Cougars defeated by CSUSB in weekend series


Cougar teammates watch the action in game one of Saturday’s double header.

Amy Chastain, Sports Editor


Cal State San Marcos baseball fell to Cal State San Bernardino 1-3 in their second California Collegiate Athletic Association weekend series of the season.

The weekend series is “just a grind, said infielder Tyler Place. “We’ll get better.”

In the first two games on March 4, the Cougars traveled to San Bernardino to face the Coyotes.

Senior Brandon Bentson led the way in game one with the only run batted in. Fellow senior Cameron MacKenzie pitched seven innings, allowing only two hits. Junior Hayden Weir pitched the last two innings as relief pitcher and shut out the Coyotes 1-0.

This win boosted MacKenzie’s record on the mound to 3-0 and marked Weir’s first save of the season.

In game two, despite many attempts at getting a runner across home plate, the Cougars fell short. With bases loaded in the eighth, Coyotes pitcher Don Sullivan kept the Cougars’ offense silent and helped defeat the Cougars 2-0.

The Cougars returned home on March 5 to play the final two games of the series.

In game three, the Cougars were quiet until the eighth when Place scored off of Austin Ott’s single.

They then launched a comeback rally in the bottom of the ninth that began when Perez homered, Jack Garcia earned a walk, Jake Trybulski hit a single and Tyler Ankrom loaded the bases with another walk.

Despite the late push, the Cougars were defeated 8-6 in game three.

The final game of the series began with the biggest offensive push from the Coyotes. In the fourth inning alone, the Coyotes put nine men at bat and scored six runs.

After replacing Alex Wall part way through the fourth inning, Weir allowed two singles by Coyotes Brian Lockey and Dylan Lohman.

With two Coyotes on deck, Daniel Romo hit a three-run home run. Just like that, the Cougars were down 11 runs before entering the bottom of the fourth.

The Cougars came alive when Perez’s hit doubled off the wall, allowing Bilodeau and Tyler Ankrom to put the first two runs on the board. The Cougars trailed by nine runs at the bottom of the fourth,11-2.

After being struck out twice, Place hit a two-run homer in his third at bat. This home run marked the first of Place’s collegiate career and brought the score to 11-4.

“It was awesome. Being down 11-0 is tough, but I wasn’t trying to do too much. I just got the pitch and it happened,” Place said.

In the bottom of the fifth, as Ross Lemmel struck out, Bilodeau stole second base. On a wild pitch, Bilodeau once again advanced and stole third.

Perez’s RBI single brought in Bilodeau for the final run of the game for both teams. The Cougars lost 11-5, bringing the weekend series total to 1-3 and their record to an even 10-10.

After enduring their second weekend series of NCAA Division II, the Cougars have room for improvement, particularly when it comes to scoring early.

In this series, the first runs scored by CSUSM came in the sixth, eighth and fourth innings, respectively.

This inability to churn out offensive plays from the beginning and gain momentum makes it challenging for the Cougars to win.

“Big thing that I’ve noticed is coming back from a loss is really big. You get these double headers and it’s tough to bounce back in 30 minutes. You’ve got to grind through it,” Bentson said.
The Cougars’ next chance to tackle a weekend series is at 2 p.m. on March 11 when they host Cal Poly Pomona.