After rallying from two runs down to tie the game, the Lancers gave up 11 runs in the last two innings to lose their third straight game to the El Camino College Warriors, 14-4, on Saturday afternoon.
In their games against El Camino, the Lancers gave up five runs in the ninth inning on Tuesday, two runs in the sixth inning and seven runs in the eighth inning on Thursday, and eight runs in the seventh inning and three runs in the ninth inning on Saturday.
The Warriors’ lead-off hitter ripped a double and before the Lancers could blink they were already down 2-0 in the first inning. This was a repeat occurrence as the Warriors got an early one-run lead on the Lancers in each of the last two games.
After four innings with no hits, the Lancers gained a little momentum in the bottom of the fifth inning when freshman catcher Justin Cage singled and scored on freshman infielder Joe Quire’s RBI double to get the team on the board.
The Lancers gave up a run in the top of the sixth inning but continued their momentum in the bottom of the inning as freshman infielder Anthony Fickewirth and Cage each hit RBI-singles with two outs to tie the game at three apiece.
The Lancers went out onto the field in the top of the seventh inning and walked two batters before head coach Pat McGee made the second pitching change of the game. The next batter bunted and a runner scored due to an error. Then the next batter knocked another run in, making it 5-3 with no outs.
After another pitching change, a batter singled to right field and suddenly the bases were loaded. As if nothing worse could happen, a batter was walked and then another was hit by a pitch as El Camino were given back-to-back runs as a present of sorts, making it 7-3 in favor of the Warriors.
“It’s kind of been our story all year when we go to the bullpen and we get inconsistent strike-throwing,” McGee said, explaining the need for five pitching changes throughout Saturday’s game.
“We need good tempo from our pitchers and we didn’t get that,” McGee said. “Going into this game, we’ve given up 41 runs in the eighth and ninth innings. So as I tell the kids that you don’t play with someone for seven innings then all of a sudden they are 41 runs better than you. We have to learn to finish games.”
Sophomore second-baseman Robert Mier took the blame for Saturday’s loss, saying he “made two errors [in the seventh] inning and [he] should’ve played better, period point blank.”
“…I let my team down. But as a whole, I just would say we should’ve controlled the tempo better and stop the bleeding when it happened,” Mier said.
Fickewirth said they weren’t focused against El Camino and didn’t play as smart as they wanted to, but he thinks his team will improve against LA Harbor.
“[We plan to] have some more intensity, be focused throughout the game, and when we go up, have smarter at-bats so we can be smarter on the field,” Fickewirth said.
The Lancers’ next game is against LA Harbor College on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at Brookside Park’s Jackie Robinson Memorial Field. It is the first of three conference games against the Seahawks.