The Dons committed seven errors in Tuesdays’ 14-1 loss against the College of San Mateo Bulldogs, three of them fueling a Bulldogs’ nine-run sixth inning.
Manager Scott Hertler assures fans that although the Dons appeared sloppy on the field, they are doing all they can to tighten their game up.
“We just had trouble catching the ball, but as long as we work hard, that’s all that matters,” Hertler said. “It [the defense] has been addressed.”
Second baseman Martin Taylor had a rough time at second base, accounting for four of the seven errors, and going 0 for three at the dish. However, the loss was by no means his fault.
All 14 Bulldog runs were charged to starting pitcher Vidanage Shian. In five and two-thirds innings of work, he surrendered nine earned runs, but gave up just two walks and struck out five.
Although Shian yielded five runs before the excruciating sixth-inning, Hertler left him in because he was confident that his righty was still pitching well.
“I thought he wasn’t getting hit hard, and he was throwing strikes,” Hertler said. “The bullpen did an outstanding job, but we don’t have the luxury of having a lot [in the bullpen].”
One bright spot in the game was the Dons’ bullpen, pitching three and one-third scoreless innings of perfect baseball.
Thing looked promising for the Dons in the bottom of the second inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Bulldogs’ pitcher Daniel Chavez balked in a run, but the Dons squandered the scoring opportunity when shortstop Dalton Lopes struck out to end the inning.
That was the last big mistake Chavez made. In five and two-thirds strong innings of work, Chavez gave up just one run on three hits, while striking out seven and walking only two.
The Bulldogs made things happen with the bat and on the basepaths. College of San Mateo’s second baseman Michael Kathan stole three bases in the game and went three for five with two RBIs.
Bulldogs third baseman Cody Zimmeran also had a great day in the plate, going two for three with two RBIs. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Zimmeran put the exclamation point on the nine-run sixth inning rally with a towering home run that cleared the left-field wall.
The two Bulldog runs in the third inning were all they needed. Speedster Kathan brought in a run on an infield single, and catcher Shawn Walters laced an RBI single to left field, making the score 2-1.
For De Anza, Kevin Roeder was one of the few Dons that excelled at the plate, going two for three. His first hit was a laser beam that bounced off the pitcher Chavez’s legs, but the Bulldogs’ righty was able to continue.
The Dons are not catching many breaks on the diamond – or much of anything -- but Hertler knows that it is no excuse and not for a lack of effort. If the Dons are to succeed, they need to minimize both mental and physical errors.
“We haven’t been lucky, but you make your own luck,” Hertler said.
Hopefully, that luck will shine soon.
Video courtesy of Nick Utley/Cupertino Sports Online