Gordon Ingebritson turned in a quality start on Thursday, but had his 3-2 lead over LBCC fumbled by Lorenzo LLorens, who allowed 2 runs in as many innings as the Lancers saw their losing streak extend to a season-long 6 games.
“The bullpen has to do better. They gave up they gave up three runs on Tuesday, they gave up four runs today…you’re just not going to win too many games [with those numbers],” said Lancer head coach Patt McGee.
Part of the bullpen troubles stem from violations of team rules. Starter Josh Aguilar will not pitch again this season, and it is questionable whether Gary Acuna will return to the mound in 2018. The team has requested privacy regarding details of their absence.
On Tuesday, the Lancers dropped game 1 of a home and home series in Long Beach, 9-7, a deceptive final score as PCC trailed by at least 4 runs for most of the game. Nathan Garcow extended his team lead in strikeouts with six in the game, but was ultimately unable to keep the Vikings off the board. He was also unsupported by the offense until the Lancers scored an inconsequential 6 runs in the ninth.
Lancer outfielders committed errors early in each inning that Garcow allowed runs. In the second, he allowed consecutive doubles after a dropped fly ball by Kevin Miles.
Though they have not won a game in two weeks, there are at least two positive notes on the hitting side of the Lancer lineup. Second baseman Ryan Lewis and first baseman Jason Ajamian continue to improve at the plate. Lewis lead off for the first time this season on Thursday.
“Ryan is the most bought in player on this team and as a result he’s the most improved player,” said McGee. “[He] had some great at bats for the majority of the day, puts the ball in play with authority, and keeps giving us a chance to generate some runs.”
Ajamian has improved his batting average over the course of the last eight games from .273 to .323. His six hits in the series against LBCC lead the Lancers.
“I’ve been starting to scoot up in the box a little more. Coaches have been really telling me to scoot up and finally I just decided to work on that,” said Ajamian, a right hand hitter. “I’ve been trying to get my hands inside and hit the ball the other way and i’ve been having some success with that.”
The Lancers play tomorrow against the ELAC huskies as home. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.