The Lancers started off their 2013 baseball season Feb. 1 with a 4-3 loss in 11 innings playing host to the Antelope Valley College Marauders, but bounced back with a strong performance visiting AVC in Lancaster on Feb. 2 with a 10-6 victory in which sophomore third baseman David Halstead made an amazing leaping catch in foul territory against the fence to record the final out of the third inning.
â€œThe ball was in the air and I noticed it was getting really close to the line, so I tossed my hat so nothing would get in the way,â€said Halstead. â€œThen I ran, jumped over the fence and caught it. It was intense and pretty fun.â€
Friday’s game was competitive from start to finish, but the Lancers were haunted by leaving 20 runners on base in the game while managing to score only three runs.
â€œWe need to practice situational hitting so that weâ€™re getting the concept of the runner advancement,â€ said Head Coach Evan Oâ€™Meara. â€œOn both Friday and Saturday with runners in scoring position, they were swinging like they were trying to hit home runs, and thatâ€™s not how we want to advance runners.â€
With Friday’s loss on opening day at Jackie Robinson Memorial Field, the Lancers had standout performances on offense from sophomore shortstop Josh Clark and freshman catcher Corey Richards. Clark, the Lancers’ leadoff batter, had two hits on Friday’s game while Richards had three hits and a run batted in.
â€œJosh and Corey are going to be anchors for us. If we donâ€™t have a guy behind the plate like Corey controlling the game and keeping the pitcher on his game, then weâ€™re going to struggle,â€ said Oâ€™Meara. â€œBetween Josh and Bobby Fraijo, they helped lead a terrific defensive day.â€
InÂ Saturdayâ€™s victory at AVC, the Lancers got off to a very fast start with five runs in the first inning. Freshman right fielder Aaron Correa smacked a triple to center field with the bases loaded in the first inning, scoring all three runners that were on base. The Lancers got into a tough spot in the third inning, giving up two runs to the Marauders.
Despite Friday’s extra-inning loss, the Lancers got a stellar pitching performance from sophomore starting pitcher Trevor Gleason, who struck out eight Marauder batters in 7.2 innings pitched.
â€œI thought I had a really good outing and the team played very well, but I felt that we were a little nervous since it was our first game,â€ said Gleason. â€œBut we definitely picked it up the next day.â€
In Saturdayâ€™s win, freshman knuckleball-throwing starting pitcher Tim Shiba threw for seven solid innings in route to the Lancersâ€™ first victory. Assistant Coach Dave Walters was extremely impressed with Gleason and Shibaâ€™s pitching performances from Friday and Saturday respectively.
â€œTrevor (Gleason) was able to come up with a performance that he hadnâ€™t shown all fall. Weâ€™d seen flashes of it, but thatâ€™s by far the most consistent heâ€™s ever pitched,â€ said Walters. â€œTim (Shiba) did exactly what weâ€™re trying to get him to do by getting guys to hit weak pop-ups and ground balls. It worked really well for him.â€
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