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Arabs stumble versus PCC-leading Griffins

March 15, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

It looked for a moment Thursday that Imperial Valley College's baseball team might upset visiting Grossmont College.

Then reality set in and the Arabs fell 9-3.

IVC grabbed a 1-0 lead when Brett Cochran jacked a solo home run over the 365-foot sign in right center field. The Arabs surrendered a run in the top of the third but looked to retake the lead in the last half of the inning when Jack Richter ripped a one-out single up the middle and Cochran was hit by a pitch.

The next Arab batter, though, was called out on strikes.

"I was pretty upset," IVC coach Dave Drury said, noting it was a bad call.

Drury said he talked with the umpire after the game, who admitted perhaps he had mad a wrong call.

"It took away our momentum," Drury said, noting the Arabs were primed to break the stalemate.


Grossmont came out the next inning and scored four runs to take the lead for good.

"That's what usually happens," Drury said. "One bad inning does us in."

An error started the Arabs' free fall. Then a single up the middle and a bloop base hit accounted for one run.

The final runs of the inning came in as the Griffins cashed in on a two-out three-run home run.

"We almost had them," Drury said.

Instead, Grossmont improves to 8-1 in the Pacific Coast Conference. IVC slips to 2-5.

Grossmont is at least four games ahead of everyone else in the conference, Drury said, noting most of the PCC teams are all right around .500.

"All it takes is for one team to get hot," Drury said. "We are capable of doing it ourselves."

The Arabs battled hard Thursday, Drury added. Just a few little minor miscues led to their downfall.

After Grossmont went up 6-1 in the fifth, IVC added a second run in the bottom half of the frame. Ryan Parker led off with a walk, Richter singled to left and two outs later Humberto Cardenas bounced a ground-rule double over the left field fence to score Parker.

Both teams scored a solo run in the eighth. Grossmont used a double and an error to score its run. IVC scored its without the benefit of a hit.

George Rapp walked, advanced to third on an errant pick-off throw and then trotted home on a balk.

Grossmont scored its final two runs in the ninth, thanks to an error and a couple of hits.

Richter finished with three hits to lead the six-hit Arab attack. Cochran had his home run, Cardenas had his double and Cory Moreno added a base hit.

Rapp took the loss, pitching the first eight and one-third innings. He yielded nine hits. He struck out six, walked one and hit a batter.

Grossmont's starting pitcher was former Calexico High standout Diego Lopez. He lasted five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks. He hit a batter and fanned six.

IVC hosts Southwestern College at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

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