Caleb Ruiz wasted little time establishing himself at the collegiate level, dominating in the second game of a doubleheader at Mendocino College on Friday, as College of the Redwoods opened the new baseball season with a sweep.
The former St. Bernard’s standout tossed a complete-game, two-hitter to lead the Corsairs to a 3-1 win in the nightcap, after earlier pitching one inning for the save in a tight 5-3 victory.
“He commanded the zone very well,” head coach Brad Morgan said of the former Crusader who was playing in his first college game. “There were times when he got out of rhythm, but then he gathered himself, got back on the hill, and he was kind of like a bulldog all day.”
After calling on Ruiz to close out the opener, Morgan wasn’t expecting the freshman to toss a complete game in the nightcap, but he kept the pitch count low.
“He was rolling,” Morgan said.
Ruiz, who struck out nine for the day, including eight in the nightcap, also hit a double in the opener.
It was a good all-around day for the CR men in a pair of close games.
Chandler Jones, a Houston native who just recently transferred from Ventura College, took the mound for the opener and also had an impressive debut.
Jones tossed six innings for the win, allowing six hits and one walk, while striking out five.
“He did a really good job of keeping us in the game,” Morgan said of Jones.
He got plenty of support at the plate, with seven players recording hits, including Patrick Morgan who was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs.
“He’s seeing the ball well,” the head coach said of Patrick.
Patrick’s brother Charles Morgan had the hot bat in game two, finishing 2-for-3, as the Corsairs scored twice in the top of the seventh to break a 1-1 tie.
Gannon Cyphers also had a double in game one.
“We played pretty good defensively, and that says something when you’ve only been outside two times,” the head coach said.
The CR men are scheduled to play Napa in their home opener next Friday.