Bulldog baseball rallied in similar fashions Saturday to extend its winning streak to 4 with an 8-3, 8-5 sweep at Alvin that featured shortstop Kenniel Rivera’s continued power display.
In Saturday’s doubleheader at Phillips Field, Rivera went 3-for-8 at the plate — all home runs, with seven RBIs. He’s hit a total of four home runs and driven in 10 during Navarro’s last three games.
Rivera’s sudden production surge followed that of sophomore third baseman Alex Samples, who has hit three homers in his last four ballgames. Samples had the team’s first two-homer game of the season in Wednesday’s 8-4 first-game win at Temple, and then went back-to-back behind Rivera in Saturday’s first game win at Alvin.
Other top production on a club that’s hitting .307 and has an on-base percentage of .394 after nine games? Collin Chaney, Blake Adams, Francisco DeJesus, Abran Luevano and Luis Trevino have contributed in big and timely ways to the fast start.
Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs (6-3) hope those bats and others have had sufficient time to recharge by Tuesday when they travel Highway 22 west to Hillsboro to meet the Rebels in a 1 pm game. Then, NC carries its month-long, 17-game road trip to Weatherford to face the New Mexico JC Thunderbirds and the host Coyotes this weekend.
Game 1: Navarro 8, Alvin 3
Alvin touched Navarro starter Evan Pontley for three first-inning runs, but the Ferris sophomore righthander settled in for a 78-pitch outing of 4 innings. Pontley gave up three hits and three walks, but only one of the Dolphins’ runs was earned.
Navarro erased the three-run deficit with 8 unanswered runs — two in the fourth and three in both the fifth and sixth frames. ACC starter Jason Lott gave up eight, two walks and five runs in five innings of work, and reliever Phillip Jones surrendered four hits, two walks and three runs in his two-inning stint.
In the fourth, DeJesus doubled, moved to third on Adams’ single and scored on a wild pitch. Luevano singled home Adams to pull Navarro within one run.
Chaney’s two-out double in the fifth gave NC a lead it never relinquished. The two-base hit brought home DeJesus, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, and Adams, who had singled.
Navarro increased its lead to 8-3 when Rivera drilled a one-out, two-run homer off Jones after a Jack McDonnell walk. Samples then took Jones deep for a solo.
Navarro turned three double plays behind Pontley and winning reliever Matt Kelley in the opener.
Game 2: Navarro 8, Alvin 3
Alvin saw a 3-0 disappear after four innings in the nightcap as the Bulldogs responded with two runs in the fifth and a six spot in a telltale sixth inning.
Rivera hit a two-out, two-run homer in the fifth inning. Luevano, who had smacked a one-out single, scored ahead of Rivera.
Navarro tied it with one out in the sixth when Luis Trevino doubled and scored on Adams’ single, but the Bulldogs scored five go-ahead runs with two out.
Consecutive singles by Dylan Lewis, Luevano and McDonnell plated two runs. Rivera then hammered a three-run shot.
SEASON CATEGORY LEADERS: (9-Game Totals)
At-Bats: Samples 37, McDonnell 34, Rivera 32, Chaney 28
Runs: Samples 12, McDonnell 9, Rivera 8, DeJesus 7, Adams 7
Hits: Samples 15, Adams 11, Trevino 9, McDonnell 9, Rivera 8, Luevano 8
Doubles: DeJesus 4, Samples 3, Chaney 2, Salazar 2
Triples: Morales 1
Home Runs: Rivera 4, Samples 3, Trevino 1
RBI: Samples 11, Rivera 10, Chaney 7, Trevino 6, Adams 6, Luevano 6
Bases-On-Balls: McDonnell 10, Rivera 7, Chaney 6, DeJesus 4.