Underachieving offense continues to plague DVC

Gabriel Agurcia

The Vikings were defeated by the Big 8 conference’s top team for the second time in a week, losing to highly ranked Santa Rosa Junior College 4-1 on Thursday, March 28.

Santa Rosa jumped on DVC starting pitcher Ben Krauth in the top of the first, with a two-out RBI single, scoring the game’s first run.

DVC evened things up in the fourth inning. Michael Mann led off with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball, and consecutive walks by Devin Alexander and Tyler Basker loaded the bases. An RBI grounder by Michael Brdar scored Mann from third.

Krauth had his abilities tested in the fifth. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with just one out. Krauth battled for his third strikeout, then threw several pitches before inducing a popout to shortstop, ending Santa Rosa’s threat without allowing a run.

DVC put together it’s best scoring opportunity in the sixth. Nick Gavello got hit by a pitch to start the inning and Basker slid into first on a botched dribbler by the pitcher. With two outs, Leal lined a pitched to left field that would seemingly score Gavello and give DVC it’s first lead. But Gavello was gunned down at home plate, leaving the game tied 1-1.

Santa Rosa regained the lead in the eighth. With runners at the corners, a pitch skipped by Leal to the backstop, allowing each runner to advance a base and giving Santa Rosa a 1-2 advantage. Krauth recorded his fifth strikeout of the game to prevent any more damage.

Ricky Delgado relieved Krauth in the ninth, giving up two runs on a pair of 2-out RBI singles. DVC strung together one last opportunity in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back singles by Brdar and Leal painted a promising start. Athan Koutsoubinas grounded out for the second out, but both runners advanced a base, leaving two men in scoring position. However, Cameron Rowland struck out to end the game, giving Santa Rosa the 1-4 victory.

Krauth has been the recipient of inconsistent offensive support, but he shrugs it off. “There’s nothing I can really do about it. I just go out there, do my job, and cheer my guys on from the dugout.”

Santa Rosa’s clutch hitting with runners in scoring position was the major difference in the game, which is something that has eluded DVC for most of this season.

“When the game’s on the line, someone’s gotta come through. No one has this year,” right fielder Davis Strong said.

Coach Dan Luquet echoed Strong’s comments, purely stating, “There’s a time when someone’s gotta step up. Someone has to drive in a run.”

DVC hosts Modesto twice next week: Tuesday, April 2 and Thursday, April 4.