Comets suffer eighth inning collapse

Baseball team cedes five runs in closing innings to lose against De Anza College

By Jose Jimenez, Staff Writer

De Anza College baseball team scored five runs in the eighth inning to rob the Comets any chance of a late comeback during a close game on Feb. 12 at the Baseball Field.

Contra Costa College (1-5 overall) trailed 2-3 heading into the eighth inning when shortstop, turned into a relieve pitcher, Arturo Parra was summoned to warm up in the bullpen, which is plagued by injuries only five games into the 2015 season.

“I struggled to hit my spots and I made mistakes defensively,” Parra said. “I’m used to winning and now we all have to pick each other up and continue to build good chemistry to put in a complete team effort next time out.”

The Don’s (2-5 overall) late game offensive surge secured an 8-3 non-conference win against the Comet’s shallow bullpen.

Parra said the pitching staff has already lost four pitchers this season and a lot of “two-way” positions have been created to solidify the roster.

He said shortstops and third basemen have been moved around to fill-in for the injuries, but the team is so low on the depth chart that it makes substituting players, in any sticky situation, difficult.

“It’s still early in the season and even through injuries we’re giving guys a chance to pitch who haven’t pitched at all this season and see which individual can do what,” Comet head coach Marvin Webb said. “And unfortunately today (Parra) was just all over the place in that eighth inning and we couldn’t use our closer after that.”

The Comet’s took an early 1-0 lead against the Don’s when outfielder Kevin Spence rounded to home to score off a wild pitch.

CCC only committed two fielding errors throughout the game but none more detrimental than the error in the fourth inning.

Starting pitcher Christian Sadler threw to second baseman Antonio Nobriga to attempt to end the inning with double play but Nobriga could not stretch far enough to catch Sadler’s wild throw.

This allowed De Anza to bring two runners home, which brought the score to 2-1. CCC would not lead from this point on in the game.

“The second time around they adjusted and starting reaching base on singles. I started throwing more and more fastballs and they just picked up on it,” Sadler said.

Sadler pitched 6 ⅔ innings with one strikeout before being pulled after the Don’s starting pitcher Alex Martinez hit a triple to initiate the second loss of the season.

“That one hurt,” Sadler said, “It was frustrating but it’s that first pitch I was throwing that they were picking up on the entire game.”

CCC finished with seven hits and Webb said the team has to just keep working at it. “Just realize if you want to hit like you hit in high school it doesn’t work that way,” Webb said.

Two of the three Comet runs were due to errors. The first came off a wild pitch and the latter during a double steal on a Don’s missed sign.

“A lot of these guys are young and never hit at the college level before,” he said. “So this is all new. They just got to trust what the coaching staff is trying to teach (them).”

The offense was stagnant all afternoon after catcher Lawrence Duncan singled in the first and stole a base to bring a runner home.

Parra said playing shortstop and pitcher is tough but the Comet’s will best De Anza next time.

CCC’s upcoming men’s baseball game is scheduled for Feb.14 at Modesto City College at 12 p.m.