Warriors top Owls, taking series 3-1

Jessup off to a 5-3 start
By: Brianna Campbell for The News Messenger/Placer Herald
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Only in its fourth season as a program, the William Jessup University baseball team continued to make history to begin this season.

Taking on the Oregon Tech Owls Saturday and Sunday at McBean Park in Lincoln for a four-game series, the Warriors went 3-1 for the best start in program history. The Warriors are now 5-3 after splitting a four-game series with Corban University a week ago to open the 2018 season.


Looking to continue with a surge from Saturday’s last game, the Warriors came out strong to sweep the Owls in the final two games of the four-game series, taking down Oregon Tech in both games 4-3.

The Owls lit up the board in the opening frame off WJU starter Hayden Piner. But Jessup’s Andrew Shaps brought in Law Will and Cal Koga’s base hit scored Austen Swift for a 2-1 advantage. Duitsman scored Shaps with a single to give the Warriors a 3-1 lead to end the inning.

After the Owls tied the game in the top of the third, Josh Duitsman hit a solo shot for the winning run.

The Warriors Sam Curtis (Rocklin HS) got the win and Tyler Fujimoto his second save of the season.

Jessup 4, OIT 3

The Warriors kept their momentum going with a three-run inning in the first frame. Law and Swift both drew a base-on-balls and scored off singles by Koga and Starick.

The Owls scored in the fourth, Swift drove in Noah Shackles for a 4-1 Jessup lead. OIT came back with a two-run home run, but that was as close as the Owls would get.
Junior Ashkhon Kuhaulua started for Jessup and pitched a complete game for his second win of the season.

The Warriors split with the Owls on the opening day of the series, taking the first game 8-7 and coming up one run short in a ninth inning comeback, losing 10-11 in game two.

Scoring half of WJU’s total runs in the first inning, Jessup pushed four across with a lead-off home run from Law, his first of two for the day. Law was followed by a single from ShapsKoga and Starick to go up 2-0 with two outs.

Shackles brought in the final runs with a double up the middle, as Jessup took the 4-0 lead through three innings.

The Owls got on the board in the top of the fourth with a home run from Josh Kallstrom to bring in a pair of runs; followed by a hit to bring in another run to close the scoring gap to 4-3. Kallstrom did it again in the top of the next frame, sending the ball over the wall for his second two-run homer, giving the Owls a 5-4 lead.

Jessup had late-inning success, as Koga’s two-run shot cleared the wall in the seventh inning to tie the score 6-6. Steve Pastora added his name to the list of bombs, by sending the ball over the right-field fence to give the Warriors the lead.

The Owls got a run in the bottom of the ninth, but the Warriors prevailed with the one-run advantage, 8-7.

Fujimoto (1-0) collected the win, pitching the final two innings behind starter Tristan Prybylinski (4 2/3 innings), Danny Vietti (1 1/3) and Cameron Morrow (1).

OIT 11, Jessup 10

In game two, Jessup found themselves down 7-2 in the bottom of the fourth, but the bats came alive as the Warriors battled late.
Law put another in the home-run column in the bottom of the fifth. It was followed by back-to-back bombs from Duitsman and Pastora's second one of the day, to close the gap to 9-5 heading into the seventh.

The Owls scored two more runs for an 11-5 lead. In the eighth, Pastora and Joe Starick both doubled in runs to make it 11-7, with one the last chance coming up.
In the bottom of the ninth, Swift stroked a three-run homer to put Jessup a run down with one out.

The Warriors loaded the bases, but left them stranded in the 11-10 loss.

Josh Hook (Folsom HS) started for the Warriors and took his first loss. Making appearances on the bump were Grant Doi, Cameron MorrowJustin VlothoJake Thompson and Dakota Spillers.