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Apaches scalp Arabs in seventh

March 03, 2001|By JON HINSHAW, Sports Writer

IMPERIAL — The Imperial Valley College baseball team played catch-up against Southwestern College here Saturday and succeeded twice in knotting the Apaches, but a three-run seventh inning by its opponent proved too much in a 6-4 loss.

After battling through the first six innings to a 3-3 tie, Arab starting pitcher Jason Anderson surrendered a two-run home run in the seventh frame and two IVC errors yielded another run to give Southwestern its cushion.

Cory Moreno nailed a solo homer in the eighth to pull within 6-4 but the Arabs didn't have enough patience or offense at the plate to come back a third time.

"That second home run you can blame on the coaches," said IVC skipper David Drury of himself and assistants Jim Mecate and David Milan. "We knew he was a hitter and we didn't get word out to the field quick enough. With our offense we got guys on base, but we didn't come through with any clutch hits. Our batters were too excited at the plate. We need to settle down and put forward a better effort."


Down 6-3 in their own half of the seventh, the Arabs' Randy Leedom got aboard with an infield single and looked to move up during Alfredo Vazquez's at-bat. Vazquez flew out to centerfield, and Leedom was held. An error by Apache third baseman Tony Santana allowed Ryan Parker to get aboard in the next at-bat, bringing the tying run to the plate with runners on first and second with one out.

The next two IVC batters, Todd Richardson and Ricky Guzman, both flew out to the outfield to end the inning.

"We swung at a few bad pitches," said the Arabs' Moreno. "We had to go up to the plate with a plan and we didn't. We didn't do the right thing with runners on."

Andrew Rivera relieved Anderson in the eighth and held Southwestern down in the final two innings, giving his squad two more opportunities at a comeback. The first two at-bats in the bottom of the eighth didn't prove prosperous for IVC as both Jorge Armenta and Justin Winburn recorded outs before Moreno came to the plate.

Moreno took an offering from Southwestern starting pitcher Luis Camarena to nail his home run and bring the score to 6-4, but Jake Richter then flew out to end the inning. The final half of the final frame wasn't much better for IVC as the Arabs went three up and three down to record their second loss in three Pacific Coast Conference games.

"Jason (Anderson) hadn't pitched for us in nearly a month and we knew he would be a little rusty," said Mecate, whose squad dropped to 4-6 overall. "But he and Andrew (Rivera) pitched well enough for us to win the game. We played good enough defensively as well, but our offense didn't."

Added Moreno, "We didn't hit well and we didn't run the bases well. We didn't do the little stuff it takes to win games. We have to start concentrating on the easy and play better mentally."

The game didn't start as bad as it ended for IVC as it was a low-scoring pitchers' duel from the start.

Southwestern (9-10 overall, 2-2 PCC) opened the scoring with a run, on an RBI single by Matt Lopez, in the top of the first but for the next four innings it was all defense. Anderson held the Apaches in check long enough for his squad to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth.

A double by Winburn and a single by Moreno, who finished 3-for-4, put runners on the corners with one out. Richter lifted a fly ball into left field for what looked like a sacrifice fly, but Southwestern's Mike Ruiz lost the ball in the sun and Winburn came into score. IVC couldn't add any more to the board as Leedom and Vazquez recorded outs.

Anderson got touched for two runs in the next inning when Lopez nailed a two-run shot, but the Arabs got both runs back in the bottom of the frame.

After two outs, back-to-back singles by Guzman and Armenta were followed by an error in the infield that allowed Guzman to score and cut the deficit to 3-2. Moreno than came through with an RBI single to score Armenta and tie the game. The Arabs had runners on second and third with two outs and were looking for more but Richter grounded out to end the inning.

"Drury's squads are always tough competitors," Apache coach Jerry Bartow said. "We were up and down the whole game like they were, but our pitcher had a pretty good game."

The Arabs will have their next opportunity to even their PCC record at 2 p.m. on Tuesday when they host Palomar College.

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