SACRAMENTO — The Modesto Junior College Pirates baseball team turned a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 lead with a big sixth inning Thursday to seize the momentum.
Until the bottom of the sixth.
Sacramento City countered with five runs, and the Panthers walked away with a 9-5 Big 8 Conference win. Modesto (21-13, 7-13), 0-2 by the same 9-5 margin against Sac this week, will wrap up the regular season against the Panthers at 2:30 p.m. today at home.
The Pirates, still hoping for a playoff berth though they’ve tumbled to seventh place, showed some fight with their sixth-inning rally. Josh Miguel scored on a wild pitch and Aaron Pangilinan doubled to left to bring in Kaden Cline and Patrick Mulry. A Stefan Aguilar single and an error brought in Pangilinan.
Modesto starter Brent Montgomery was relieved by Cameron Lenz, who gave up three hits and the runs in Sacramento’s sixth. An error also figured in the inning, as the Panthers (24-10, 12-8) – who sit in second place in the Big 8 – regained the lead to stay.
Miguel, Joe Pedlowe and Aguilar had two hits apiece for MJC.
Doubles victories – MJC doubles tandems Bryce Purser and Zach Woerner, Austin Tay and Rick Peloso, and Cory Purser and Javier Lagarde-Soto all won their first-round matches at the State Championships at Ojai. Bryce Purser and Woerner rallied from a 2-5 deficit in the second set to clinch the win. All three pairs advance to the round of 32 today.
Woerner was MJC’s only singles entry to win a match. He downed Gabe De Costa of Mt. San Jacinto 7-6, 6-4 but lost to Richard Catabona of Pierce.
Pirates third – Robby Wikoff and Ryan Jones both shot 80 at Rancho Murieta to lead MJC to a third-place finish during the 11th of 12 Big 8 tournaments.