The Yuba College Mens Baseball team wrapped up their 2018 season on April 27 with a 6-4 victory over Mendocino College. They finished with a 16-24 record, 7-14 in conference, 13-12 in home games, 3-9 in away games, and 0-3 on neutral sites.
As a team they bat a .252 average with a .361 on-base percentage, hitting five HRs and 170 RBIs. Offensively they were led by Sophomore outfielder Mike Shoenberger, who had a .331 average with three HRs, 32 RBIs, and ten stolen bases.
As a pitching staff they compiled a 5.25 earned run average, allowing 202 earned runs, 191 walks, and 21 HRs, striking out 278 batters. Their best starter was Sophomore Garrett Ham, who had a 3.94 ERA, 39 earned runs, 35 walks, and 9 HRs allowed, to go with 49 strikeouts in 89 innings pitched.
“We started off well, going 9-6,” said assistant coach Jason Hampton, “then we lost ten straight.”
The team only won one game in the month of March, a 6-4 victory against Solano on March 27, to break their ten game losing streak.
Down the stretch of the season, the 49ers played a friday game against Napa Valley on April 20.
The starter for that game was freshman Hayden Horan, who struggled early with his command.
He walked the first batter, who was then thrown out at second. He then walked another batter, and then gave up a two run homer that got the scoring started for Napa Valley.
Horan labored through the start, but was able to pitch into the 4th inning, keeping the game within reach. His final line was three innings pitched, six hits, four runs, two earned runs, three walks, and two strikeouts.
Horan was relieved by Justin Smith, one of the 49ers better relief pitchers on the season with a 3.51 ERA and 45 strikeouts to 30 walks in 33.1 innings pitched.
Smith also struggled mightily with his command, as he allowed a run charged to Horan to score, and then walked two batters to load the bases.
He then hit two straight batters to score two runs before being pulled after only recording one out.
Yuba was able to score three runs in the bottom of the 4th, two of them off of a triple by Shoenberger, to make the score 7-4. Napa Valley added two insurance runs in the 6th, and Yuba scored once in the 6th to make the score 10-5.
David Miller hit a two run homer in the 7th to make the score 10-7, and each team scored a run in the 9th, and the final score was 11-8 in a Yuba loss.
The 49ers split the next two games with Mendocino going into their final game of the season on April 27.
With the game on sophomore day, relief pitcher Tyler Minton was given the start in his final game at Yuba against Mendocino.
Mendocino got on the board first in the second inning, on a base hit by Malik Bond, making the score 1-0.
Yuba answered in the bottom of the 3rd on a groundout by Kreighton Tsuruda-Gaspar, which allowed Daniel Hale to score and tie the game.
The 49ers took a 2-1 lead in the 4th on a single by Henry Stewart which scored Tommy Gill and moved Weston Gaddis to second. The next batter, Shoenberger, blew the game open by hitting a three run homer and making the score 5-1.
“Anytime you hit a three run homer, it gives you a great chance to win,” said Hampton, who managed the final game in place of coach Evangelho.“His last game at Yuba, to go out with a three run homer, was pretty great.”
Minton was sharp early in the game, despite the run in the second. In what was his first start of the season, Minton held a Mendocino team who scored ten runs in the previous game, to one earned run.
The 7th inning proved to be Minton’s toughest inning, but it was due to a wild pitch and two errors.
Bond was able to reach first on an error by Tsuruda-Gaspar, and moved to second on a strikeout. Tyler Carrasco singled to move the runner to third, and then advanced to second on a wild pitch by Minton.
Following the wild pitch, leadoff man Austin Jackson reached first on an error by Gaddis, which scored two runs. Two batters later, Joe Brazil singled to score Jackson and made the score 5-4.
After a lineout to Hale ended the inning, three runs were added to Minton’s total, but none of them were earned runs.
In the 8th inning the 49ers added an insurance run on a sacrifice fly by Gaddis, which made the score 6-4 going into the 9th.
Minton came out to finish the game, and after recording an out and then a walk, was visited on the mound by coach Hampton.
“He wanted to finish it,” said Hampton.
Minton was able to finish it, pitching a complete game, with a final line of four runs, one earned, nine hits, three walks and eight strikeouts. This gem lowered his ERA to 2.45, and he ended the year with 42 strikeouts to only 14 walks.
Hampton described it as a “moral victory,” as winning the series knocked Mendocino out of the playoffs.