CUPERTINO -- The Monterey Peninsula Lobos did not beat the De Anza Dons – the Dons beat themselves.
The Dons led 5-1 after the fourth inning, and then 6-3 after six innings, but the Lobo hits kept on coming in the later innings. The Dons’ brain lapses and missed opportunities throughout the game complicated matters further.
The Dons’ home opener started shaky for De Anza in the top of the first inning. The starting pitcher, Mason Sperakos, balked twice in the inning, once with a runner at first (who reached on an error by third baseman Kevin Roeder) and then again with runners on first and second.
With runners at second and third with one out after the balk, the Lobos capitalized on Roeder’s mistake. Chris Untereiner hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Caio Errico and giving the Lobos an early 1-0 edge.
Despite the Dons giving up four walks as they approached the bottom of the fourth inning, they still held the Lobos hitless and only trailed 1-0. Then, De Anza erupted.
The Dons scored five times in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 5-1 lead. RBI singles by right fielder Victor Barron, catcher Gary Foster, and a bases-loaded walk by first baseman Rob Garrison fueled the rally. The scoring capped off with a bases-loaded two-run double by center fielder Will Gibson.
The Lobos trimmed De Anza’s lead to 5-3, after first baseman Rob Garrison’s throwing error sparked a two-run sixth-inning rally. Had Garrison not committed the defensive miscue, pitcher Brian Fischer’s double-play ball two batters later would have ended the inning with no runs scored.
The Dons tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Monterey Peninsula pitcher Corbin O’Reilly hit Taylor Martin with the bases loaded, forcing in a run and widening the Don lead to 6-3.
Then, in the top of the seventh, it was the Lobos’ turn to erupt
Another fielding error by Roeder loaded the bases with one out. After a run came in on an RBI single by the Lobos’ first baseman Jeremy Green, center-fielder Matt Rosa (who went two for five) delivered a clutch two-run game-tying single, knotting the game up at 6. With two outs and runners on second and third, right-handed pitcher Lorenzo Ojeda threw a wild pitch that brought in the Lobos’ tie-breaking run.
The Dons blew scoring chances in the late innings. With the Lobos leading 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Kai Washington led off with a single but was picked off trying to steal second base.
The Dons tried to rally once more in the bottom of the ninth inning. After left fielder Nathan Kadlecek walked to lead off the frame, a wild pitch advanced him to second.
The next batter, pinch hitter Mike Oram, attempted to bunt Kadlecek over to third. Although he had three decent pitches to bunt at, Oram took strike three on the outside corner at the belt.
The rest of the inning was not much better for the Dons. Right-handed hurler Caio Errico, who moved over from shortstop, ended the game and earned the save by striking out the side looking.
The Dons had plenty of chances to score but could not come through in the late innings. They left 10 men on base in the game.
The Lobos’ Corbin O’Reilly earned the win, pitching two and one-third plus innings while giving up one run on four hits.
The Dons’ Lorenzo Ojeda was tagged with the loss, lasting one inning and surrendering four runs on four hits. De Anza used nine pitchers in the game and walked a combined eight batters.
On Thursday, the Dons head to Monterey to take on these same Lobos. If they want to see a better result, they must clean up their game and do the little things right.
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