Brahmas exact vengeance against Citrus

Philip George, Spring 2009 Assistant Sports Editor

Fresh out of an extra-inning heartbreaker at Citrus, the Pierce College baseball team avenged their loss, rallying to defeat the Owls 12-7 on March 6 at Joe Kelly Field.The Brahmas came into the game sporting a 2-3 in-conference record, and risked falling four games behind first-place Bakersfield with a loss.”We felt like today was like a playoff game,” said head coach Joe Arnold.J.R. Bromberg started the game for Pierce and was knocked around early, allowing two runs in each of the first two innings.The Pierce offense remained resilient, however, matching Citrus run-for-run before taking the lead 5-4 on catcher Steve McGrath’s third inning RBI double.Bromberg settled down after the second inning, not allowing another run until the sixth when Citrus shortstop Tony Mancuso took him deep for his first homerun of the season.After Mancuso’s homerun and a single by first baseman Jake Maynard, Bromberg would give way to left-handed reliever John Degerman.”I thought out starter, John Bromberg, gave us a chance to win,” said Arnold, “and that’s all you ask from your starter.”Degerman was roughed up in his only inning of work, allowing a run on one hit and two walks, and at the end of six, Citrus led 7-5.Pierce rallied once again in the seventh, tying the game on four straight hits, capped off by a two-RBI double by Will Myrick.J.P. O’Leary held Citrus scoreless in the seventh and eight innings, setting the stage for the Brahmas’ eighth-inning explosion.The Brahmas quickly loaded the bases on three consecutive singles by Jason Barmasse, Nick Devian and Eric Bloom, and after a strikeout by Calvin Culver, Will Myrick stepped to the plate with a chance to drive in the go-ahead run.Myrick hit a sharp grounder that Mancuso was unable to handle, reaching the base on an RBI infield single and putting the Brahmas in the lead 8-7.”I just wanted to stay confident up there and make sure I got a piece of the ball,” said Myrick, who ended the afternoon going 4-5 with three RBIs. “I just wanted to get it in play and give our runners a chance to get home, and that’s what happened.”With the bases still loaded, McGrath stepped in and crushed Citrus pitcher Chris Freedman’s second offering well beyond the left-field fence for a grand slam, giving the Brahmas a commanding 12-7 lead.”I just wanted to get a pitch to handle,” said McGrath, “and I did.”O’Leary retired the side in order in the ninth to close out the victory.”We do a lot of things wrong, but we find ways to win,” Arnold said about a Brahma defense who committed five errors in the contest, “but we got the hits when they counted.”


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