Monarchs dethroned by Brahmas

Player collisions, missed balls and failed plays sprinkled through the game highlighted the victory Pierce had over the Los Angeles Valley College Monarchs.

The score was 9-7.

Infielder Will Picketts said establishing a lead, after being behind, was satisfying.

“We were losing late in the game and any time you come back late it’s kind of a cool feeling because you feel like you did a good job,” Will Picketts said. Brahma’s starting pitcher Ethan Sanchez said his team’s offensive tenacity provided a solid lead through the fourth inning.

At the bottom of the fifth with two outs, Will Pickets saw an opportunity after the Monarchs’ catcher hesitated as a ball flew past homebase. He scored on an unearned passed ball, establishing a 5-1 lead.

Head coach Bill Picketts said the team played to its strengths, found primarily in their strong offense.

“We scored almost every inning, so I’m happy with that,” Picketts said. “We answered back when they scored and then obviously getting down and coming back late, that’s good character.”

The sixth inning was filled with plays benefiting either team; a line drive hit Sanchez in the leg, a collision between a Pierce center fielder and right fielder gave a Valley batter third base.

Coach Picketts said the collision wasn’t expected or usual for the team.

“We haven’t done it all year, but defensively we’ve been awesome,” Picketts said. “I don’t think we had any errors today really, although the fly ball right field wasn’t an easy play.”

Sanchez pitched five complete innings, giving up five hits and three runs total. Nick Rincover relieved Sanchez during the top of the sixth with one out and bases loaded.

Another collision between a runner and the first baseman gave Valley College’s Brock Bell second base and the inning concluded with the Monarchs in the lead, 6-7.

Coach Picketts said the inning was tense, but not surprising given the baseball team’s previous games this season.

“There’s been one inning every game where we give up three, four, five six runs and it kills us. It’s something we’ve addressed but again, they’re young,” Picketts said. “There’s not too much maturity on the mound right now.”

Daniel Pimienta, a recent transfer from Northridge, pitched the seventh and eighth innings without giving up a run, allowing the Brahmas to regain their offensive-defensive equilibrium.

Pimienta said he felt good coming out to the mound to secure his team’s comeback—as well as his own.

“I struggled my first inning, but I came back,” Pimienta said. “You can’t really let other things affect you, you just have to go out and do your job and help your team, no matter what. You always got to pick up the guy.”

Michael Tillman was able to run home because of Mike Scolaro’s single RBI, in the bottom of the seventh bringing the score to 8-7.

The Monarchs did not score in the eighth and at the bottom of the inning, they brought out their third relief pitcher who gave up one run to Pierce  outfielder Gabe Curtier after Will Picketts hit a fly out.

“I was just trying to get the runner in when the bases were loaded,” Will Picketts said. “So that’s all I focused on. Doing what’s best for the team.”

Picketts said working with the team’s pitchers to minimize innings is a priority of his this season.

“The pitching is inexperienced and so the more we get rolling here the better they’re going to get,” Picketts said. “I don’t think we’re even close to reaching our potential.”

The Brahmas’ next game is at home against the Los Angeles Mission College Saints on Thursday, March 1 at 2 p.m.