Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Otters, Lumberjacks Split Another Doubleheader

Recap, photo courtesy of CAL State Monterey Bay
HSU takes the opener, 4–3, before Otters win the nightcap, 9–3

SEASIDE, Calif. — Cal State Monterey Bay nearly doubled visiting Humboldt State's hit total Sunday afternoon but, from that, managed only a doubleheader split as Humboldt came from behind to take the opener 4–3 before the Otters rolled to a 9–3 win in the series finale at the Otter Sports Complex.

CSUMB totalled 21 hits with nine in the first game and 12 in the second. But Humboldt scored four runs on just four hits in the opener before collecting seven singles in Game 2.

RBI singles by freshmen Alyssa Burt (Garden Grove/Pacifica HS) and Savanna Salyer Kovacs (Camarillo HS) staked CSUMB to a 2–0 lead in Game 1. But a well executed squeeze bunt and a wild pitch allowed the Lumberjacks to tie the game with just a single and a walk in the fourth inning.

A 2–run homer by Burt's high school teammate Danica Grier put Humboldt on top for the first time at 4–2 in the sixth.

Burt drew a 1–out walk in the seventh and Salyer Kovacs drove in her pinch–runner with a double to pull the Otters two within 4–3. But reliever Sam Sarmiento got Julia Garcia to line out and Jayme Stark to ground out to end the game.

The nightcap featured no such drama as the Otters scored in each of the first five innings. The Otters pounded 12 hits in the game and took advantage of five Humboldt errors to build a 7–1 lead through three innings.

GAME 1 WAS OVER WHEN OVER WHEN… Reliever Sam Sarmiento got the final two outs with the potential tying run at second base in the seventh.

GAME 2 WAS OVER WHEN OVER WHEN… Makenna Firenze scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning to answer Humboldt's final runs in the top half of the inning. Celeste Villagrana finished with 3 1/3 innings of shutout pitching to seal the win.

SPEED KILLS… The speed at the top of the Otter lineup proved to be a big factor in Sunday's games. Marissa Hukkanen and Joanna Perruccio combined to go 8–for–17 in the doubleheader.

VILLAGRANA GOES THE DISTANCE AND THEN SOME… Junior pitcher Celeste Villagrana went more than the distance Sunday afternoon. She kept CSUMB alive in Game 1 with 1 2/3 innings of perfect relief. In Game 2, she tossed her third complete game as an Otter to earn her fourth win of the season and second win of the weekend.

LEADERS OF THE RAFT… Savanna Salyer Kovacs (3x7, 2B, 3 RBI, BB); Marissa Hukkanen (4x9, 2 RBI); Joanna Perruccio (4x8, R); Gabrielle Forbes (2x3, 2 R).

THEY'VE GOT NEXT… The Otters The Otters will head to Southern California for their final regular season road games when to face Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson for a 4–game series April 13–14.

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