Baseball: MSJC outdated and outran Imperial Valley at home, 13-1
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
The best batters are ready to bat, regardless of their backdrop. But would Imperial Valley College Arabs be that ready on Tue. Feb. 26 as they descended on the Mt. San Jacinto Eagles for some baseball?
The first inning came and went with no notable action. But in the bottom of the second, with bases loaded, Kevin Gameros would take a sacrifice so Rigo Ano could take the first run of the day for the Eagles. Then off of Gavin Gates’ hit, Trevor Castillo and Craig Venabal brought in runs of their own.
Top of the third would be the only time the Arabs scored, with Raymond Ortiz being the sole Arab to do so.
Things remained mostly quiet in front of the poppy-dotted North Mountain through the next two innings. But then at the bottom of the sixth, Ano would connect ball and bat, letting Shane Mittleman run home. Then as Castillo hit the ball, Carson McCafferty would make his round of the diamond. The Arabs’ pitcher then bean-balled Gameros, letting him take his base, With a hit by Joseph Hauk, Castillo and Gameros made it to home plate.
In the seventh inning, Mittleman made the connection so Shawn McAdams could compel his run. Ano would take an out to open the path for Mittleman to come in.
That’s not to say the Eagles were mistake-free: At the top of the eighth, their pitcher bean-balled Arab Jakob Trujillo. That said, the Arabs’ pitcher being in panic mode would in turn bean ball Devin Garcia. The Arabs would swap out their pitcher, but not before the Eagles loaded up the bases. This allowed Gamers and Garcia to make it home off of Mittleman’s hit. Padding their final score was Ano, who paved the way home for McAdams and Mittleman.
A twelve-run deficit proved insurmountable for the Arabs, thus the 13-1 victory was MSJC’s.
However, despite clearly out-hitting Imperial Valley, assistant coach Mike Wolford had something to complain about in the dugout: “We’ve got some young guys on our team, and… First of all, we played well. We just need to do a better job of staying ‘locked in’. I feel like conversations were on other things, other than baseball (in the dugout). But our pitchers went out, did an outstanding job. And our offense obviously did pretty well.”
Wolford also acknowledges the Arabs’ strengths, unlike the scoreboard. “They’ve got a pretty good club! They’ve got some guys on the mound that can throw it, and they did a great job.”
The Eagles would go on to sweep the Arabs in this tournament, winning their Feb. 28 and Mar. 1 games. This sweep raises the Eagles’ record to 9-5 overall, with the Arabs settling to 3-14.