Monarchs down Brahmas

Overconfidence and poor execution got the best of the Brahmas Saturday afternoon, resulting in another ‘L’ in the loss column.

The Pierce College baseball team led almost the entire game; up until the ninth inning, when the L.A. Valley College Monarchs evened the score at five to send the game into extra innings.

Sloppy defense and poor offensive execution hindered the Brahmas’ chances, as they were defeated, 7-5.

The result brings the Brahmas even with Valley College this year (rubber-match Tuesday) and their overall season record to 12-10.

Head Coach John Bushart said the team had learned a hard lesson.

“I think we just relaxed. We assumed that the game was over,” said Bushart.  “Once you shut it down it’s hard to get it going again.”

Starting pitcher Ryan Santhon led the early inning charge for Pierce College at the beginning of the game as he had another solid outing.

At the top of the first inning, Valley College could have taken the early lead, as they loaded the bases, but the Brahmas’ left-hander prevented them from scoring.

James Wharton hit the only home run of the game in the third inning, a two-run blast well over the wall in left-center.

By the end of the seventh inning, the Brahmas led by four, but that changed quickly during the top of the eighth when the score shifted, the lead diminished as the home Brahmas maintained the slight 5-4 advantage.

After the Monarchs scored three runs, Kevin Tolbert was brought into the game to pitch the rest of the inning.

The Monarchs evened the score with one out in the ninth with clutch hits and well-executed approaches at the dish.

Looking to recover the lead, the Brahmas made costly mistakes and failed to capitalize when scoring opportunities were presented.

Players were left on base in the 11th, 12th and 13th innings.

A base running error in the eleventh inning proved costly when Justin Fredlender, who was coming from second base, hesitated on third and was thrown out at home plate.

“I don’t know if that was the best move,” said Brahma catcher Travis Forbes. “I don’t know if he ran through a stop sign or the coach actually sent him… we made some mistakes.”

The team relied heavily on pitching in the last four innings, according to Fredlender.

“We have to keep hitting the ball,” Fredlender said.

Forbes commented on how he will think differently for future games.

“We thought four runs was going to be enough, we should never have that attitude,” said Forbes. “We should always think we got to get more, we got to get more.”

Head Coach Bushart looked to the future as well.

“We’re still playing okay, we just stumbled today. There’s a lot of season still left,” said Bushart.

Pierce will have another opportunity against L.A. Valley College when they meet at their place Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Tyler Peddicord sulks moments after Valley College ties the game Saturday Mar. 26. Valley College beat the Pierce College Brahmas in the 14th inning, 5-7. (Joseph Kukuczka 2011)

Justin Fredlender fields a line drive against Valley College Saturday Mar. 26 at Joe Kelly Field. (Joseph Kukuczka 2011)