Defensive struggles and a lack of offense to back up great pitching proved costly for the Lancers baseball team, which lost its series opener 4-2 on the road against LA Harbor on Tuesday.
Freshman starting pitcher Jason Marquez, who got into some trouble in the first inning by falling behind 2-0, pitched seven strong innings after only allowing six hits and four runs, two of which were unearned.
“Marquez came in and did a great job of managing the game,” said head coach Evan O’Meara. “Instead of trying to press, we executed our pitches we wanted to throw.”
The unearned runs given up by the Lancers yet again brings up the “what if” factor at the end of the game, as PCC committed five errors that led to two extra Seahawk runs.
The Lancers did their only scoring of the game in the top of the sixth inning. Down 3-0 with one out, freshman third baseman Eric Grajeda smacked a double to right field. Sophomore shortstop Bobby Fraijo then came through in the clutch with an RBI double down the left field line. With two outs, freshman center fielder P.J. DeZotell singled up the middle to drive in Fraijo.
After cutting the LA Harbor lead down to 3-2, the Lancers weren’t able to reduce the deficit any more. Following their second unearned run given up to the Seahawks in the bottom of the seventh inning, both teams went scoreless in the eighth inning.
Down 4-2 entering the top of the ninth inning, the Lancers tried to mount a furious rally to take the lead. Freshman left fielder Dylan Kicken and DeZotell both led off the inning with consecutive singles. However, the next two at-bats for the Lancers would involve crucial base running gaffes to quickly end a PCC comeback.
“The two base running errors really took us out of the inning,” said Fraijo. “Otherwise it would have been bases loaded with nobody out.”
The unraveling began as freshman designated hitter Nick Perez hit a bloop single into shallow left field, but Kicken was not able to get to third in time as Seahawk left fielder Tyler Vaughn threw him out, allowing DeZotell to advance to second base.
Any chance of a comeback victory would end during the following at-bat, as freshman right fielder Steven San Miguel hit a sinking line drive caught by LA Harbor shortstop Anthony Canjura, who then threw out DeZotell when he was unable to get back to second base on time.
After the 4-2 loss, the Lancers look to rebound from the when they host LA Harbor on Thursday with the first pitch slated for 2:30 p.m. The series with LA Harbor will then conclude on Saturday at noon as the Lancers travel to Seahawk Field in Wilmington.
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