Long Beach City College swept the Lancers baseball team in a three-game series that ended on Monday with a 2-1 Lancer loss at Brookside Park.After a 7-2 loss to the Vikings on March 22, the Lancers gained a little ground on Saturday with a 2-1 loss at LBCC.
PCC had an opportunity in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game when catcher Jose Serna got on base with a hit to shallow left field. Designated hitter Jason Clark then got a sacrifice bunt on the ground to move Serna over to second.
The Lancers’ next batter Matthew Izurita popped up to Vikings shortstop Anthony Salas for PCC’s second out, but Serna was able to steal third base during shortstop Mike Vasquez’s ensuing at-bat to keep the Lancers’ hopes alive.
Vasquez worked the count to 3-1 with Serna dancing on third, but hit a grounder in the infield for the final out of the game.
Lancers Head Coach Evan O’Meara was disappointed with the loss, especially since he believed PCC pitcher Kaleb Carter-Allen “completely pitched his guts out.
“[Carter-Allen] wasn’t dominating or strik[ing] everybody out but he did just enough to get outs, and we didn’t help him offensively,” said O’Meara. “We were taking lackluster swings at pitches that are out of the zone. For instance, in the last pitch of the game, [Vasquez] is only supposed to swing at pitches that are right in his wheel-house and he swung at a pitch that was down there at his knees. He gave it a half-hearted swing.”
Despite the loss, Carter-Allen was happy with his performance except for a wild pitch and a passed ball that gave up two runs in different innings.
“I can’t dwell on it; what’s done is done. I was just trying to give my team the best chance to win today,” Carter-Allen said. “We just have to keep our heads up and not look back on it. We can’t say ‘What if?’ We just have to step forward, take what we learned and go with that.”
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning when LBCC struck first.
Carter-Allen was able to do away with the Vikings’ first two batters of the inning with the help of second baseman Alex Acevedo who fielded two hits for the first two outs.
But Vikings first baseman Kenny Uyetake got the best of Carter-Allen as he held off the pitcher and was walked after four pitches.
Carter-Allen’s wild pitch was against the next batter, Phil Visico, which allowed Uyetake to advance to second. Visico then got the first RBI of the game with his hit to left field that brought in Uyetake, making the score 1-0 in favor of the Vikings.
The Lancers responded in the fifth when Vasquez bunted the ball towards the pitcher with PCC right fielder Ahmed Razi already on first base. LBCC pitcher Omar Jimenez bobbled the ball in his hands, allowing the runners to reach first and second base.
Razi shook Jimenez up when he began dancing around on second base, causing the pitcher to balk, which advanced both runners yet again and putting them into scoring position.
Third baseman Andrew Newman then grounded out but received an RBI when Razi scored from third base, tying the game at 1-1.
LBCC responded immediately in the bottom of the fifth inning beginning with a double from Vikings second baseman Derrick Garcia and later in the inning when Garcia scored from third base after a passed ball.
“It’s a lack of concentration and a lack of focus,” said O’Meara. “These guys are perfectly capable of playing top-level baseball. They’ve proved it time and time again but not today.