DVC’s late inning rally falls short

Gabriel Agurcia

The Vikings lost a heartbreaker to conference rival Modesto on Tuesday, April 2, going down 3-4.

Starting pitcher Cameron Rowland got off to a solid start, striking out two of the first three batters he faced. In the bottom of the inning, DVC got men on first and second with two outs, but a flyout ended the chance.

Modesto put up the first run of the game in the third inning. With one out and runners at the corners, an RBI groundout drove in the runner from third. But DVC answered immediately in the bottom half. Davis Strong struck a one-out single, stole second, and was driven in by a Michael Mann single. The game evened up at 1-1.

Modesto scored their second run, and unearned one, in the fourth. With one out and men at first and second, Ryan Kochan fielded the ball at third and tossed it to Michael Lanter at second. Lanter threw an off-target one-hopper to Devin Alexander at first, allowing the runner from second to reach home.

Once again, the Vikings countered hastily. With Michael Brdar at second and two outs, Lanter

appeased his error in the top half, stroking an RBI triple to right field. Athan Koutsoubinas followed with an RBI single, giving DVC a 3-2 lead.

Modesto regained the lead in the sixth inning. Ricky Delgado, who’d relieved Rowland in the fifth due to a blister, hit the first batter and gave up a single. A sac bunt moved each runner a base and an RBI groundout advanced each runner again, tying the game 3-3 and leaving a runner at third with two outs. A subsequent single drove in the man from third, forcing coach Dan Luquet to pull Delgado in favor of Ronnie LaCour.

Lacour kept Modesto off the scoreboard for the remaining 3 1/3 innings, striking out four in the process.

DVC’s best opportunity to tie or win came in the bottom of the ninth. Alexander led off the inning getting hit by a pitch. Marquis Cox pinch ran for him, stealing second just a few pitches later. A Brdar groundout moved Cox to third, but he remained stranded just 90 feet from home plate, and Modesto took the game 3-4.

Left fielder Nick Gavello, visibly upset with the outcome, said, “We hit the ball better, but we just can’t get those clutch hits.” He was optimistic however, stating, “We’ll turn it around.”

Coach Luquet’s review of this game was closely related to those of the last several games, and most of the season. His team is getting men on base, but squandering most of the opportunities.

But his attention was focused on this week, where they play Modesto twice more. “They’re in the middle of the pack in conference, and we have to beat ‘em two-out-of-three. We lost this first one, so we need the next two.”

DVC plays Modesto at home again on Thursday, April 4.