Skyline College’s baseball team has had a volatile season. In the pre-conference games, the Trojans lost seven out of their first eight games, leaving Skyline baseball fans wondering if the team would be any good this season.
We saw a glimmer of hope in the last three games of pre-conference play. Skyline played incredibly well against Mendocino College, winning 19-1 in their first game against the Mendocino team. In a double header that would conclude pre-conference games, Skyline triumphed again over Mendocino, with 8-1 the first game and 5-2 the second game.
Despite this series of wins, Skyline still entered their regular season with half as many wins as losses. The first game of the conference didn’t go so well, with an 8-3 loss to Chabot. However, in their second conference game against Gavilan, Skyline was able to shut them out 4-0. Pitcher Andrew Hidalgo kept Gavilan from getting a single hit after the fifth inning, and only four hits total. In the sixth inning of that game, clean-up hitter Grant Nelson hit his fourth home run of the season, and the seventh inning started out with back-to-back hits from players John Bordy and Justin Meier. Bordy slid across home plate on a hit by Mark Hoem, and Meier scored a run on a hit by Nelson with two outs. After this win, Skyline was 5-8 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
One of the highest scoring games this season was against Monterey Peninsula back in March. Skyline won 15-7, with 17 hits overall. In the first inning alone, player Jeff Thomas’s hit earned the Trojans three runs right off the bat. It wasn’t only the offense that secured this win for the Trojans however, as pitcher Bob Hurst was facing loaded bases in the first inning, but kept Monterey Peninsula from scoring a single run in the first. Hurst only allowed two hits while he was pitching. Monterey was able to score five runs in the eighth inning alone, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Trojans with their 15 runs total.
Cañada was a tough opponent this season, and is now in first place in the conference. Skyline lost its first game versus Cañada in March, a game that was tied 2-2 until the ninth inning. After an iffy first inning in which the Trojans made three errors, the score stayed at 2-2 until the ninth. Pitcher Hidalgo was able to hold Cañada to two runs, but when Julian Merryweather took over in the ninth, Cañada pulled ahead with an additional two runs.
Skyline didn’t have another win until late March, getting two in a row against Hartnell and De Anza. Against De Anza, Skyline was able to get eight runs in the sixth inning alone, and defeated De Anza 10-4. First baseman Nico Vargas sparked the run streak with a one-out single, and locked in the inning with an RBI triple. Pitcher Merryweather earned the win by pitching seven innings, and only allowing two hits while he was on the mound. Merryweather kept this momentum in the game against Hartnell a week later, which Skyline won 5-2.
Skyline’s game against Gavilan earlier this month was close, and the Trojans got a crucial victory. Skyline was behind by two runs when they went up to bat for the last time, but was able to score four runs in the ninth inning to walk away with a win. After that victory, Skyline became one of the four teams that were within two games of each other at the top of the Coast Pacific Conference standings. After Hidalgo let four runs slide in his five innings on the mound, Skyline’s relief pitcher Ryan Quirk was called up and threw two shut-out innings.
Skyline’s game against Mission in mid-April was a nail-biter. Skyline scored all of the seven runs they earned in this game in the first two innings, and Mission spent the rest of the game trying to catch up. In the ninth inning with four runs, Mission had the bases loaded and looked like they could tie the game. Pitcher Quirk was called upon to keep them from scoring, and he did his job. He saved the game with two outs in the ninth.
Skyline is currently trailing Cañada for the top spot in the conference by only a game and a half. They have their final regular season game April 28 against Ohlone, and starting in May they will participate in the Regional Playoffs.