California Baptist University baseball team played their first home game of the season to a record-breaking crowd of 600 people against California State University at Los Angeles, Feb. 6.
Both CBU and CSULA’s defense started out a bit shaky as both teams gave up runs in the first inning because of errors. It was a 2-2 ball game until Nathan Antoun, senior kinesiology major and designated hitter, hit a towering home run to left-center field, driving in two runs in the fourth inning to take a 4-2 lead.
The Lancers added three more runs in the game, totaling their runs at 7.
The Lancers nearly doubled Cal State Los Angeles’ hit total at 15-7, while committing two less errors at 5-3. The Lancers got to the opposing pitcher, Bryan Conant, early in this one, totaling 10 hits and five runs in 3.1 innings pitched.
Once the Lancers’ pitching and defense started settling in, CSULA was not able to keep up. CBU’s starting left-handed pitcher Jeremy McDonald, junior kinesiology major, pitched well in his first appearance of the season. He picked up the win with a stat line of five innings pitched, giving up three runs and only one earned on five hits. He also struck out seven batters and walked two.
Left-handed relief pitcher Stephen Carabajal, junior marketing major, also made his season debut and got the save by pitching four innings, giving up no runs and striking out four. He came in hot out of the bullpen only giving up two hits to the opponent, destroying their morale on offense.
The stands were full and the crowd was electric at this game as the Lancers pulled off the 7-3 victory. Michael Bravo, sophomore engineering major, said he was was surprised to see such a big turnout.
“There are a lot more people here tonight than I expected,” Bravo said. “I just came to stop by for a couple of innings, and I had to stand because I couldn’t find a good seat.”
Jake Gallaway, junior kinsesiology major and third baseman, said it was good to finally start the season at home.
“It felt good to finally play someone other than ourselves,” Gallaway said. “We make every practice as competitive as possible to try and replicate real games, so we felt ready for our first game to finally come. To go out and win this one against LA was a great start. Having a big win like this and starting the season on a good note feels good and now we’re onto the next series against Dominguez.”
The Lancers finished off the series on Feb. 7 by beating CSULA by a score of 19-1.