Despite hitting their first home run of the long 2014 season, PCC could not find much run support Tuesday night as they were routed 11-2 by the Mounties of Mt. San Antonio College.
The Lancers have a chance to spoil Mt. SAC’s playoff hopes, as one loss to the Lancers would ruin the Mounties’ chance to make the postseason. With that in mind, Lancer baseball head coach Evan O’Meara was very unhappy with his team’s effort to play spoiler.
“I don’t think they’re believing in themselves,” said O’Meara. “They have a chance to wreck their rival’s season and they can’t find a way to be poised enough to play the spoiler. Mt. SAC is a team that doesn’t make many mistakes and we gave them too many opportunities tonight.”
Down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning, the Lancers’ error-prone ways throughout the season came back to haunt them in this inning. Two errors and three hits in the inning resulted in three runs for Mt. SAC to make the score 5-0 heading into the top of the fourth inning.
PCC’s only spark of offense and first home run of the season came in the fourth inning. After freshman center fielder P.J. DeZotell led off the inning with a single, sophomore catcher Jason Clark capitalized by drilling a pitch that hit the right field foul pole. The blast cut the Mt. SAC lead to 5-2 and would remain that way until the bottom of the sixth inning.
“It was a rush because I thought the ball was going to go foul,” said Clark. “I just yelled ‘stay fair ball’ and then I saw it hit the foul pole. It was a great feeling.”
The Lancers were haunted by two errors on the same play in the sixth inning, which resulted in two runs on the play. Already down 6-2 with two outs and runners at second and third, the Lancers caught what they thought was a huge break.
As Mt. SAC center fielder Dustin Fraley was leading off from third base while Lancer starting pitcher Zach Britt threw a pitch, he tripped and fell on the base path. Lancer catcher Jason Clark tried to throw him out at third base, but his throw went over the head of freshman third baseman Eric Grajeda into left field, scoring Fraley easily. As Lancer freshman left fielder Steven San Miguel retrieved the ball with Mt. SAC second baseman Dallas Reed attempting to go to third base, San Miguel’s throw went wildly over Grajeda’s head again and out of play, allowing Reed to score as well on the error.
Head coach Evan O’Meara was very disappointed with these types of plays, which have occurred for PCC all season.
“These were unbelievably careless errors,” said O’Meara. “We put too many free runners on base and we could not move runners at all of our own.”
P.J. DeZotell is intent on improvement and enjoying playing the potential spoiler to Mt. SAC’s playoff chances.
“One thing we didn’t do a very good job of last game was we didn’t get many runners on base,” said DeZotell. “We can’t make mistakes to allow their runners to get on base from walks and errors.”
The Lancers play their final home game at Jackie Robinson Memorial Field today at 2:30 p.m. Their final game of the season will be on Saturday at noon visiting Mt. SAC.
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