An unexpected weather pattern blew through Sundberg Field at the start of the Mission Bears baseball team’s Monday game against Balboa — the first of three straight games between the two games this week.
Starting pitchers C.J. Pino of Mission and the Buccaneers’ Sean Mueller spent the better part of five innings scraping mud off their cleats, but the Bears were able to take advantage for a 10-6 win to snap a four-game losing streak.
“Credit to the umpires for managing the conditions,” said Mission coach Chris Ayag. “The conditions weren’t ideal, but both teams were eager to play a full seven.”
The Bears (5-9, 3-2 in Academic Athletic Association) put two on board in the first with Ahkeem Lewish cashing in a single by his twin brother, Azaan Lewis, with a sacrifice fly, and C.J. Pino (HBP) scoring on a ground out by freshman Declan Mercords-Weiss.
Balboa (1-7, 1-4) came back to tie the game with an Anthony Southavilay lead-off double and Cristian Bing-Capiraso single, followed by an RBI single by Benjamin Noroi. Mission used the second inning to extend its lead with a singles by Zeke Bellino (2-for-4) and Will Cohen (3-for-3). A sac bunt by J.T. Howell set up Pino to knock in two of his three RBIs on the day. On the mound, Pino (4-1, ERA: 0.66; WHIP: 0.80 ERA coming into the game) pitched into the sixth, but ran into a series of singles and an error, capped by a double by Kevin Mueller, bringing Balboa within two, down 8-6. Mission extended its lead in the top of seventh with a walk and steal by Asantay Wilson, then a Will Cohen double. Cohen later scored on an infield error. Ahkeem Lewis struck out two of the three batters he faced in the seventh to finish the game.
Mission currently sits in third in the AAA, behind Lincoln (8-6, 3-2) and Lowell (8-4, 5-0). After another tilt against Balboa on Wednesday, the Bears will square off with the Buccaneers (second-to-last in AAA Division I) for a third straight game on Thursday, before taking on cellar-dwelling Galileo. This stretch could get Mission back into the league title conversation.
Lincoln will take on Lowell on Wednesday for the second of three games in a row (with the third on Thursday), after losing 5-1 to the Cardinals on Monday. That game that saw Lowell sophomore Shane Stanley go 3-for-4 at the top of the lineup, Cameron Tang go 1-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and Lowell starter Jack Schonherr going all seven on the mound, striking out 10.