Wildcat Baseball Blows 4-0 Lead, Loses 7-5 to SFSU in Opener - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wildcat Baseball Squanders 4-0 Lead, Loses 7-5 to SFSU in 2012 Opener

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(by Sammy Henderson, CWU Athletic Media Relations Assistant)

 
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Feb. 8) -- Junior catcher Kyle Sani (Kennewick, Wash./Southridge HS) went 3 for 4 and drove in two runs, but after building a 4-0 first-inning lead, the Central Washington University baseball team allowed seven unanswered runs in falling to host San Francisco State University, 7-5, in the 2012 season opener for both teams at Maloney Field on Wednesday afternoon.

Sani, who transferred to CWU from Walla Walla Community College, doubled in his first two plate appearances, including a two-RBI two-base hit in his first Wildcat at-bat in the four-run first inning. He added a two-out double in the third inning and singled in the eighth before being lifted for a pinch-runner.

Central Washington needed just five pitches -- and two at-bats -- before getting on the scoreboard as senior second baseman Brandon Wang (Mill Creek, Wash./Jackson HS) hit his first career home run over the right-field pitch on a 1-0 offering to give the Wildcats a 1-0 edge. Sani plated sophomore Ethan Sterkel (Ellensburg, Wash.) and senior Brady Kincannon (Federal Way, Wash./Decatur HS), who had both singled, with a double to the left-center field gap, and Sani then scored two batters later on a RBI single by senior David Leid (Carson City, Nev./Carson HS).

Wildcat starting pitcher Brandon Rohde (Gig Harbor, Wash.) held the Gators bats to just one hit over the first three innings, but gave up two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, as a two-out walk in the fifth opened the door for SF State to tie the game at 4-4. The Gators then took a 7-4 lead in the sixth inning, as the Wildcat infield committed three errors that translated into three unearned runs combined against Rohde and junior reliever Jason Lotzer (Lynnwood, Wash.).

After their prolific opening inning, the CWU bats went cold, accumulating just two hits in the following six frames before rallying for three hits and an unearned run in the top of the eighth inning to make it a 7-5 contest. In the eighth, Kincannon and Sani led the inning off with back-to-back singles, and a single by Leid and ensuing error allowed junior pinch runner Spencer Humphrey (Dublin, Calif.) to score. Junior pinch-hitter Jimmy Ryerson (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt HS) led off the ninth inning with a walk, but the Wildcats were unable to move him around, ending the game by hitting into their second double play in as many innings.

Kincannon joined Sani with a three-hit game, singling three times in four at-bats, while Leid also had a mulit-hit game going 2 for 4 with a RBI. 

Rohde (0-1) pitched 5 1/3 innings allowing five hits, five runs -- four earned -- while striking out five and walking two batters. 

SF State right-hander Eric Watts relieved starter Ryan DeJesus after the Wildcats' big first inning, and threw four innings of one-hit ball, striking out five. Freshman Jack Jorgensen was credited with the victory after pitching a scoreless sixth innings, as the Gators took the lead in the bottom of the inning, and Branden Petrangelo earned the save after throwing the final 2 1/3 innings.

The Wildcats will play the second of their six-game, five-day road trip to California, on Thursday, as they visit California State University, Stanislaus at 2 p.m.
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