07/07/2016 11:08 AM
Pasadena, CA --- The Arroyo Seco Sentinels were hoping to put an end to their losing streak and turn their dreams into reality but their efforts were thwarted after the Sentinels’ bullpen allowed the go-ahead run in the top of the twelfth inning leading to a loss 4-3.
Grant Vogenthaler (1-0) did not receive a decision despite his great contribution of seven innings allowing just one run. The Riptide’s Dylan Kelly earned the victory.
In the first inning, McEvoy showed range by fielding a groundball from the shortstop position and firing a throw to throw out Portaro. Vogenthaler looked confident on the mound going seven innings allowing three hits and one unearned run.
In the third inning, Manager Chevrier’s signature offense of good back-to-back hitting allowed the Sentinels to draw the first blood giving them a one nothing lead.
In the fourth inning, Chris Colarossi saved Vogenthaler by making a running catch at the warning track before collapsing and making the final out.
Although Vogenthaler got into trouble in the fifth inning, a ground ball double play to third base came to the rescue. In the latter half of the inning, Ross doubled with two outs allowing McKinnon to score giving the Sentinels a 2-0 lead.
Vogenthaler’s fastball was precise and effective against the next three hitters he faced, retiring the side on only six pitches, creating a feeling that the Sentinels would shut out the Riptide.
Manager Chevrier pointed out that his pitching was the main reason why his team nearly walked away with a victory.
“To start it off, Grant definitely did an excellent job going seven innings giving up one unearned run. He did his job. Offensively, the other team had a couple of good arms out there and we were able to manage to scratch across three runs,” said Chevrier.
The Sentinels would get into trouble in the seventh inning, as a passed ball strikeout allowed JJ Carr to reach safely followed by an error by McKinnon on his throw to second base for the force play and a bunt that lead to an infield hit. Vogenthaler would pitch to contact and allow one run to score off a comebacker to the mound, choosing to get the base runner out at first rather than take his chances at home plate.
Sentinels relief pitching met expectations as Cal Christianson pitched a scoreless inning and striking out Denny for the final out of the inning.
In the eighth inning, the Saints loaded the bases with a single by Colarossi, walk by Abernathy and single up the middle by Martinez who was pinch hitting for DeRaad. On the second pitch that went into the dirt, Colarossi nearly took off from third base to score but then wisely retreated. The Sentinels scored on a fluke play as Plunkett tried to throw out Colarossi on third base but accidentally plunked him in the helmet allowing him to score, giving the Sentinels a 3-1 lead.
The ninth inning was the Riptides last chance to make a showing of life late in the game. As the inning developed, it looked as though the Riptide would rally. Carr hit a hard ground ball that deflected off of Quintanar and landed in the shortstop’s zone, allowing Carr to reach. Hazard then launched a double that landed between Colarossi and Ross, where there were runners on second and third base with no outs and the tying run in scoring position and the winning run at the plate.
Quintanar delivered a fastball above Mausser’s glove and into the backstop allowing a run to score, making the score 3-2. Quintanar responded with brute force striking out Altavilla.
Chevier accounted for his team’s late-game implosion that made the final three outs the most difficult in the game.
“Going into that last inning there were three outs away from getting a victory, but we were unable to close the door. We get a lead off hit, and then we get a missed fly ball that could have been lost in the lights or was dropped because of a bad read then puts us in a situation where it is first and second and they’re able to bunt those guys over and manufacture two runs and keep the game going. It’s a little disappointing,” Chevrier said.
Chevrier sees a correlation to the a college program’s strict limitations on freshman and sophomore players as holding his team back.
“It’s a little disappointing but it’s part of the game. In summer baseball you don’t have guys with specific roles like you do in college or professional or even high school where you have five starting pitchers, set-up men and long relief and a closer. We were just giving everyone an opportunity shuffling them in and out of there. For today we weren’t able to find the recipe to be able to shut the door,” Chevrier said.
The bottom of the ninth inning created a game-winning situation which seemed likely when McEvoy reached on an infield single after hitting a ground ball to the shortstop who bobbled the ball, and then reaching second base on a passed ball. But then McKinnon struck out chasing a high fastball, for the second out of the inning. Next at-bat was Jack Ross who was ahead in the count but then evening the count. But on the next pitch, Ross dashed Sentinels’ hopes by striking out.
Great defensive play seemed to promise that victory was nearing closer when McEvoy made a long throw that beat Kelley at first base. Quintanar would retire the side and redeem himself. But as it happened the Sentinels could not muscle a run making two outs with a ground ball to the third baseman and fly out. Fouling off ball after ball, Hoff would enter a full count, but then fly out to Carr in centerfield, sending the game into the eleventh inning.
The eleventh inning did not start auspiciously with an infield hit and single that grazed Quintanar and went threw his legs leading to a situation where runners were one first and second and no outs, a perfect time to bunt. Which is exactly what the Riptide did allowing runners to advance with the go-ahead run able to score on a sacrifice fly. A walk signaled an omen that created a bases loaded situation with only one out. The Sentinels were able to complete a ground out double play creating a clean slate possible walk-off win scenario. The Dylan Kelly had no trouble retiring the Sentinels in order leading the managers to conference and decide whether to have the game called as a tie.
Chevrier was of the belief that continuing the game would help his players build character.
“These kids are out here because they want to play baseball and get better. We definitely don’t want to put anyone in a situation to get hurt. They threw a position player. But there have been plenty of times throughout the season that we have had to throw position players. You’re playing six games per week. A lot of these guys are on pitch counts coming back from school and innings limits whatever it may be and they have likely run into situations where they probably played four games this week like we have and are little bit shy on arms. But we wanted to fight through it to give our guys an opportunity, just unfortunately we weren’t able to come out on the winning end tonight,” Chevrier said.
The go ahead run for the Riptide occurred with the pitcher and catcher Dylan Kelly reached home on a hard-hit ground ball caroming off the third base bag, giving the Riptide a 4-3 lead with two outs.