FRESNO, Calif. – The CUI baseball team split with Fresno Pacific on Friday afternoon, moving to 16-11-1 on the season while ranking third in the PacWest standings with a 10-4 conference record.
Game 1: CUI 0, FPU 9
Evan Larsen took the mound for the Eagles in game one, facing some early trouble after allowing four earned runs in the first 2.2 innings. As a result, Matthew Williams would come in relief in the third inning and stay for the remainder of the game, allowing three more runs over the course of 5.1 innings. With the loss, Larsen falls to 1-2 on the season while still leading the Eagle pitching staff in innings pitched (40.1), strike outs (46), and games started (7).
The CUI offense struggled to find openings in the defense, collecting just three hits in the game, all off of Fresno Pacific’s starter. Nathan Benefeito, Richard Castro, and Alex Moreno were the only ones in the lineup to collect a hit, each being a single. Benefeito and Shane Wallace also recorded a stolen base in the game.
Game 2: CUI 6, FPU 4 (10 innings)
The Green & Gold rebounded nicely in game two, finding their winning formula of strong pitching and timely hitting. Riley O’Sullivan gave CUI an efficient start, allowing four earned runs in 8.0 innings on just 89 pitches. This was the sophomore’s longest outing of the season, while also striking out five batters in the process.
With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, Colton Bulger came into pitch. As expected, Bulger dominated the Sunbird bats, allowing just one hit in his 2.0 innings in relief to improve to 2-0 on the season. Bulger continues to hold a 0.00 ERA on the season, while also holding opposing hitters to just eight hits in 15.1 innings this season for a dominant 0.72 WHIP.
The bats came alive in game two as seven different Eagles recorded a hit. Benefeito got CUI on the board in the top of the third inning with an RBI single up the middle to score Moreno to make the score 1-0.
After falling behind 2-1 in the sixth, Benefeito launched the Eagles to the lead with a home run to right field, scoring both Wallace and Moreno. His four RBI performance tied a single-game career high, after also accomplishing the feat just last week against Hawaii Pacific.
With the game tied 4-4 in the top of the tenth inning, Tristan Hanoian was able to give the Eagles the lead by scoring Michael Dixon on sacrifice fly to center field. The very next batter, Kevin Fowler, extended the lead to two with an RBI single to left field on an 0-2 count. Bulger would close out the game to give the Eagles the 6-4 victory.
Concordia looks to take the series tomorrow, March 26th, in a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 PM.
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