Cougars fall to Cal State Monterey Bay

Bri Savant, Sports Reporter

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CSUSM’s baseball team takes a loss to Cal State Monterey Bay’s Otters on Saturday, Mar. 31. With a final score of 4-2, the Cougars are now 8-16 in the College Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).  Saturday’s game was the series finale versus the Otters, the Cougars came up short 0-4 overall in the three day series.

Although the Cougars lost, the numbers were extremely close. The Cougars and Otters  matched each other in hits, 10 versus 10. The Cougars had two errors versus the Otters’ one error.   

With such tight numbers, Coach Matt Guiliano was asked what he thought would have helped his team come out on top. “The same thing that has plagued us all season in every series so far, situational hitting. We had our opportunities to capitalize and we hit into a couple big game changing double plays to bail them out this past weekend.”

Saturday’s game was scoreless until the third inning. A double from the Otters sparked momentum, ultimately leading the Otters to score two runs. Going into the 4th inning with a score of 2-0,  a few hits and two stolen bases helped the Otters score another run, making it 3-0.

Cougars managed to get on the scoreboard in the fifth inning, after a  walk from Näshéa Diggs, a single from Tyler Place, and Aidan Stinnett being hit by a pitch, the Cougars were able to set themselves up on the bases.  After a wild pitch, Diggs scored, closing the inning at 3-1.

In the 6th inning, Cougars were able to get men on first and second base, and due to a sacrifice bunt from pinch hitter Justin Mellano, the Cougars were able to advance their men to second and third. A fly ball led Austin Ott to tag and score, tightening the score to 3-2.

In the end, Cougars couldn’t take the lead. With the Otters scoring another run off a wild pitch in the seventh  inning, the Cougars were left with a final score of 4-2.

Win or lose, senior Tyler Place shined in the batter’s box. On Saturday, Place went 3-5, and went 9-16 overall in the series face-off with the Otters.

When asked what’s been giving him the edge in the batter’s box, Place said, “I’ve been struggling lately honestly, and I changed a minor adjustment with my top hand and I felt like I was on the ball more, which obviously worked, so that minor adjustment helped.”

The Cougars will be facing Stanislaus State in their next 4 game series face-off starting Saturday, Apr. 7 at 6 p.m. at Stanislaus.

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