Improved offense not enough against Sac City

Gabriel Agurcia

DVC lost a tight game to Big 8 Conference rival Sacramento City by the score of 6-4 on Thursday, April 18.

Pitcher Ben Krauth started the game off with a strikeout and groundout. A hit batter and RBI single gave Sacramento City an early 1-0 lead.

The Vikings answered right away with a one-out RBI single stung to center field by first baseman Devin Alexander.

Sacramento City regained the lead in the second inning on an RBI infield single. After a quiet bottom half for DVC, Sacramento City looked to increase their lead in the third inning. With runners at first and second, and two outs, the batter laced a single to right. The ball got to Michael Mann in a hurry, allowing him to field the ball just as the runner from second had rounded third. He tossed a one-hop strike to catcher Luke Van Holten, who applied to tag to end the top half of the inning.

DVC tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the third. Miscommunication between the shortstop and center fielder on a Nick Gavello pop up let Alexander score from second. Third baseman Ryan Kochan reached via error, then shortstop Michael Brdar drove in Gavello on a single to give DVC its first lead, 3-2.

The Vikings tacked on another run in the fifth. Mann led off with a double down the right field line, and moved to third on an Alexander single. He then scored on a fielder’s choice by the second baseman on a Gavello grounder.

Krauth had a bumpy seventh inning. After giving up a lead off double, he recorded his fifth strikeout. A single and subsequent steal of second put runners at second and third. A fielder’s choice on a ground ball allowed the runner from third to score, making it 4-3. Krauth ended the rally with his sixth K of the game.

Cameron Rowland relieved Krauth in the eigth. With two outs and a runner on second, a single was sent Mann’s way in right field once again. This time Mann seemed to rush his approach, botching the play and giving the runner the ability to tie the game 4-4.

DVC looked poised to take the advantage right back. Brdar got a one-out single and advanced to third on a pinch hit single by Davis Strong. Brdar was thrown out at home on a suicide squeeze attempt from second baseman Michael Lanter. However there were still men on first and second with two outs. Center fielder Athan Koutsouinas walked to load the bases, but an anxious Marquis Cox struck out to end the inning.

Marcos Martinez took the mound for Rowland in the ninth, starting shaky with a walk and single. Coach Dan Luquet opted for Cody Ball. Ball recorded two outs without much issue, but then loaded the bases and gave up a two-run double, giving Sac City a 6-4 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Coach Luquet liked the life he saw from his offense, exhibited by 11 hits, three of which came from a slump-breaking Devin Alexander. “His (starting pitcher) fastball was pretty straight, so I was just trying to jump on the first fastball I see, and I got a hold of a couple,” he said. However, coach Luquet was still disappointed with the blown opportunities. “We don’t get the two-out hit normally,” he stated.

Aside from a lack of clutch hitting, several coaches and players felt slighted by the umpires, none more so than the guys behind the plate. “He was definitely squeezing our pitchers a little bit, with their off-speed and everything. They’d throw a pearl and he just wouldn’t call it,” said starting catcher Luke Van Holten.”

Back-up catcher Michael Leal felt quite strongly about the situation. “It’s been the whole year. Every game we’ve been getting screwed, pretty much, by the umpires,” he said. “I don’t think they have as much respect (for our coaching staff).”

DVC’s next and final home game is Tuesday, April 23 against Consumnes River.