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Errors too much for IVC to overcome

April 28, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

Imperial Valley College's baseball team dug itself in too deep a hole Saturday and fell to visiting San Diego Mesa College 14-3.

"Errors have been our Achilles' heel all season," Arabs coach Dave Drury said.

Against Mesa, IVC committed four errors, with one key miscue leading to a second-inning explosion that blew the game wide open.

IVC also struggled on the mound. The Arabs used six pitchers.

"Jose had been our hottest pitcher," Drury said of starter Jose Ibarra. "He had Southwestern mystified last Saturday. But today he only mystified himself."


Ibarra walked the first batter he faced. After a base hit he hit the next batter to load the bases. A single drove in two runs and another base hit scored a third.

Ibarra walked the leadoff batter in the second and then surrendered a base hit to the next batter before he was pulled. Things didn't get any better for the Arabs.

"We should have put up a goose egg that inning, instead of the six runs they got," Drury said.

With reliever Brett Cochran on the mound the next Mesa batter laid down a bunt. Cochran fielded the ball and looked to nail the lead runner. IVC's third baseman bobbled the throw by looking up to see if he could get a double play at first base. Instead two outs, the bases were loaded.

A walk scored a run and a high fly ball to left field fell because of the wind and scored another run. A ground-out drove in a run, a double to right center scored a run and a single up the middle scored a run.

After two walks loaded the bases, Cochran was relieved by Alan Rivera. A passed ball scored Mesa's ninth run before Rivera got the third out.

IVC got a run back in the last half of the second through sheer hustle by Jake Richter. Richter lofted a high fly ball to shallow left field that the wind carried away from the fielders. Richter sped around the bases, just beating the throw to second base for a double.

Richter stole third base moments later when Alfredo Vazquez walked. Richter came home when Mesa's pitcher tried to pick Vazquez off first base.

Mesa added a 10th run in the third off a walk, balk, wild pitch and double down the right field line.

IVC picked up two more runs in the third. Humberto Cardenas led off with a single to left field and one pitch later Cory Moreno launched a home run over the fence in right field.

Rivera was cruising when he took a shot off his right foot. He had to leave the game, and Cardenas came on in relief.

Mesa scored its 11th run in the seventh off Cardenas thanks to a walk and two base hits.

Mesa scored its final runs in the eighth on two walks, a ground-rule double and a single.

Juan Lopez came on to pitch the eighth while Moreno went to the hill in the ninth.

"It should have been only a 5-3 ball game going into the eighth," Drury said, noting errors hurt the Arabs. "If it had been, who knows what we might have done?"

Moreno had his home run and a single to lead the Arabs' eight-hit attack. Richter had a double and a single, Luis Cardenas had two singles and Humberto Cardenas and Lopez both had one.

Richter's at-bats were adventures as Mesa shifted the infield to the left side to try to contain him. The second baseman actually played even with the bag or to its left.

In his second at-bat Richter grounded out to the second baseman. If the shift had not been on, Richter would have had a base hit.

In his third at-bat Richter singled to right through the gap where the second baseman normally plays.

In his fourth at-bat Richter lined a fielder's choice off the pitcher's glove to the second baseman behind the bag. Again it would have been a hit if he had not shifted.

"They shifted because they wanted Jake to try to go to right field," Drury said. "They wanted to keep him in the park and away from his strength (driving the ball to left field.)

"I told Jake to just stay with his strength and drive the ball no matter where," Drury added.

IVC falls to 14-25 overall and 7-17 in the Pacific Coast Conference. The Arabs host San Diego City College at 2 p.m. Tuesday. It is their final home game of the season.

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