Olympians comeback effort falls short as they drop game 1 to Irvine Valley College 10-9


Ryelee Belgarde

Zach Mayhew pitching to Irvine Valley’s batter.

Ryelee Belgarde, Social Media Editor

During the gloomy Tuesday, Feb. 14, the Mesa College Olympians faced the Irvine Valley Lasers. The final score was Mesa College 9 and Irvine Valley 10.

The scoring started with Irvine third baseman Kevin James swatting a laser to straight away center in the top of the second inning for a two run home run. The following inning, Shane Stafford provided more insurance to the Lasers lead with a three run shot of his own.

The Olympians understood they were far from out of the fight.

Right fielder Danny Yanez put the offense on the board to start the bottom half of the third inning with a no doubt two run home run belted to deep right for his first home run of the year. The Olympians recovered for three runs of their own in the bottom half, bringing the deficit to two.

In the top of the fifth inning, star third baseman Isaiah Gomez appeared to have dislocated his shoulder diving for a sharply hit ground ball to his left. Tyler King served as his replacement at third for that moment of the game. 

Gomez is looking to receive an MRI on his shoulder to rule out any possible tears.

Irvine continued to add-on to their lead with four more runs over the course of the sixth and seventh inning.

The Olympians were looking to muster some runs together in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases juiced. Mesa ran into some unfortunate luck as a hard hit line drive was snared by the pitcher to stop the damage. 

“Let’s…go!” Sammy Murphy, Irvine’s pitcher, shouts in excitement as he walks off the mound through six quality innings pitched. 

In the top of the eighth inning, Irvine’s head coach was ejected from the game for arguing a foul-tip strike three call. The coach believed the ball skimmed his batters helmet, but the umpire claimed the ball to have hit the bat. Either way, there’s zero tolerance for arguing balls and strikes. 

With the emotions all over the place, the Olympians were looking to capitalize. In a huge eighth inning rally, Mesa had scratched back at the 9-4 score they were previously staring at and managed to put the tying run in scoring position at second base. That brought up starting second baseman Nick Husovsky to the dish – and he delivered. On a line drive single to the opposite field, Yanez was able to score the tying run to make the score even a piece at nine.

The Olympians celebrating their tie against the Lasers. (Ryelee Belgarde)

Unfortunately, Mesa couldn’t prevail for the win as they allowed the go ahead run to come across in the top half of the ninth. The Olympians fell to the Lasers by a final of 10-9. 

Head coach, Jake Portugal, believes there is plenty of room to correct the fundamentals. “The mistakes that we’ve been making [like] handing the opponent’s runs continue to happen, but we know what we need to fix”.

Starting pitcher Andrew Gauna believes that they learned they have the drive to be a competitive team. Through the highs and lows of the game, he is looking for the team to stay engaged at every moment. 

Gauna states, “The lack of focus [for the entirety of] all nine innings wasn’t there, keeping that same energy at every single pitch of the game is what’s going to help us succeed over everybody.”

Anthony Mezzacappa continued his strong start to the season with another scoreless frame. Mezzacappa has notched 6.2 scoreless innings to begin the season. 

Right fielder Danny Yanez picked up two hits, including a two run home run, as well as four runs batted in.

Starting second baseman, who later moved to third base, Nick Husovsky drove across two RBIs along with two hits to raise his batting average to .361. 

Catcher Cayden Hunting reached base three times and scored each time, plus one RBI. 

The Olympians will hit the road and travel to Irvine Valley College for a rematch of Tuesday’s action on Thursday, Feb. 16.