The Roadrunners are hot, and it is happening at the right time. They are currently riding a nine-game winning streak and have swept Barstow, Victor Valley and Mt. San Jacinto in consecutive weeks. On April 15, the Roadrunners were able to win a close one to keep them in contention for a conference title.
Kenneth Schechter was the starting pitcher for COD and was able to get two quick outs but allowed a walk. A throwing error was committed while trying to pick off the runner at first and allowed him to advance to third. Schechter seemed to be in discomfort and was tended to by the trainers and was then removed from the game.
COD’s bullpen was tested in this one, as Matthew Sapakoff was called on to relieve Schechter. Sapakoff collected a strikeout to get out of the first inning unscathed. Sapakoff was impressed with his immediate call into the game, pitching three and a third innings while giving up four hits and four runs. Sapakoff collected four punchouts in his outing.
The Roadrunners were able to get on the board in the bottom of the first with RBIs from Graham Gonzales and Taisei Yamada and one from Dillon Baker in the second. The Eagles were able to tack on one run in the third and three in the fourth, scoring 4-3.
Marco Calderon was called upon to relieve Sapakoff in the top of the fifth. Calderon was shutting down the Eagles inning by inning. Calderon was able to keep hitters off-balance with his slider and change-up.
COD then tacked on one run in the sixth inning, tying the game 4-4.
In the bottom of the eighth were able to rally. Drake Bicknell led off the inning with a hard single up the middle, and Brain Parry followed up with one to the left. Dalton Thomas laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Bicknell to third and Parry to second. William Owens then knocked them both in with a single putting the Roadrunners up 6-4. Joe Jimenez and Baker collected rbi hits making the score 8-4.
The Eagles finally got to Calderon by leading off the top of the ninth with three straight singles to load the bases. A double down the line scored two runs and made the score 8-6. Calderon finished with four innings pitched with two runs with five hits allowed.
Taishin Matsushita was put into the most challenging spot a reliever could have been put into, bases loaded and nobody out. Matsushita had some ice in his veins as he could get the first two batters he faced to fly out, and he struck out the final batter of the game. It was a perfect inning for Matsushita, and it was an electric one.
This win slots COD in second place in the Inland Empire Athletic Conference, as they have three remaining games to overtake first San Bernardino. COD will have a crack at San Bernardino this week, and with COD being a half-a-game back, these next three games will be a playoff atmosphere.
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