The Hornets outhit the San Diego Mesa College Olympians 11 to 9 in their 11 – 3 loss on Saturday afternoon. The Olympians showed superior pitching abilities while the Hornets pitching staff failed to keep the score close.
“We made more errors than them, they scored more runs than us, … we gave them 10 free passes and we struck out 12 times,” stated Hornets Head Coach Chad Baum. “We can’t strike out and get a bunch of hits thinking that’s probably going to score a lot of runs.”
Hornets freshman starting pitcher, Taylor Pendley, had trouble early on in the game.
At the top of the second inning, Pendley gave up a single to Olympians sophomore first baseman, Jorge Martinez, a double to sophomore third baseman, Kevin Van Linge and a walk to sophomore right fielder, Kevin Mascoso to load the bases.
The next batter, sophomore catcher, Joel Escalante, grounded out to the second baseman advancing the base runners and allowing Martinez to score from third, putting the Olympians ahead 1 – 0.
The next Olympians batter, freshman center fielder Noah Dull, laid down a sacrifice bunt to the first baseman driving in Van Linge from third base extending the lead to 2 – 0 over the Hornets. Pendley was able to get Olympians sophomore second baseman, Dane Kelsey, to ground out to the third baseman, thus ending the inning.
The Olympians continued their barrage at the top of fifth inning when Martinez belted a three-run home run over the left-field fence extending the lead to 5 – 0.
In an attempt to chip away at the intimating Olympians’ lead, the Hornets battled back at the bottom of the fifth inning. Hornets freshman shortstop, Brock Denbo lead off the inning with a walk and eventually stole second base during the next at-bat.
The next two Hornet batters would both strikeout. Hornets freshman center fielder, Elias Rios, found a way on base when he hit a routine ground ball that Olympians freshman shortstop Zach Walker couldn’t come up with. The ball rolled into left-center field allowing Rios to advance up to second base and have Denbo score from second base shortening the lead 5 – 1.
“I got to capitalize on [the error during] my last at-bat,” stated Rios. “I made a couple of adjustments and hit a line drive.”
The next Hornets batter, freshman designated hitter Jack Janes, hit a hard grounder off the chest of Olympians first baseman, Martinez. The ball rolled foul pulling Martinez off the base.
In a hasty attempt to throw the baserunner, Janes, out at first, Martinez committed a throwing error as he threw the ball past Olympians sophomore starting pitcher, Dylan Madole, who was covering first base.
Janes was able to advance to second base on the bad throw while Rios rounded the bases and scored diminishing the Olympians lead to 5 – 2. Hornets freshman Ryan Lamastra would fly out to center field to end the inning.
Walks, wild pitches and hit batters would be a thorn in the side of the Hornets bullpen during the top of the seventh inning. Hornets freshman reliever, Adam Armstrong, gave up an unearned run when a wild pitch bounced to the backstop allowing Olympians sophomore base runner, Prescott Horn, to score from third base getting back one run and putting the score at 6 -2 by the end of the top of the seventh inning.
At the bottom of the seventh, the Hornets got one run back with an RBI single to center field off the bat of Janes. The score by the end of seven innings, the Hornets scored their last run making the score 6 – 3.
The Olympians scored their last five runs in the top of the ninth inning through a combination of hit batters, defensive errors and mistake pitches that allowed multiple hits to score Olympian base runners.
The Hornets were unable to muster a ninth-inning rally and were quickly shut down by Olympians closing pitcher, Joneil Yanga, thus finalizing the San Diego Mesa victory at 11 – 3.
Olympians Assistant Coach Steve Sanchez had some positive observations about the Hornets’ performance during Saturday’s game.
“I was really impressed with the way Fullerton played,” said Sanchez. “I think they’re a top-notch program.”
Considering the way his team played, Sanchez also had a positive perspective about the actions taken by his players on the field.
“All the errors were aggressive; it doesn’t bother me at all,” he insisted. “Aggressive mistakes are perfectly fine.”
At the end of Saturday’s game, the Hornets record became 4 – 7 overall.
The Hornets next game will be Tuesday, Feb. 18, against the Chaffey College Panthers in Rancho Cucamonga at 2 p.m.