Yuba College Baseball Coach Tim Gloyd was only able to purchase four bats amid an economic crisis that has not only affected the local community, but the Yuba College 49ers as well. However, the players have stepped up to the plate by raising money to keep the 49ers moving forward. “They fund-raised about $400.00 each”, Gloyd.
Today’s season opener against the Lassen Cougars is evidence of the team’s determination, and the players were anxious to start. “We’ve only been waiting 12 months”, sophomore outfielder Jonathon Downer said.
All eyes were on sophomore Tyler Osborne, who would not let the Niners down. He worked through the first inning and capped it off with an impressive strike-out against Lassen’s Justin Bowman. He followed it up with seven more strike-outs in the six shutout innings he pitched, four and two-thirds without a hit. “I’m very happy,” he said after the game.
In the second inning, Anthony Stolo hit a single RBI to bring in Nick Finney for the first score of the game. The talented shortstop continued making his mark by hitting another RBI, driving a loop into right field with two outs in the fourth inning. After hitting another single in the sixth, onlookers hoped for another hit from the promising young player, but the hard hit up the center in the eighth inning was snagged by the pitcher who threw him out at first.
Going into the seventh inning leading 2-0, the 49ers widened their lead. Lassen Cougars put in Blake Edwards to pitch against Joe Garcia, the Yuba College sophomore. Garcia swung away and hammered the ball into left-field for a stand-up double followed by another double by Jonathon Downer. The designated hitter, Nick Finney, walked, and was followed by third baseman Nick Luske, who hit in an RBI double bringing in Garcia and Downer. Brandon Pope scored Finney then Brian Boss brought in Luske. When the smoke finally cleared, the 49ers led 6-0. Stolo would later say, “Our bats came alive.”
In the eighth inning, Luske would once again prove his value by hitting another RBI to bring in two more runs, bringing the Niners’ lead to 8-0.
Lassen showed in the ninth that despite being down eight runs they were not giving up. Lassen catcher Kyle Ford led off the inning with a base hit up the middle, and would later be brought home by a solid hit into left field by Dillion Rickenberg. Rickenberg himself would later score.
The Niners responded by relieving Osborne and putting in Taylor Pickman in the seventh. Pickman finished off the game, striking out Colten Sims, and giving Yuba College an 8-2 season opening win. When asked about his feelings toward the win, Coach Gloyd humbly stated, “We won.”
The statement is a reflection of a team that has come together.