Trojans fight final war but fall short

High hopes of ending on a positive note faltered when the Skyline Trojans locked in their final game against the Cabrillo Seahawks and ended the season with a close 13-12 loss on Friday, April 29.

Skyline’s opening pitcher Richard Boe started off the game by giving up two homers to the Seahawks, before getting them out of the dugout. But these early runs did not discourage the Trojans.

Center fielder Brett Berghammer answered back with a ground ball to first. With Berghammer on base, designated hitter Neil Sterling sent the ball flying over the fence, bringing two runs for the Trojans. Third baseman Armando Fajardo followed Sterling and sent another ball over the fence, which ended the first inning with a score of 3-2.

“Although we were not going to the playoffs we still wanted to play strong and give it our best,” Berghammer said.

Both teams battled it out in the second and third innings. Neither side gave up a run or missed an opportunity for an out.

Cabrillo managed to get around the bases in the top of the fourth inning. However, a pop-up caught by short stop Matt Seubert ended Cabrillo’s time at bat.

With Skyline in the dugout, Sterling slid into first after a hit to right field and advanced to second as left fielder Nick Healey swung. The Seahawks’ pitcher, Brett de Geus, had Skyline in the palm of his hands as each batter struck out.

Catcher Felix Aberouette made contact with the ball, but it was not enough to bring Sterling home. The Seahawks tied the inning with 3-3.

Skyline brought in their relief pitcher, Roberto Zucchiatti, in the fifth inning. With men on first and second, an error at first base allowed Cabrillo to run to third. The Seahawks hit deep to center field, but Berghammer reached for the third out of the inning and prevented the away team from scoring.

In the bottom of the fifth, De Geus made the mistake of walking Berghammer, who then advanced to third as Sterling hit a double. Healey singled and brought in his teammate. De Geus’s eagle eye sent the ball flying to first, but Healey could not get back to base in time. Fajardo made up for the out with a single that raised the score to 5-3.

With Cabrillo at bat for the sixth inning, Skyline mowed through almost half of their pitching rotation. Right-handed pitcher Michael Keegan stepped up to the mound, but the switch did not prevent the Seahawks from hitting.

Men on first and second base prepared to run home as Cabrillo’s Scott Akrop’s hit to right field bounced off of the fence and out of the park. Even with relief pitchers Cole Watts and RJ Hanson, the Seahawks continued to hit.

A few more homers and what seemed to be endless walks sent the Seahawks soaring around the diamond. Skyline’s second baseman Ryan Cuddy made it to home plate in the bottom of the sixth, but this did little damage to Cabrillo’s seven-run lead.

After a gruesome sixth inning, the Trojans started to gain momentum. The Trojans managed to gain on the Seahawks in the last three innings.

Home team pitchers Joe Pratt, Jean Paul Aberouette and Michael Valdes made an effort to fight off the Seahawks and shut down their offense.

A handful of singles from infielder Kyle Patterson and a double from catcher Matt Craig helped rack up RBI’s for the team. Skyline scored six more runs before falling short at the end of the ninth, finalizing the score at a 13-12 loss.

“You have to over come [a loss],” Craig said. “You have to realize that you have to come back the next day and be ready to play and battle.”

For some members on the team, Friday was the last time they identified as “juco” players. This game concluded the Trojans’ last crusade of the 2016 season, finishing fourth in their division.

“Our guys fought hard. It was our last game and we just fell short,” Head Coach Dino Nomicos said. “We pitched well and we played defense well. We had OK team chemistry but at the end of the day we just underachieved. That’s the best we could have done.”