By Anthony J. Fusaro
Despite scoring 10 runs, another poor pitching performance was the demise for City College baseball, as the Rams fall to 0-6-1 on the season with a 13-10 home loss to the Napa Valley Storm on Feb. 14.
“We’ve got to learn how to pitch,” Head Coach John Vanoncini said after the game.
Pitching has been the glaring weakness early on for the Rams, who post an 8.56 ERA to this point in the season, which ranks 3rd worst in the state.
Napa jumped out to an early lead in the game, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning.
The Rams answered, and after scoring one run in the first and two in the second they held a 3-2 lead heading into the third inning.
The game continued in a ping-pong style with the teams going back and forth on offense, continually matching each other’s output.
The tide changed, however, in the 6th inning. With only one out and the Rams leading 7-6, a hit batter loaded the bases for Napa’s three and four hitters in the line-up. Rams pitcher Chris Brown struck out the first batter, but surrendered a two strike hit to center field by the next, resulting in a bases clearing triple which put Napa ahead 9-7.
The Storm then continued to pull away, adding three more runs in the 7th.
City College loaded the bases with no outs in the 8th inning and scored three runs, but it was not enough as Napa Valley held on to win 13-10.
“We played well, but our pitching kind of collapsed,” Catcher Christian Murphy said after the game.
Coach Vanoncini felt his team hit well, but didn’t hesitate to point to pitching as the team’s weakness and cause for early struggles.
The pitching has been horrendous for the Rams, who have yet to hold a team under 7 runs. Statistically, City College has one of the worst pitching staffs in the state, with opposing teams hitting a remarkable .487 against them so far this season.
The silver lining for the Rams is that their lineup is swinging the bat well. They’re leading the Golden Gate Conference in runs scored and averaging 5.7 runs per game.
The offense is led by lead-off man Tony Castellanos and second hitter Anthony Lazalde. Castellanos is hitting .398 this season, reaching base in nearly half of his at-bats and Lazalde is even hotter, posting a .462 average thus far.
The Rams look to turn things around with one remaining pre-season series against Gavilan and open conference play February 28th at Mission College.