The Otters started the first game of a four-game series Thursday evening against Azusa Pacific University (APU). APU started the game off strong and while the Otters played tough, they were unable to pull ahead. APU won the game with a score of 6-1.
A series of wild pitches from California State University, Monterey Bay’s (CSUMB) Ethan McRae #25 allowed the Eagles’s Aaron Roose (#8) and Will Stroud (#27) to walk on base. With Roose on second and Stroud on first, a passed ball allowed both to advance with their teammate Omar Lopez (#45), who claimed first base.
With the bases loaded, the stands collectively held their breaths as the next batter for APU stepped up to the plate. The Eagles’s Casey O’Laughlin (#9) grounded into a double play, but the Otters rallied and managed to get Lopez, O’Laughlin, and Stroud out, but Aaron Roose (#8) made it home safe.
At the bottom of the first inning, CSUMB evened the score. The Otters’s Chase Lindemann (#9) hit a double out to left field, and when his teammate Chris Rubottom (#22) sent a hit flying out to right field, Lindemann stole third base. With Charlie Nasuti (#6) up to bat next, the opportunity was ripe for scoring. Natsuti hit a double, allowing Lindemann to make it safely to home base and get CSUMB on the scoreboard.
The second, third, fourth, and fifth innings were an intense battle between the two teams – a series of wild pitches and foul balls, keeping either team from making significant headway on the score.
Azusa made their big push at the top of the sixth inning. Omar Lopez (#45) hit a single to right field and safely made it to first base. Casey O’Laughlin (#9) walked to first base on balls which advanced Lopez to second. Brett Soria (#1) hit a single out to left field shortly afterward, which allowed O’Laughlin to reach second while Lopez scored another run for the Eagles.
The following scoring opportunity came in the top of the eighth inning. APU’s Will Stroud (#27) was hit by a pitch and walked to first base. Omar Lopez (#45) tripled to the right-center, and Stroud slid home. Next up was Casey O’Laughlin (#9), who walked to first base. Azusa’s Tido Robles (#5) pulled out all the stops and hit a home run out to left field, which allowed him and his two other teammates to make it to home base and score for the Eagles.
CSUMB tried to answer the challenge placed by APU, but unfortunately could not score for the rest of the game.
The Otters continue their four-game series against Azusa Pacific Friday and Saturday with two games on Feb. 17, with APU winning the first game with a score of 4-6 and CSUMB winning the second game with a score of 10-4. The final match took place on Saturday, Feb. 19 and ended in a loss of 16-18. For more information, game schedules, and live streams, visit https://otterathletics.com/