreless innings with two hits and no walks.

Greiner allowed a walk, then an RBI double from Michael Ryan to make it 11-5. Greiner got out of the inning when he induced a flyout and Ryan forgot the outs and was back picked at second.

The Bear Cubs loaded the bases on a hit batter and two walks in the bottom of the eighth, then got a run back on an RBI single from defensive replacement catcher Cameron Duran to make it 11-6.

Three runners were left stranded when defensive replacement left fielder Michael O’Daniel struck out looking.

Bear Cubs outfielder Alex Leopard is greeted by cheers from his teammates in the dugout after hitting a two-run shot against Folsom Lake on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 in Santa Rosa. (Nick Vides)

Greiner pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth getting two strikeouts. The Bear Cubs went into the ninth trailing 11-6.

The Bear Cubs loaded the bases again in the ninth on a double by defensive replacement third baseman Dalen Tinsley, a single from Nordyke, and a walk from Lombardi.

Leopard popped out for the second out, but McCoy drove in two on a single to center, cutting the lead to 11-8. 

The comeback was not to be, as Martin grounded out to short for the final out, stranding two runners. 

The Falcons picked up the 11-8 win, snapping the Bear Cubs win streak and giving them a loss in their first conference matchup.

SRJC managed to out-hit Folsom Lake 13-10 while walking more and striking out less. The game was lost in the clutch moments, as the Bear Cubs left a whopping 15 runners on base compared to the Falcons’ five.

“It’s very painful to lose a game like this,” said assistant coach Tom Francois. “We didn’t dominate the box. We looked at [a lot of] called third strikes. [Folsom Lake] didn’t beat us today, we beat ourselves.”

They will look to bounce back when they travel to Folsom Lake on Wednesday for the second of a three-game series against the Falcons.


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About the Contributors
Oliver Kindt
Oliver Kindt, Reporter
Oliver Kindt (he/him) is a journalism major in his second semester at SRJC and first at The Oak Leaf. He is an aspiring sports writer who will be covering primarily baseball and softball this spring.
Nick Vides
Nick Vides, Photo-Editor
Nicholas “Nick” Vides (he/him) Is a seasoned breaking news reporter dedicated to making sure every shutter click of his camera captures a moment worth sharing. Nick's itch for chasing fires has kept him busy over the past seven years, covering every major fire event in Northern California from the Paradise Fire to the Caldor Fire. Nick currently splits his time as a photojournalist with The Oak Leaf and as a Contract Photographer with The Press Democrat. He has more than nine years of experience with photography, has been director of photography for multiple short films with the SRJC Media Arts Center, directed numerous student-led broadcasts with his Media 19 class, and interned for The Sarah and Vinnie Show on Alice 97.3. In the little free time left, he works for Highway 12 Winery in Sonoma, California as a Cellar Hand.  

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