RBI hits by Cameron Bennett and Dalton Devries weren’t enough as American River College’s baseball team’s playoffs hopes took a hit with a 4-2 loss in the finale of a three game series at Sierra College Friday.
ARC’s offense struggled to score for a most of the game, unable to get on the board until the sixth inning. With the tying runs at second and third in the ninth, Alex Gaskin hit a game-ending groundout.
The defense also struggled to hold it together until key errors occurred, allowing Sierra to stay on top for good.
Starting pitcher Mikey Ramirez kept the game close, but ultimately fell in his worst start since taking Kirby Broadbent’s place in the starting rotation. Ramirez was pulled in the 5th, and ARC trailed 2-0 for most of the game.
“I mean, it could have been worse, could have lost 8-0, but I just tried to do whatever I could to keep us in the game. I didn’t have my best stuff today, you know, just do everything I could possibly to keep [the score] down,” Ramirez said.
Sierra cashed in early, scoring one run in the first after an ARC error in the infield allowed Sierra’s Jacob Faulkner to score after tagging up.
Ramirez allowed another run and walked Sierra right fielder Ethan Lidde in the third, ARC pitching coach Preston Vancil visited the mound to regroup.
“[Ramirez] had strung together two really good starts together for us this year, obviously today we wanted him to be a little bit better,” Vancil said.
“I mean for him, 3 runs over 4 ⅓, it’s not the end of the world, it wasn’t a travesty or anything like that, he just didn’t have the magic that he had last couple weeks.”
Although ARC managed six hits it struggled to find the big hit, leaving six on base.
Ramirez kept the game within striking distance, but Sierra’s offense got behind starting pitcher Jacob Cobb-Adams, who went 5 ⅔ innings before being pulled.
Second baseman Steve Mercado walked, and first baseman Dalton Devries smacked a two out RBI single to right field that got ARC on the board.
ARC stranded two men in the sixth, but would score another run on a two out single by shortstop Cameron Bennett.
“It kind of came down to one pitch, and we misplayed one ball in the outfield. We catch that ball, and then the single right behind it, and then its first and second with two outs, and we get a chance to get out of the inning,” Vancil said.
Vancil liked his team’s effort, but said the mistakes were too much to overcome.
“So that’s what it came down to, I think defensively we played really well, we made a handful of mistakes; the problem is that the big mistakes is what really did us in today.”
ARC pulled Ramirez and brought in Christian Savage in the top of the sixth inning, who allowed one run over 2 ⅓.
The loss makes the last three games critical for ARC’s playoff push, as they must win out to remain in the hunt. They face Diablo Valley College (8-25 overall, 5-13 conference) for the final three games.