Towne shines in victory over Chabot


Aaron Tolentino

Rob Towne pitching against Chabot College at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California on Feb. 15, 2018.

Aaron Tolentino, Sports editor

After coming off a couple losses, the Vikings bounced back in a home victory over Chabot College Thursday afternoon by a final score of 4-0.

Starting pitcher Rob Towne was lights out once again for the Vikings. He went six innings pitched, allowed only two hits, walked a batter and struck out six.

It was good for the Vikings to bring their ace on the mound to snap a two-game skid.

Head coach Steve Ward believed a huge part of winning the game was having Towne on the mound.

“Today, we got timely hitting, played good defense, got great pitching,” said Ward. “We have our number one pitcher, Rob Towne, throwing great every time out.”

A Jared Bannister two-run double in the third inning was a key play that put the Vikings ahead early and never look back.

“(Chabot) threw me a curveball, outside pitch, went with it and a nice little piece to the right center gap, did exactly what I wanted,” said Bannister. “It was a great two-strike approach.”

The Bannister double, along with Towne’s sixth inning pitching out of trouble, were easily two plays that could have swung the outcome differently.

With runners on second and third base and only one out, Towne conjured up a strikeout and popout to escape the inning without letting Chabot tie the game up. A laboring Towne in his last inning, he was able to relax and get the two big outs he needed to preserve his team’s lead.

“I just gotta take a step off, take a deep breath, just work through it,” said Towne. “Trust everything you’ve done (and) believed in my stuff and got through”

Throughout the game, like most pitchers, Towne wanted to pitch to contact and keep his pitch count low. He did just that and had a great defense back him up.

Suprisingly, Towne was removed after the sixth inning as he seemed so dominant, only giving up two hits all game. It seemed he had the stuff to potentially go for the complete-game shutout, but Ward elected to go with his bullpen instead, which had three scoreless innings from relievers Evan Gravenmier and Mike Manley.

With the win, Towne improved upon his early season success with a starting record of 3-0 in four starts, 27 innings pitched, 1.33 ERA and 25 strikeouts. He looks to keep rolling at this pace.

“Just keep trying to do the same thing, just let the defense work, trying to get ahead of every batter,” said Towne.

The Vikings look to sweep the two-game series against Chabot when they face them again 1 p.m. Saturday at Chabot College in Hayward.