A four-run first inning gave Cosumnes River College immediate control in its 10-3 win at American River College Thursday, as it jumped on ARC starting pitcher Kirby Broadbent (2-6, 10.04 ERA) for seven runs on 10 hits in the first three innings before Broadbent was removed from the game.
It was ARC’s sixth straight loss after starting conference play 2-0 and the team has fallen into a tie with Sacramento City College (10-13 overall, 2-6 conference) for last place in the Big 8 Conference.
The game had a very similar path to the teams’ matchup Tuesday, in which Cosumnes defeated ARC 10-4 after scoring six runs against ARC’s Matt Gunter in the first two innings.
Cosumnes starting pitcher Matt Richardson (3-1, 4.28 ERA) was solid, scattering five hits over six shutout innings while striking out six.
ARC’s offense struggled mightily once again to find a rhythm, not scoring its first run until the seventh inning on an RBI groundout by second baseman Steven Mercado.
The team scored two more in the eighth on a Mercado single and a bases loaded walk to right fielder Alex Gaskin, but never showed signs of breaking out of the funk.
Broadbent, who’s been struggling severely with the bat as well as on the mound after an incredible start to the season, left the bases loaded after a flyout to left.
ARC’s biggest problem lately on offense has been hitting with runners on, and the trend continued Thursday as it left a whopping 15 runners stranded.
Prior to Mercado’s RBI in the seventh, ARC had managed only four hits on and six total base runners.
The team’s best early chance to score came in the fourth inning, but was undone by poor baserunning.
Catcher Brian Babcock had reached on an error by Cosumnes second baseman Trevor Ray, and was on his way to third after a seeing-eye single by shortstop Cameron Bennett.
Ray had trouble fielding the ball, and made a desperation throw to third base from his knees after gaining control.
Babcock just beat Ray’s throw, but slightly over slid the bag and was called out by umpire Josh Gottlieb as Cosumnes third baseman Devin Pettengill held the tag.
Mercado followed Bennett and dropped in a single to shallow center field that left runners on the corners, but the inning ended when right fielder Alex Gaskin struck out.
ARC is looking to avoid being swept in a second straight conference series with Saturday’s finale of the three game set at Cosumnes on Saturday at 1 p.m.
ARC head coach Doug Jumelet declined to comment on the game and did not make players available for interviews.