De Anza baseball loses in the ninth inning

The Dons start the game of hot, but cool in the later stages


The De Anza College baseball team encountered a nerve-racking ninth inning loss 5-4 against Monterey Peninsula College on Tuesday Feb. 17.
Starting pitcher Alex Zarate kept the team afloat through the
early innings.
As the Dons took their turn to bat, second basemen Joey Shimono doubled and rounded second base because of an error, giving the Dons hope early on. Shortstop TJ Conroy bunted for a hit next making it Shimono on third and Conroy on first. Third basemen Alex Martinez hit the ball down the third baseline allowing Conroy to run to third and bringing Shimono home to make the game 1-0.
With an early run, the Dons continued with high hopes for the game and to pull out a win. The score quickly became 2-0 with a double by first baseman
Justin Edgar.
Still in the first inning, outfielder Issiah Fitzhue singled to first, beating the throw and letting Martinez score, which let the Dons expand their lead to three over the Lobos. The umpires decided to overturn the safe call at first and call Fitzhue out, as the first basemen’s foot was still on the bag. Dons were still able to keep the 3-0 lead.
Catcher Danny Molinari doubled to second, allowing Edgar home to make the score 4-0 in the bottom of the first. Entering the second inning, Monterey Peninsula reacted quickly to the four-run lead and got on board with two runs because of minor errors by the Dons. Monterey started to play more defensively after the huge momentum shift in the game.
There were many opportunities for the Dons in the third and fourth innings, when De Anza managed to load the bases many times but still could not find a way to score. At the top of the fifth inning, the Lobos crushed a home run to left field, but were still behind the Dons by one. As Monterey Peninsula caught up, the Dons’ frustration increased, going from a four-run lead to a
one-run lead.
“I’m very frustrated.” Martinez said after the game. “But that’s baseball; you  just gotta keep throwing strikes.”
The score remained the same through the sixth, and Martinez came on to relieve Zarate. The Dons struggled to get through the last two innings, but did not lose hope. In the top of the ninth, Monterey Peninsula managed to tie the game at 4-4 with the bases loaded. Finding multiple holes in the outfield, the Lobos took the lead 5-4 and the win over the Dons.
Head coach Erick Raich said he felt the momentum shift in the many unnecessary errors.
“We looked solid at first.” Fitzhue said, “When they scored, we definitely got brought down.”
The next home game is Tuesday Feb. 24 against the College of San Mateo at 2 p.m.