The Lancers baseball team could not complete the three game sweep of LA Harbor Saturday, losing 9-1 at Jackie Robinson Field.
The Lancers’ early 1-0 lead would be short lived as the Seahawks scored three unanswered runs in the top of the second inning to give LA Harbor an early 3-1 advantage.
“We just had a few minor problems on the left side of the field, a few errors but that’s how the game goes,” freshman outfielder Adonis Harrison Jr said. “We just had some slip ups. We were hitting the balls hard but they weren’t falling. We just have to work on our defense. Defense is most important.”
The Lancers had an opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the third inning with Robert Mier at third base in scoring position. But first baseman Anthony Gonzalez could not capitalize on the opportunity with a pop-fly that was caught by Seahawks catcher Juan Gallardo.
“Today the ball just didn’t bounce our way,” sophomore shortstop Thomas Castro said. “We had good pitching on the mound. We just didn’t connect on our opportunities.”
“We didn’t play good defense and we normally have to,” first year head coach Pat McGee said. “We had about five errors at third base and that was the difference in the game for me.
The Lancers displayed a much improved defensive effort with three consecutive outs in the top of the fourth inning. Castro tried his best to keep the Lancers within reach with his defensive efforts in the third and fourth innings, but the Lancers’ costly mistakes in the fifth inning proved to be the Lancers’ downfall Saturday.
“We just had a few bad hops in the fifth inning,” Castro said. “We just have to get more focused in practice and before the games. Our biggest area of improvement is probably staying in the game all nine innings and having each other’s back throughout. We got the hitting and defense down, some days the ball just doesn’t bounce your way.”
“Our guys know we’re a defense first team and when that breaks down the results aren’t really on our side,” McGee added. “We have to do a better job [defensively] our kids know that. I think our pitcher deserved a better fate.”
Freshman pitcher Eddie Gutierrez started the game Saturday afternoon but lasted just four innings (22 at-bats), mainly because of costly hiccups in the Lancers’ defense that created scoring opportunities for the Seahawks.
“Our starting pitching is coming around,” McGee said. “We have three freshman guys that are doing a good job, and again the guy that threw today deserved a better fate. He got a lot of ground balls, he did his job. The final score wasn’t indicative of how well they swung the bat but we hit a lot of balls hard. Its something to build on.”
After the Seahawks ballooned their lead to 7-1 in the top of the sixth inning, the Lancers had a chance to make a comeback with bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth. But freshman right fielder Anthony Rabito went down looking on a fastball from Seahawks pitcher Javier Alvarez. Although Alvarez only recorded two strikeouts on the day, the starting pitcher controlled the tempo and never let the Lancers get back into the game.
“We had a good week winning two-out-of-three games,” McGee said. “The goal every week is to take the series. We did that, but once you win the first two you need to be greedy and have the mindset to sweep. It’s the second time we’ve been in this situation and we have to complete the sweep when we get this chance.”
The Lancers host Irvine Valley on Tuesday at Jackie Robinson Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.