The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Bring out the brooms

Seawolves begin season with a 4-game sweep against Simpson
Sonoma State Athletics
Mark Hernandez huddles with his teammates as he rounds the bases

Entering another season of Sonoma baseball, the Seawolves began their 2024 spring campaign with a 4-game homestand versus Simpson University. Sonoma opened up the year with a duo of doubleheaders against Simpson, taking place on Feb. 2 and Feb. 3. 

The Seawolves started off with a one-sided 14-1 victory against the RedHawks, belting seven home runs. Setting the highest home run total in a single game for the program in the CCAA era, the team had 14 total hits en route to their first victory.

Most notably of the homer barrage, fourth year first-baseman Mark Hernandez accounted for three of the team’s seven home runs in game one. Hernandez’s stellar three-homer feat provided his team with a multitude of run support, helping spot the Sonoma pitching staff with a sizable lead throughout the contest. 

Seeing my teammates go crazy for me was probably one of the better feelings in my life.

— Mark Hernandez, First Baseman

“Honestly just shock,” Hernandez said following his three-homer performance. “I’ve had a few multi-homer games in my career but never three. Seeing my teammates go crazy for me was probably one of the better feelings in my life. This team seems to have a different culture than last year and I feel like we’re a much tighter group and that goes a long way in a team sport.” Other players with homers in the first game include outfielders, fourth year Kenny Decelle and third year Jaden Pickowitz. Second year Garet Barto and fourth year Daniel Monti also left the yard, both manning infield positions. 

The Seawolves were able to shut out Simpson in game two with a final score of 2-0. Fourth year starting pitcher Tanner Fonoti excelled in five scoreless innings, allowing no hits while punching out seven batters. “To continue this hot start, we want to have a mentality that our record is 0-0 while playing every game like it’s the national championship,” said second year pitcher Scotty Kato.

The following two games were a bit closer than the first half of the series, as the Seawolves took game three against Simpson by a final score of 3-2 before out-scoring the Redhawks 7-5 in game four. In game three, senior first-baseman Christopher Wright launched a go-ahead solo home run in the bottom of the 8th, which ended up being the deciding factor in the game as sophomore relief pitcher Jackson Ouellette registered his first save of the year.  The final game of the series against Simpson College resulted in another positive showing for Sonoma’s offense as Hernandez and Decelle highlighted the game with multiple timely hits. 

“To win games we need to be able to play catch,” assistant pitching coach Mike Nackord said regarding the team’s path to victory, “the ball doesn’t carry well at our home field, so when we get to play at other ballparks the guys like to let it fly.”

Up next on the Seawolves’ schedule is a road trip against Menlo College on February 13th and Fresno Pacific on February 16th and 17th.

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About the Contributor
Wyatt Redding
Wyatt Redding, Staff Writer
Wyatt Redding is a third year communication major at Sonoma State.
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