Christan Ybarra, midswing, gets an RBI and places the Lancers in the lead against Antelope Valley at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field Feb. 1, 3013. Lancers lost 4-3.
Christan Ybarra, midswing, gets an RBI and places the Lancers in the lead against Antelope Valley at Brookside Park’s Jackie Robinson Memorial Field Feb. 1, 3013. Lancers lost 4-3.

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.

“The 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,”said Halstead. “Then I ran, jumped over the fence and caught it. It was intense and pretty fun.”

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.

“We need to practice situational hitting so that we’re getting the concept of the runner advancement,” said Head Coach Evan O’Meara. “On both Friday and Saturday with runners in scoring position, they were swinging like they were trying to hit home runs, and that’s not how we want to advance runners.”

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.

“Josh and Corey are going to be anchors for us. If we don’t have a guy behind the plate like Corey controlling the game and keeping the pitcher on his game, then we’re going to struggle,” said O’Meara. “Between Josh and Bobby Fraijo, they helped lead a terrific defensive day.”

In Saturday’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.

“I 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,” said Gleason. “But we definitely picked it up the next day.”

In Saturday’s win, freshman knuckleball-throwing starting pitcher Tim Shiba threw for seven solid innings in route to the Lancers’ first victory. Assistant Coach Dave Walters was extremely impressed with Gleason and Shiba’s pitching performances from Friday and Saturday respectively.

“Trevor (Gleason) was able to come up with a performance that he hadn’t shown all fall. We’d seen flashes of it, but that’s by far the most consistent he’s ever pitched,” said Walters. “Tim (Shiba) did exactly what we’re trying to get him to do by getting guys to hit weak pop-ups and ground balls. It worked really well for him.”

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