‘Stangs lose extra inning thriller

LMC comes up short in battle against Laney.


Joseph Giddings

Mustang catcher Yuto Sato practices catching.

Griffin Smith, Staff Writer

The Los Medanos College Mustangs took the field against the Laney College Eagles April 28 in the final home game of the regular season. In an extra-inning shootout thriller the Mustangs came up short 7-6. 

LMC went into the game having just beat Laney on their own turf 4-3 and holding the No. 1 spot in Bay Valley Conference standings with Marin College just one game back. The series was the last of the regular season and had big playoff implications for the team.

Mustangs Head Coach Anthony D’Albora emphasized how this series is no different from any of the others, and said that the team’s approach remains the same.

“We have to find a way to win the week, and it won’t be done any different than before.” D’Albora said. “We need to execute the routine in everything we do, and we need to challenge ourselves to compete for the next pitch and each pitch as best we can.”

LMC started off hot offensively, scoring a run in each of the first two innings with an RBI groundout from first baseman Casey Vogan and an RBI double from shortstop Colton Trudeau. 

The pitching for the Mustangs also started out strong, allowing Laney only two runs through six innings. Jack Saylor, No. 27, was the starter for LMC, pitching only two innings and allowing one earned run. Xavier Nelson, No.16, went in as relief, pitching four solid innings with five strikeouts and one earned run. 

Laney managed to put up another couple runs, one in the seventh inning and one in the eighth, while also preventing the Mustangs from scoring between the third and eighth innings. The score stood at 4-2 entering the bottom of the ninth. 

In a do-or-die situation, the Mustangs came through thanks to an RBI single by outfielder Parker Judy, No. 22, and an RBI double by catcher Yuto Sato. Although LMC tied up the game in the ninth, they had a golden opportunity to win the game.

But Judy was called out stealing second in a controversial call. Shortly after, Trudeau hit a double that would’ve caused the winning run to score.

“It was pretty terrible, especially considering how important the play was.” Judy said. “But we had our chances after and didn’t get it done.”

Entering extra innings Jake Guardiancic, No. 35, took the mound in an attempt to close the game out. With the recently added extra innings runner rule, a base runner starts on second base. Even with this rule, Guardiancic pitched four innings, striking out three and allowing three runs.

Neither team was able to score in the 10th. However, both sides exchanged runs in the 11th and 12th innings, knotting the score at 6-6 going into the 13th. Once again, the Eagles were able to score, putting pressure on the Mustangs, down by one in the bottom of the 13th.

LMC eventually worked the bases loaded with two outs. In a position where a base hit would win the game, catcher Sato came up to bat. After fighting to a full count Sato struck out and the Eagles stormed the field with the final score Laney 7, LMC 6.

Designated hitter Bubba Rocha, No. 11, talked about what this loss means in the playoff picture with the season coming to a quick end.

“This loss against Laney has me fired up a little extra now because now we need to win our next game at their home field.” Rocha said. “If we win this next game our playoff hopes will be set because we will be set as a nice seed in the bracket.”

The Mustangs moved on to a must-win game April 29 at Laney College with a record of 15-5 in conference and 25-14 overall.

“Hopefully this group keeps working hard to compete for and with each other on every pitch.” D’Albora said. “I’m excited to watch them work to win the week and continue to move on to the next pitch from there.”