McBean Stadium was rocking on Friday for Opening Night, with an attendance of 1,454. Anthony Perez (Cal State East Bay) set the tone early, with four scoreless innings, zero walks and five strikeouts, which put him in line for the win.
Perez was able to escape a jam in the 1st inning, thanks in part to a beautifully turned double play by SS JT Maloney (Sac City) and 2B Cade Sanchez (Texas A&M Corpus Christi).
The Potters bats came to life quickly in the second inning, starting with a double down the line from Brandon Springer (William Jessup). Landon Weiss (William Jessup), who got the call from first year manager Jon Peters to join the Potters three days prior to Opening Night, got the scoring started with an RBI single to center field, knocking in his William Jessup teammate. Cade Sanchez followed with a two-run single to extend the Potters lead to 4-0 after two innings.
The bullpen picked up right where Perez left off. Logan Bell (Bowling Green State) went two innings, notching three strikeouts, and allowing one unearned run, on an error by LF Zack Malone (Sacramento State), which plated the Knicks second run of the game.
Following the error, Bell found himself in a tight situation. With the help of 1,454 energetic Potter fans, he was able to record a crucial strikeout of Joey Taddie to end the inning.
Peyton Stumbo (UNR) closed it out for the Potters with two scoreless innings, striking out four. Stumbo earned the save as well, resulting in a final score of 5-2.
The Potters take game one of the three-game series with the Novato Knicks, and will take the field again tomorrow at 6:05 PM @ McBean Stadium for Strikeout Cancer Night with fireworks after the game.
Luau music was heard around McBean Park on Friday night as the Potters celebrated Aloha Night during their matchup against West Coast Kings (Black). Like the Alameda Anchors who the Potters blew out the night before, the Kings are members of the Bay Area Collegiate League, not the CCL.
In six prior innings against non-league opponents, Potters’ starter, Peyton Stumbo (University of Nevada) was yet to allow a run. He also lost his title as Potters’ strikeout leader the night before when Tonko Susac (University of Arizona) struck out ten batters. Stumbo wasted no time pursuing the crown, striking out two in the first inning.
Offensively, the Potters scored a run in the first inning in their eighth consecutive game. Stumbo’s batterymate, Nolan Wilson (University of Nevada) brought home Chase Weissenborn (University of New Mexico) to score the first run of the ballgame. Later in the inning, Wilson would be brought home by Ben Higdon (University of Kentucky).
Now pitching with the lead, Stumbo absolutely took over on the mound. He struck out two Kings’ batters in the first, second, third, and fourth innings and was pulled from the game during the sixth after he recrowned himself as the current Potters’ strikeout leader.
Adding onto their early lead, four different Potters hit five balls over the McBean fence throughout the remainder of the game. In just his second career game with the Potters, Payton Brennan (UCLA) launched a 0-0 breaking ball 402 feet into the Lincoln sunset. This was the first home run Brennan has hit in over two years after enduring two shoulder surgeries.
“I’m just getting back into it. I’ve been out with injuries so I’m just looking to have fun each day and get better,” Brennan said.
Brennan wasn’t done having fun just yet. He was back at the plate in the fifth inning when he launched another ball over the fence, extending the Potters’ lead to six. In just his second career game in the CCL, Brennan joins only Ben Higdon (University of Kentucky) as Potters with multiple home runs in the same game this season.
Luke Lavin (Stanford University) joined the home run party in the seventh with his first of the season. With the same arm on the mound, Ben Higdon and Justin Olson (Austin Peay University) hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning.
From Peyton Stumbo’s nine strikeouts in his final start to Payton Brennan’s two bombs in his second start, the Potters have been playing some of their best ball of the season this weekend. The Potters take on the West Coast Kings’ gold roster tomorrow night as their third straight non-league opponent.
Peyton Stumbo Season Stats:
2-0, 23.2 IP, 30 K, 0.39 ERA, 0.42 WHIP
0 walks allowed, CCL North Pitcher of the Week
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