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 pulls off another comeback win with playoffs around the corner

Nick Vides
Bear Cubs pitcher Luke Schat throws a lights out 3.2 innings to close out the win against Sacramento City College on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 in Santa Rosa.

The Santa Rosa Junior College baseball team clawed its way to a come-from-behind win over Sacramento City College at home on Tuesday.

SRJC entered Tuesday’s game having sealed a sweep against Modesto on a wild late inning comeback the previous Friday. After trailing 9-13, the Bear Cubs scored four in the ninth inning and seven in the tenth inning to secure a 20-15 win. 

Tuesday’s matchup would prove to be nothing like the prior offensive showcase.

Bear Cub pitchers Jordan Giacomini and Luke Schat kept SRJC in the game until the bats woke up. Giacomini went 5 ⅓ innings with two runs on four hits and five walks with four strikeouts. 

“Giacomini pitched really well,” said assistant coach Tom Francois. “The problem is we didn’t get him any run support.”

Schat took over in the fifth inning and pitched the remaining 3 ⅔, allowing only one hit with no runs and no walks.

Bear Cubs manager Damon Neidlinger pulls pitcher Jordan Giacomini after striking out four, with five hits and five walks with 5.1 innings pitched against Sacramento City College on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 in Santa Rosa. (Nick Vides)

“He came through and pitched really well,” said Francois. “He’s been rock solid. Every time he comes in he pitches with confidence.”

Panthers starter Brady Routon was excellent, pitching six scoreless innings with four hits and no walks. Routon only got one strikeout, but kept the Bear Cubs hitters off balance, inducing several pop ups and lazy fly balls. 

“That’s not what we do,” said Francois in regards to the plethora of pop ups and fly balls.

Sacramento City got their first run across in the top of the fifth when Giacomini threw a wild pitch with a runner on third. The second run came across on a sacrifice fly the following inning.

The Bear Cubs went into the bottom of the eighth trailing 2-0, having stranded six runners on base up to that point. 

Singles by pinch hitter Quinn Medin and shortstop Aidan Lombardi, followed by a walk by center fielder Alex Leopard loaded the bases with no outs. Right fielder Jake McCoy struck out on three pitches to bring up first baseman Josh Martin.

Martin drove the first pitch through the right side to bring home Medin, moving every runner up 90 feet. Left fielder Zane Bennett hit a sky high pop out to shortstop for the second out. McCoy and Bennett both went 0-for-4 on the day, never quite being able to hit the ball on a line.

Designated hitter Mason Cox came up with the game on the line, having gone 3-for-3 with three singles up to this point. 

Cox has been red-hot at the plate all season and after returning from injury, leading the team with a .403 batting average. His success today and throughout the season is the result of a simple approach.

“I just stayed in the middle of the field,” said Cox. “With the wind coming in the ball isn’t gonna fly, so line drives to the middle of the field were the key today.”

Cox hit a dribbler back to the pitcher, Sam Frizzi, who attempted a backhanded glove flip for the force out at home, and wound up flipping the ball over the catcher’s head to the backstop. Lombardi scored easily from third, and a throw back to home was not in time to get the lightning-fast Leopard who took advantage of the errant throw and scored from second.

“It feels good but I have to beat on that pitch,” said Cox. “Either way it got us the win so I’m happy with it.”

“Talk about clutch,” Francois added. “Holy cow. [Cox] commands and dominates the box.”

After having been shut out for seven innings, the Bear Cubs capitalized on the opportunity given to them and took an improbable 3-2 lead.

Schat was lights out in the ninth, getting three quick outs to seal the win for SRJC, their fourth straight. 

The Bear Cubs are currently third in the Big 8 conference with a 13-6 conference record. Their 25-10 overall record is the best in the conference. SRJC will look to finish strong in the final five games of the season, before hopefully making a run at a state championship.

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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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    Therese JenningsApr 17, 2024 at 4:47 pm

    Sooooooo happy to read about this win, since we were not able to attend the game in person! Go, Bear Cubs!!