Despite their strong defense and pitching, the Brahma’s struggled offensively against Los Angeles Valley College on Tuesday, April 23, at Pike Field.
The 3-2 loss pushed the Brahmas record to 10-24 this season.
Head Coach Bill Picketts said despite the Brahmas poor record, he is glad to see certain players grow individually over the season.
“Despite the loss, we actually played well,” Picketts said. “Our season hasn’t been a quote-on-quote success, some of the kids are getting better individually and that’s really what we’re looking for.”
The game started off promising for the Brahmas when Brent Swearingen and Diego Harris hit back-to-back singles. Johnathan Lavallee then hit a sacrifice fly which allowed both runners to advance. Swearingen scored on a groundout from Zach Kaminkow, giving Pierce a 1-0 lead.
Michael Roth started on the mound for the Brahmas. He pitched 3 ⅔ innings. Allowing three runs on seven hits.
“Roth pitched really well last week, but he struggled a bit today,” Picketts said. “I thought he did fine though.”
In the bottom of the first inning, Valley tied the game before the Brahmas took the lead again in the second inning. Dirk Ryan hit a double to left-center field and later came around to score, putting Pierce ahead by one.
In the bottom of the third, Roth started the inning by getting two quick outs. The Monarchs took a 3-2 lead when shortstop Olman Chavez singled and Infielder Jason Ajamian hit a home run.
Roth continued to pitch in the bottom of the fourth and struck out one batter. However, he was replaced mid-inning by Kenny Baumgartner after allowing two back to back singles.
With Baumgartner on the mound, the Monarchs were shut down for the rest of the game. He pitched 4 ⅓ innings and allowed only one hit.
Baumgartner credited his teammates with helping him secure the four scoreless innings.
“I had good defense behind me,” Baumgartner said.
In the top of fifth inning, Swearingen singled and then stole second and third base, putting him in scoring position.
“[The pitcher] already picked-off so he probably wasn’t going to again,” Swearingen said. “It just seemed like a good time to go.”
Despite this, the next two batters struck out, crushing the Brahmas hopes of tying the game.
In the bottom of the seventh, Baumgartner struck out two hitters.
“I thought I did well, I commanded the zone,” Baumgartner said. “I just kept the ball down and made sure I didn’t leave anything up in the zone.”
In the top of the eight, the Brahmas had the bases loaded with two outs but didn’t score.
“They gave us an opportunity there, and they just couldn’t get it done in that situation,” Picketts said. “We took some good swings. Sometimes you get it done, sometimes you don’t.”
In the top of the ninth, Sean Moller walked and Ryan Sandberg bunted him over to second base. However, the next two batters hit fly balls, ending the game.
The Brahmas have two more games left this season. They will play against West Los Angeles College on Thursday, April 25, and against Bakersfield City College on Friday, April 26.