The Los Medanos College Mustangs baseball team came out on top in the second game of their series against Diablo Valley College Friday, Feb. 19. After losing a close game in extra innings 2-4, Los Medanos won 7-1.
Starting pitcher Mike Alexander held his team high with a strong seven innings dealing seven strikeouts and only six hits. Pitcher Jake Brandt would come in during the eighth inning and hand out two more strikeouts totaling nine for the game.
LMC would quickly find their way on the board in the top of the first inning when outfielder Jon Allen stole home on a passed ball. DVC would not be able to answer back to the one run for the next couple of innings as the Mustang’s defense would shut them down.
Shortstop Jeremiah Francis and second baseman Jon Pluth would find their way into scoring positions during the top of the fourth right before Allen was back up to bat and scored Francis on an RBI double. Pluth would soon find his way home after a sacrifice fly from outfielder Jared Ambuehl, 3-0.
Both teams remained at a standstill, able to reach the bases but produce no runs until the top of the sixth inning where a sacrifice bunt would have Pluth once again scoring, this time on an error from the Vikings. DVC would imitate the idea of bunting and score their only run of the game on a suicide bunt, 4-1.
Tension between the inter-district rivalry would boil over during the seventh inning as first baseman Jason Kreske took a hard pitch to the back of the neck while he tried avoiding being hit. Soon after, he took his free 90 and was able to score after Francis doubled to right center, 5-1.
DVC’s third baseman was ejected before the start of the eighth inning, and LMC decided it was time to put the final nail in the coffin. With bases loaded in the top of the eighth, third baseman Tony Self had an RBI single to score two of the base runners, ending the game 7-1.
Mustang’s head coach Anthony D’Albora was pleased with the performance of his team during both of the DVC games, and noted that the quality at bats during this game was one of the keys to taking home the win.
“We know at our best we are a team capable of really executing in the routine. Making routine plays defensively, executing in the strike zone and stacking quality at bats,” said D’Albora.
Outfielder Jake Hom, who is currently tied with Allen for 4th place in Northern California and 1st in their conference with most stolen bases (seven) also added that the change in attitude was one of the biggest differences between the two games.
“Personally I think it was just our mindset and mentality going into the second game,” said Hom. “The first game we were excited and fired up because it was DVC, but there was so much more that we could have reached during that game and when we went into that second game at DVC, our intensity was doubled and it showed how it affected us in coming out with a win.”
The work isn’t over the team however. D’Albora sees it as just the beginning of a long, bright road ahead of the boys.
“Now we get back to work at getting a little better each and every day and continuing to compete moving forward,” said D’Albora.