Saints Offense Rolls, But Falls Short in Rubber Match to CatchBy Arroyo Seco Saints July 02, 2018 12:33pm
Article by Christopher D’Avanzo; Photo by Emily Moran
LA MIRADA – Both offenses were rolling on Sunday as the Arroyo Seco Saints (6-13, 5-11 CCL) scored nine runs in a losing effort to the SoCal Catch (10-8-1, 6-8 CCL). Arroyo Seco dropped the rubber match of the three-game home-and-home series, losing both of the games at Biola University’s Eagle Diamond in one-run contests.
The Saints stared the game by jumping out to a 6-1 lead, opening the scoring on a RBI single by Cooper Williams, bringing around Gabe Chavez with a single past a diving first baseman. Chavez utilized his speed to put the Saints in a position to score, leading the game off with an infield single and stealing second but reaching third base on a throwing error. The defense for both sides continued to struggle, after several key errors in both Friday and Saturday nights’ contests.
In the second inning, the Saints added onto their lead with another three-runs. Gabe Chavez delivered a sacrifice fly, and Peterson brought home another two runs by smoking a ball into left. Peterson struggled through the first month of the season, batting .121 entering play on Sunday, but he was moved up into the third spot in the order and that appeared to help get his bat going. Peterson had a hit, 2 RBI, and a run scored, and could be seen being receiving high-fives from players and coaches for moving past his slump.
Catcher Mitch Kerner’s base hit to left-center chased the Catch starting pitcher after a performance of 1.2 innings and 4 earned runs allowed. Kerner’s base hit in the fourth inning drove home Peterson, who reached on an RBI single of his own. Those hits gave the Saints their biggest lead of the afternoon. Kerner batted 3-4 with 2 RBI and also reached base on a hit-by-pitch.
But it was in the bottom of the fourth where the Catch seized the momentum against Arroyo Seco’s bullpen. Saints’ starter Michael Gomez left the game after three innings and an earned run allowed. Gomez gave way to Columbia pitcher Tim Post and Post struggled in relief. The Catch scored three runs in the inning, all with two outs, and added another four runs in the fifth inning to take the lead. Jesse Reed, pitcher out of Temple College in Texas, entered the game to halt the damage.
Kerner, and USC first baseman John Thomas, reached base and were on the corners with no one out in the top of the seventh. The Catch seemed to have Kerner picked off at first but the umpire ruled a balk, giving Kerner new life at second and allowing Thomas to come into score. Kerner reached third, and with Jenkins at the plate and one out, the Saints attempted to tie the game with a squeeze bunt, but the Catch pounced on the ball and flipped it home just in time, nabbing Kerner in a close play at the plate.
The Saints cut the deficit to one, but the Catch added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh. Arroyo Seco continued to battle. USC outfielder Christian Moya delivered an RBI single in the eighth, but a promising rally fell through after Moya was eliminated on a double play. In the ninth, with two outs, Michigan State catcher Nic Lacayo entered the game as a pinch hitter and connected for a solo homer to the cut the deficit back to one. The Saints couldn’t get the decisive 10th run and the Catch escaped with a 10-9 victory. Each game in the series was settled by a margin of one run.
The Saints return to play on Tuesday after travelling up to San Luis Obispo to take on the Blues. After an off-day for the Fourth of July, the Saints will undergo their longest road-trip of the season during the long weekend, taking on the Santa Barbara Foresters on Thursday, then travelling up to Healdsburg for a four-game series.