By Edson Valenzuela
The Dons took advantage of wild pitches and throwing errors Saturday to clinch a 6-1 victory against the Long Beach City College Vikings, completing a two game sweep and advancing them to the second round of the regional playoffs.
Vikings starter Manuel Barragan allowed five runs before the end of the third inning, at which point the game was all but won for the Dons.
“Manny [Barragan] has been our best pitcher all year,” Vikings Head Coach Casey Crook said in defeat. ”But he has a sore arm. He hasn’t pitched in a month, so we tried to bring him in. I don’t know if he was quite ready.”
The Dons took advantage of Barragan’s costly pitching errors early.
Barragan walked second baseman Josh Vargas in the first inning. Designated hitter Alex Mascarenas clubbed a double to left center that placed Vargas in scoring position. Center fielder Ryan Aguilar flied out to left allowing Vargas to tag up and score a run. First baseman Daniel Martinez singled up the middle to drive Mascarenas home.
In the third, Barragan gave up three runs and threw two wild pitches before the shaky inning came to a close. He overshot one pitch past the box, giving Dons shortstop Garrett Brown an opportunity to steal home.
Dons pitcher Evanne Wilkes threw seven innings of one-run ball, striking out two while allowing four hits.
“Evanne [Wilkes] pitched an amazing game today, gave up one run. We just had his back,” Mascarenas said.
The victory, though decisive, isn’t enough for SAC coach John Bryant who looks to the future.
“We’re just going to keep working hard to get better and try achieve the last goal that we’ve set in front of us which is the State Championship.” Bryant said.
The last time the Dons made it to the regional playoffs was in 2012 when they were ousted in the finals against Rio Hondo College in a 8-2 loss.
The victory advances the Dons to the California Community College Athletics Association Southern California Super Regionals against the sixth seeded Southwestern College. The three-game series begins May 9 at 2 p.m.