A 6-3 defeat to Santa Barbara City College stung the Pierce College baseball team on Tuesday, April 22, jeopardizing their placement in the playoffs.
The Brahmas planned on putting up a fight by taking advantage of its home field, infielder Christian Tobias said.
“We need to win, do good pitching to start and good defense to back it up,” Tobias said. “Plus a good offensive job as always.”
Pitcher for Pierce College Dan Gowanlock shared similar optimism before the game.
“I expect to see a lot of hitting and a shut down performance on the mound,” Gowanlock said.
The first inning began swiftly with a strong opening pitching performance from Michael Knopf. Knopf struck out the first two batters, but the last batter for Santa Barbara, Noah Martinez, pulled a baseline hit. No runs were scored in the inning.
Brahmas’ outfielder Quinn Conley tried to gain Pierce some momentum by hitting a base line hit in the third inning to no avail. The game remained scoreless as it carried on.
An hour and 15 minutes into the game, neither team had put up a run as the game moved into the fourth inning.
Even though both teams played good defense in the beginning, the Brahmas began to crack as Santa Barbara broke the deadlock with a five-run inning during the top of the fourth inning.
SBCC’s Martinez kept his team going with his single after Brandon Evan flew out to center field. Both Connor McCain and Patrick O’Brien walked to load the bases up for SBCC. James Brakka , Jack Gregson and Spencer Erdman had RBI singles to give SBCC a five run lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.
Pierce did not have an answer for SBCC’s five-run inning. During the bottom of the fourth inning the Brahmas only had one hit.
Pierce continued to fight to stay alive. During the bottom of the seventh inning the Brahmas roared back as Casey Ryan and Joe Christian singled to begin the inning. Jeff Wright cut the deficit for the Brahmas as he had an RBI single to put Pierce up on the board.
After Conley walked, Joe Moran followed him with a two-run single to bring the Brahmas within two, with the score at 5-3, heading into the top of the eighth inning.
Santa Barbara struck right back and increased its lead after Gregson doubled with two outs. Brett Sesma had an RBI double to increase SBCC’s lead by one. Heading into the bottom of the eighth inning the Brahmas trailed 6-3.
Knopf was switched out in the eighth inning with Daniel Barazza, who finished out the game by picking off Brandon Evans of Santa Barbara on second base during the top of the ninth inning.
“It was a good game on both ends. Pierce rallied on the seventh but the two-strike hit is what did us some good,” Santa Barbara head coach Jeff Walker said.