After trailing by four runs in the first inning, the Pierce College baseball team capitalized on Los Angeles Mission College’s errors to win at home on Tuesday, March 31.
Pierce did not allow Mission to score for the rest of the game and gave its pitching an eight-run lead to work with. The Bulls won 12-4.
Bulls’ freshman starting pitcher Matthew Lemus went ⅔ of an inning and allowed four walks, one hit and two runs. Pierce head coach Bill Picketts made a call to the bullpen after Lemus allowed three consecutives walks.
The 6’6” freshman pitcher Pierson Ro came in for an early relief appearance and gave up two more runs on a double by Mission’s first baseman Martin Orozco.
The Bulls quickly produced runs in the bottom of the first on RBI singles from sophomore infielder Christian Mercado and freshman outfielder Jason Rowe.
The Eagles committed two errors in the inning, which led to three runs, giving Pierce a 5-4 lead at the end of the first.
In the bottom of the second, Pierce exploded again offensively and took Mission’s starting pitcher Ryan McBride out of the game after three straight hits and a sacrifice fly. Mission relief pitcher Tony Gilbert gave up an additional run before the second inning ended. Pierce led 8-4.
With a runner on first and one out in the top of the third inning, a hard ground ball was hit up the middle on the right side of second base by Mission left fielder Reno Ranks. Pierce freshman second baseman Jordan Abushahla made a backhanded stop while running full speed to his right and flipped the ball to shortstop Ricky Sheehan, who simultaneously caught and threw the ball during a 360-degree spin for an inning-ending double play. The 4-6-3 double play stopped Mission in its tracks and gave Pierce momentum moving forward.
Abushahla finished the game 4-5 with two RBIs.
“I was trying to look for a fastball,” Abushahla said. “I got a lot of them today and I was able to execute.”
Rowe and Sheehan also had multi-hit games during the victory.
Mission was only able to threaten once more in the top of the fifth inning with the bases loaded and two outs. Picketts decided to make another pitching change and called in sophomore righty Pablo Gonzalez, who quickly retired Mission’s leadoff hitter Spencer Daniels with a flyout to left field.
Gonzalez closed the game on the mound, putting zeroes up on the scoreboard.
Although it was a non-conference game, Pierce improved its record to 12-15 on the season.
Pierce head coach Bill Picketts said that his team treats these non-conference games the same.
“These games are just as important,” Picketts said. “In order to get into the playoffs, we have to fight for a .500 record. So there’s no different mentality going into games like this. Fortunately, we came out on top.”
Mission assistant coach Chad Novak spoke for head coach Joe Cascione, who declined to comment on the game.
“Today was just really sloppy. We had way too many errors and just could not come up with any hits. Very disappointing,” Novak said.
Pierce will travel to Santa Ana on Thursday, April 2 for another non-conference matchup at 2 p.m.