By William Hernandez
The East Los Angeles College men’s baseball team struggled at the plate last night against South Coast Conference rival Cerritos College losing, 2-0, but still ahead of the pack in the South Coast Conference.
The Huskies are 8-2 and in first place in the SCC one game ahead of Cerritos and El Camino College (both 7-3), who are tied for second place.
The Huskies play the second game of the three-game series at Cerritos at 2:30 p.m. today.
Husky Head Coach James Hines was frustrated and disappointed after Cerritos starting pitcher Kyle Carpenter capped off a complete game shutout by striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth inning.
“Everybody’s out to get us now, because they’re looking at us at the top of the standings. When you don’t approach the game with intensity and a sense of urgency, you come out flat and that’s pretty much what we did,” Hines said.
Carpenter tossed 115 pitches and faced 33 batters. Cerritos Head Coach Ken Gaylord said that usually the starter’s do not finish the game, but left Carpenter in to pitch the ninth inning.
“I didn’t want to take the ball away from him because he really wanted it. Sometimes you have to go by feeling,” Gaylord said.
Down to their last two outs of the game, ELAC starting outfielder Eduardo Pedroza got called out on three straight strikes without an attempt. Nevertheless, Pedroza struck out looking on the presuming pitch that was out over the plate.
“He (Pedroza) struck out on a pitch that was hittable. He didn’t move forward and get ready for the next pitch. The problem isn’t the umpire. It’s us not doing the things we have to do and not taking the game seriously for what it is,” Hines said.
The Huskies golden opportunity to tie or take the lead happened in the fourth inning. Starting first baseman Michael Aguilar was picked off at first base with the bases loaded by Cerritos catcher Chris Carrillo. ELAC stranded 10 total runners on base for the game.
“They think that since we’re in first-place and playing at home and that we never lose at home, and everything will play itself out. When your all nonchalant like that you make mistakes that you don’t usually make such as getting picked off at first with bags full,” Hines said.
“They have some good arms, but we just have to go after fastball’s more and try to drive the ball,” ELAC starting third baseman Jonathan Larson said.
Cerritos added a run to their lead after Husky starting pitcher Roman Davalos walked the first two hitters of the seventh inning, which were cashed in on a sacrifice fly to left-field.
Davalos’s record dropped to 5-3 overall, and had the similar misfortune of lack of run support last week against El Camino College Compton Center when they lost 2-0.
“It’s hard because we did the same thing with (Davalos) last week on the mound. We want to get him runs early so he could pitch comfortably,” Larson said.