Pierce baseball loses close game to Bakersfield

Natalie Hanassab

The baseball team fell short of a victory Thursday, losing 10-9 to Bakersfield in one of the closest games of the season, according to head coach Joe Arnold.Pierce has now fallen four games behind, which makes it very crucial for them to do well in their next few games to clench a playoff spot.Bakersfield was three games ahead of Pierce in the division before Thursday’s home game.Pierce was off to a great start in the first inning, with Cameron Collard on the mound. They continually got the players from Bakersfield out one by one.Collard struck another player out right before sophomore and catcher Steve McGrath threw the ball to second base to obtain three outs, therefore sending the Brahmas to infield.Calvin Culver, who is set to attend USC this fall season, hit a long ball past third base to score another run with the bases loaded. The score was then 5-0 at the bottom of the second.However, by the third inning, Bakersfield began to come back, finally scoring two runs. That was until Brahma Cole McCure hit a home run, making the score 6-2.Fellow teammates in the dugout seemed to really be pumping up the players for doing so well. This led to a perfect throw by McCure from third to first base to tag the Renegade out in the top of the fourth.The game was going very well for Pierce until a few good hitters from Bakersfield got the best of them.Dylan Nasiatka hit a homer with two outs on the board, to score two runs. This took the game to 6-4, right before Renegade Matt Reyes scored again to tie up the game at 6-6.When Pierce fell down 8-6, head coach Joe Arnold decided to change the pitcher to Mike Nesbit.But despite this, Bakersfield still managed to score another run before the continuous strikes they pulled off against Pierce.The Brahmas’ Steve McGrath went through with a huge hit, which barely missed going over the fence. The runs that they made allowed them to tie up the game, 9-9, right before a hit by the Renegades took the game to 10-9.Although he made a save to tie up the game, McGrath hit a high foul ball that Bakersfield caught. With three outs on the board, Pierce lost in an upsetting game.Arnold spoke about the close game and what he felt happened out there on the field.”We worked hard but they played just a little bit better than we did,” Arnold said. “Besides the last game, which went to an extra inning, this was the most intense.”He also discussed the difficulty in losing such a close game when the players worked so hard but didn’t get what they wanted in the end.”We rather lose in a tight game rather than get blown out,” Arnold said.Discussing why they did not get the win at the end, Steve McGrath explained that Bakersfield really wanted the game and knew they had to win it.”They were really hungry and came out really strong like they wanted it,” he said.The Brahmas keep their heads up no matter what, according to McGrath.”There is never a doubt in our mind that we are going to win, even when were really down,” he said.Pierce is set to play Valley College at a home game Saturday at 1 p.m.