Baseball team struggles to score against State Champions

By Marina Gutierrez

The Huskies baseball team couldn’t keep up against 2023 State Champion Santa Ana College, in a 9-2 losing effort.

In the bottom of the 9th inning, in-fi elders Fabian Dominguez and Evan Chavez successfully got ELAC on the scoreboard, putting an end to Santa Ana’s hopes of a shutout.

Right-handed pitcher Nathan Mertens started the game off strong, giving up two runs with eight strikeouts in his six innings pitched.

Many of the points scored by Santa Ana were due to mistakes by the Huskies’ defense rather than Mertens’ pitching.

“Overall, I think this was a better game of mine and I was proud of my performance. Mistakes happen in baseball and I know my team was trying their best. I tried to not let their errors affect

me and to just focus on my next pitch,” Mertens said.

At the top of the fourth inning Santa Ana scored the first point of the game.

Santa Ana’s outfielder Jimmy De Anda reached first base due to an error by the Huskies’ right-fielder who dropped the ball. In-fielder Thomas Williams then hit a sacrifice fly ball to bring De Anda home making the score 1-0.

In-fielder Michael Rocha singled to center-field and made it to first base. In-fielder Robert Linaras tripled to the Huskies center-fielder who bobbled the ball. During this RBI play Rocha scored the second point of the game, making the score at the bottom of the fourth inning 2-0.

The Huskies continued to struggle to score during these innings.

At the top of the sixth inning Rocha was up to bat again and doubled to left field. In an attempt to stop Rocha from stealing third base, Mertens overthrew the ball to Husky second baseman. The second baseman scrambled to recover the ball. Rocha managed to steal third base due to this failed attempt.

Linaras singled to the Huskies shortstop, bringing Rocha home and the two completed yet another RBI play. The score was now 3-0. Jordan Garcia was subbed in to take Mertens’ place. Santa Ana then continued to score back to back in the next 2 innings.

In the seventh inning, multiple bad pitches were thrown by Garcia. This led to strong, strategic hits by Santa Ana and allowed them to score two more points tallying up the score 5-0.

As Garcia struggled on the mound, Santa Ana took full advantage and had a total of four runs in the 9th inning which made the score 9-0.

Head Coach Alec Adame attributed the loss to the skill of Santa Ana’s pitcher and the mistakes of his relief-pitcher.

“Their pitcher is pretty good on the mound and our guys struggled to make an adjustment right away. Santa Ana is the state championship team. There was no reason why we should have walked any of their players today,” Adame said.

Although disappointed, Adame was glad the game didn’t end in a shutout.

“I’m glad my boys were able to score at the end, but we need to learn how to focus early on in the game. We need to stick to our approach so we are not trying to catch up the entire game,” Adame said.

The Huskies played Santa Ana again and although improved on their runs, ultimately lost 14-10.

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