It’s widely expected that St. Mary’s pitcher Carlos Lomeli will be selected in this spring’s MLB Draft, but the Bears’ hitters weren’t fazed by scouts’ talk. Instead, they put up 10 runs on Lomeli in five innings as the Bears cruised through a 16-3 rout over the Gaels of Moraga.
(pc: Owen Kaminski)
Nathan Martorella had the day he’s been waiting for all season. After starting the year in the cleanup spot, he’s been bumped down into the six hole seemingly due to a lack of scoring production. But the 6-1, 224 lb strongman from Salinas destroyed a fastball for three runs in the 5th inning then followed it up with a grand slam in the 6th inning. Martorella accounted for seven of the Bears’ 12 runs from the 5th to the 7th.
What made the Bears’ showcase against Lomeli, preseason First Team All-WCC, even more surprising was the complete reversal of their previous hitting trend. The Bears came into the series batting .224 as a team. At the end of the night, the Bears had increased their season-high run total 167% and hit a new season-high in hits with 14. Quentin Selma started off the home run derby with a two-run shot in the first inning. Darren Baker and Dylan Beavers both went 3-4 on the night. John Lagattuta, making his first start of the season, went 2-4 with a double.
Lomeli was visibly exhausted by the time he left the game in the fifth inning. A tell of his emerged as he held back his chest when throwing a fastball but pushed it forward to throw a slider.
When the Gaels walked up to hit, they faced a Bears’ pitching staff that seemingly took on Lomeli’s expected ability. In this bullpen game, as is customary for the Bears to play in the Thursday opener, Mitchell Scott earned the victory with 2.1 innings of work. Scott’s 11-to-5 curve was sharp all night, emphasized by a strikeout in the 3rd inning where Gael Blake Mann kept the bat on his shoulder for three straight strikes.
Other Bears’ relievers kept their nerve throughout the night. “Starter” Jack Wolger only gave up a run off of an error. When Mitch Benson was called upon with the bases loaded in the 6th, he calmly ended the inning with a fastball. Dez Loessberg, making his Cal debut, struck out two Gaels in the 9th.
The Bears continue their series against the Gaels tomorrow at 3 p.m, local time. Sean Sullivan will have the mound for the Bears.