Catch Swim Through Opener


By: Garrett Osterode, SID

La Mirada, Calif. – You couldn’t have scripted it any better, the So Cal Catch (1-0) won it’s 2017 California Collegiate League season opener in impressive fashion against the East Los Angeles Dodgers by a score of 16-2 on Thursday night.

The Catch tallied 18 hits and 16 runs in their 2017 debut. Eagles diamond at Biola University could hardly contain So Cal’s offense. The Catch handled everything and anything that was thrown at them with ease, despite the effort of five Dodger pitchers.

Zac Whittaker (Fresno City College) got the opening day nod on the mound for the Catch, and it’s safe to say that he was elated to kick off the season on a winning note.

“It’s pretty exciting to get the ball on opening day, it means the coaches have that trust in you early on. But in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter unless you preform,” Whittaker said after hurling four solid innings of two hit, one run ball.

Whittaker set the tone for this years starting staff, but it was Tallon Thomason (Fresno City), Hunter McIntosh (Grandview), Tucker Thomason (Fresno City) and Conner Davis (Creighton) who solidified the Catch pen. In five innings of relief the quartet allowed a single, solitary, Dodger run.

While the pitching was superb, the offense was the shining star in tonight’s contest. So Cal opened the game a five spot in the home half of the first inning to start the season. Jonathon Ducoff (Houston Baptist) worked a leadoff walk, and singles by Grant Robbins (UNLV), then Omar Ortiz (Pacific), and finally Mitch Bumann (Hawaii Pacific) was thought to be the exclamation point to the inning.

But it was the towering home run, deposited over the left field wall, by tonight’s “Player of the Game” Steven Garrett (Azusa Pacific) that truly kicked off the Catch’ season in style.

To be honest the home offense didn’t stop there. So Cal scored in every inning except the fourth, and the one it didn’t bat in, the ninth.

Grant Robbins tallied four hits and scored three times. And Omar Ortiz supplied the muscle by way of four hits, one homerun and four RBIs. Tyler Fisher (Olivet Nazarene) also had a solo jack in his first plate appearance as a member of the Catch in the eighth inning.

The Catch hope the offensive onslaught, coupled with sound pitching continues Friday night against the Palm Springs Power. First pitch set for 6:30 p.m.