PASO ROBLES — The Bearcats baseball team hosted a doubleheader Friday against Galena High School from Reno, Nev. and swept both games. The first game between the two came down to the last half inning, while the second game was essentially a blowout.
The Bearcats won the first game via a walk-off walk and showed their patented Paso composure that undoubtedly trickles down from Head Coach Derek Stroud. Brad Tews got the start on the mound for the Bearcats and pitched well even though he received a no-decision on the day. The senior threw four and two-thirds innings and only gave up three runs on two hits.
The second batter Tews faced hammered a solo home run over the left field fence, but after that, he settled in and shut out the Grizzlies for the next three innings. Junior Lucas Climber took over for Tews in the fifth inning and threw one and one-third innings before handing the ball over the Hunter Barnhart, who recorded the win.
The Bearcats never led in the game until they scored the final run, but also never trailed for more than half of an inning. Each time the Grizzlies scored the Bearcats would answer in their half of the inning. Galena scored one run in the first and Paso answered with an Oscar Rendon RBI single. The Grizzlies added two runs in the top of the fifth inning and immediately the Bearcats answered again.
A leadoff walk to CJ Ontiveros and a sacrifice bunt by Reese Brumley game the Bearcats a runner in scoring
“We got Will [Stroud] on and they told me to just hit it up the middle,” Gidcumb says of his approach to his at-bat in the fifth. “So my focus was to hit it right back at the pitcher and that is what I got out of it.”
The Grizzlies added one more run in the top of the seventh after a double scored a runner from first that Barnhart walked with two outs. However, what looked like it was shaping into an instant classic turned into a snoozefest in the bottom of the seventh. The middle of the order was up again for the Bearcats, and knowing they needed baserunners, they stayed patient at the plate. Stroud drew a leadoff walk on five pitches, and the Grizzlies pitcher lost all control of his pitches. The next four batters for Paso got on base without ever taking the bat off of their shoulder and the Bearcats walked away with a win, 5-4.
The second game was much less dramatic with Paso winning 7-0. Aiden Kerns started on the bump and threw five shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out three. Barnhart and Griewank Dylan each recorded two RBI for the ‘Cats while Stroud went 3-for-4 with three singles.
The Bearcats will host another doubleheader at Barnhart field this Friday when they welcome in El Diamante High School. Games start at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.