The Modesto Junior College baseball team entered Tuesday afternoon's game with a three-game winning streak and momentum in the Big 8 Conference.
That momentum disappeared before the fourth inning.
Sacramento City (12-16, 7-9) strafed the Pirates for six runs in the first three innings and coasted to a 9-2 win at MJC's wind-whipped ballpark.
Modesto (14-13, 7-9) committed five errors and its four pitchers gave up 14 hits during the long day. Starter Kevin Grimes yielded five runs (all but one earned) in 2ª innings.
Modesto scored in the first on Kaden Cline's double and Damien Arteago's run-scoring single. The Pirates added another in the sixth on three singles and Chris Kahler's groundout.
The teams travel to Sacramento for the second game of the series Thursday.
MJC LOSES The Pirates were beaten by Chabot 7-2 in the first round of the Northern California Team Playoffs.
Modesto's wins were impressive No. 2 singles Austin Tay 6-1, 6-1 over Gerald Mahone, and No. 1 doubles Tay and Alex Jackson over Brooke Workeneh and Collin Mui 8-6.
PIRATES BEATEN Cosumnes River (16-18, 8-7) pushed across two runs in the sixth to edge Modesto 3-2 in Big 8 action. Losing pitcher Roxy Corella tripled for the Pirates (8-25, 2-13).
SMITH FINISHES EIGHTH, at Dupont, Wash. With a pair of 69s in the tournament, Paul Smith picked up another top 10 finish on Tuesday, this time at the Saint Martin's Invitational Preview at The Home Course.
Smith managed to erase a high second round score of 76 with a pair of 69s in both morning rounds to finish two-under 214 to finish eighth in a strong field. The individual medalist, Montana State Billings' Gage Huft, carded a 207 with a 66 on Tuesday. MSUB, however, finished 14th out of 15 teams.
Western Washington picked up the team victory with a 857 combined score. The Warriors couldn't recover from a high first round total (298) to finish 11th as a team with a 880 total. Grand Canyon (863) was third and Sonoma State (865) third.
The event, with a layout of par 72, 7103 yards, was held at The Home Course, which will serve as the site of the 2013 NCAA West Region Championships May 6-8.