American River College right fielder Alex Gaskin flied out to center field to end Saturday’s game in a 5-4 loss for ARC, ending a comeback bid that saw the tying run on third base and the winning run on first after shortstop Cameron Bennett brought in two runs on a double down the left field line earlier in the inning.
It was ARC’s fourth straight loss and dropped the team back under .500 for the season (10-11 overall, 2-4 conference), while San Joaquin Delta College (20-0 overall, 6-0 conference) extended its perfect season and swept its second straight conference series.
Prior to Bennett’s two-run double in the ninth, Colton Freeman hit a shot that deflected off the glove of SJDC third baseman Kaelan Crisosto and into left field.
James Boitano, who led off the inning reaching base after being hit by a pitch, rounded third and was called out at the plate despite a sliding attempt, a call which drew ire from the ARC dugout and prompted head coach Doug Jumelet to come out and argue the play.
Bennett reached third base after the double on an error, and the winning run was put on after second baseman Steve Mercado walked before Gaskin’s game-ending flyout.
Gaskin went 2-5 from the plate in the game, joining designated hitter Dalton Devries as the only ARC players to have multi-hit games. ARC totaled seven hits in the contest.
In the fourth inning, ARC left fielder Jimmy Lunardelli was hit by a pitch in the left forearm area, and spent about five minutes being checked on by Jumelet and ARC’s trainers.
Lunardelli stayed in the game and took his base, but was replaced in the field in the top of the fifth by Boitano.
It was not immediately clear of the severity of Lunardelli’s injury.
ARC starting pitcher Tommy Balmain (3-2) lasted only four innings, and was pulled in the fifth after allowing the bases loaded with nobody out.
Balmain gave up five runs, two earned, despite only allowing three hits, but walked five.
SJDC scored three runs in the fifth, all charged to Balmain despite relief pitcher Kyle Grant being on the mound for the latter two.
SJDC’s Ricky Delgado (5-0) went 6 ⅓, being pulled after giving up two runs on four hits while amassing nine strikeouts.
ARC plays Cosumnes River College this week in a three game series, starting with a game today at CRC at 2:30 p.m.
CRC has dropped off from its hot overall start (12-9), struggling so far in conference play (2-4).
Jumelet declined to comment on the game and did not make players available for interviews.