BASEBALL: Cougars climb out of four-run hole to beat Seaside, 6-5

 

CHS chipped away with a three-run bottom of the second, and
single runs in the third and fourth, overcoming the sluggish start
to take a 6-5 decision over the Spartans in Monterey Bay League
action.
Manager Ryan Dequin wasn’t sure which Christopher High baseball team he was going to get against Seaside on Wednesday.

“The way we came out today, I was kind of nervous. We came out just walking around,” Dequin said. “And we took a lazy pregame as well.”

It took an inning-and-a-half, and a 4-0 deficit, for the Cougars to sort themselves out. But better late than never.

CHS chipped away with a three-run bottom of the second, and single runs in the third and fourth, overcoming the sluggish start to take a 6-5 decision over the Spartans in Monterey Bay League action.

with the tying run on third base, starting pitcher Brandon Irby, who settled into a comfortable rhythm after allowing the four runs through two, induced a two-out ground ball to Kevin Willard at shortstop to record the final out.

“They got me pretty good those first two innings,” Irby said. “My infield and outfield picked me up after that.”

The Cougars recorded 11-of-11 ground ball outs.

The Spartans first three batters of the ball game, Ricky Lawerence, Max Ursey and David DiMaggio, reached on three consecutive singles. All later scored as Seaside jumped out to the 3-0 lead.

The Cougars threatened in their half of the first, working three straight walks and a hit batsmen. But a pickoff and an inning-ending double play thwarted that chance.

Down 4-0 into the bottom of the second, the Cougars manufactured three runs, using an infield hit, a sacrifice fly and a Spartans’ error.

“We got into them and told them to get one back at a time,” Dequin said.

Patrick Valdez chased home Jose Chavez, who had the hit, with a sac fly to center to get the Cougars on the board. Still, with two runners on base and two outs, Brandon Pickens bounded a sharp ground ball to short, but the throw to second for the force sailed wide and high, allowing Robert Driscol and Willard to race home.

CHS completely dissolved the deficit in the third, again capitalizing on a Seaside faux pa. Ryan Fredricks scored on a passed ball to tie it at 4-4 before Driscol smoked an RBI double to the left-center field fence.

An Irby sac fly in the fourth brought in Pickens, who singled earlier in the frame, and gave the Cougars a needed insurance tally.

Wednesday’s win came on the heels of a 2-1 victory over Watsonville on Monday. With four league contests left on the schedule, the Cougars sit at 8-15 overall and 6-8 in the MBL – a chance at a .500-or-better record on the horizon.

The Cougars take on Pajaro (0-16) on Friday to finish out the week but must contend with the league’s top-three teams – Monterey (19-4, 15-0 MBL), Monte Vista Christian (14-10, 12-3) and North Monterey County (15-7, 9-5) – during the final week of the season.

“I’m looking at trying to get everybody, take one of three, two of three,” Dequin said. “I want to surprise someone next week and make a statement for next year.”

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