06/22/2017 11:00 PM
Henry Rounds | Arroyo Seco Baseball Insider
(Pasadena, CA) Arroyo Seco (7-9) used a clutch bullpen effort, late inning heroics, and an unparalleled will to win to come from behind and take the second game of the two game series against the Orange County Surf (7-11) by a score of 7-6 late Thursday night at Brookside Park.
The Sentinels won their road tilt against the Surf comfortably by a score of 6-4, but this time it took six unanswered runs and extra innings to send Orange County home with the loss. Arroyo Seco starter Jerry Murray pitched well but could not finish innings cleanly, giving up runs with two outs in the first and third innings to spot the Surf a 4-0 lead. When called into action in the fifth inning, the bullpen rose to the challenge again this season, with James Giambalvo, Garrett Hill, and Patrick Pena combining for six innings of two run ball.
After Arroyo Seco was held without a hit for the first four innings, the Sentinels started to grind out at bats and look for ways to consistently attack the Surf bullpen. Johnny Malott and Darron Teson lead off the bottom of the fifth inning with singles, with a throwing error later scoring Johnny Malott to get the Saints on the board. The next inning, Arroyo Seco continued to work at bats, loading the bases and coming away with two more runs after a Johnny Malott single and a Darron Teson walk made it a 4-3 game. When Johnny Malott singled and Darron Teson walked to give the Sentinels a 6-4 lead going into the eighth inning, the game appeared to be in hand, but Patrick Pena, who was pitching out of the bullpen for the first time all season gave the Surf two runs on a triple and single to the tie game at 6. Pena however, struck out back to back batters with one out in the eighth inning to strand the go ahead Surf run at third, and followed up with two additional scoreless innings, finishing with six strikeouts over three innings and earning the win.
With the game tied at 6 and going into extra innings, an 0-4 Matt Colomes lead off and saved his best for last, racing around the bases to reach third on a towering fly ball that one-hopped the wall. Jason Ajamian followed up with a chopper to short that allowed Colomes to score without a throw, and the on-field celebration began.
RF, Matt Colomes:
On what he was thinking during his at bat that was the winning run: “I was just trying to get a pitch to hit. He went away first pitch so I knew he was either going to come in with something up and in, or with something down and soft, like a changeup or something. I got my fastball up and in, I got my hands through, and you saw what I did, so the results came.”
Did you think you were going to third off the bat? “Honestly I thought I hit it out, but I was running hard the whole way, and I saw he was struggling, and decided to take a chance and go three.”
1B, Jason Ajamian:
On his mentality coming to the plate with the winning run at third and no outs: "Going in I had a couple rough at bats earlier in the day, so I wanted to really just shorten things up and just get the ball in play and score that run because that’s all that mattered really. Didn’t really focus on getting that base hit, just purely just to do a job.”
Head Coach, Justin Togeas:
On if he ever lost confidence in Patrick Pena after he gave up two runs to tie the game: “This is the first time he’s come out of the pen this season, so different situation there. I think we just got the lead, so he might have been a little amped up. Just a new situation for him. After that inning he settled down and didn’t give up another run.”
On if he has gotten used to rallying from behind all season long: "Yeah, at this point we have been very up and down, and like what I just told the guys in the meeting, the truth is we’ve only played a fraction of our conference games. All four games this week have been non-conference, we want to win the games obviously, but it’s more about getting your work in, and the season really starts tomorrow against the Force because you have a whole string of conference games, you do well there, and you find yourself in the playoffs.”
RHP, Patrick Pena
On what he was feeling coming out of the bullpen for the first time to pitch with the lead: “Obviously you want to get the win, you want to hold them. Giving up those little hits were super frustrating but you gotta come back, hit the zone as often as you can and get outs. I was pumped man, first time out of the pen, I was looking forward to it.”
On what was working tonight that allowed him to strike out six batters over three innings: “Fastball, pounding the zone with the fastball, hitting my spots really. It seemed to be working and overpowering a lot of guys, so I just stuck to what worked, and it was pretty effective.”
Next Up: The Sentinels play their fifth game in as many days as Arroyo Seco travels to San Diego for a SCCBL matchup against the Force at 5:00 p.m.