Community College Baseball : Cypress Bows Out in Ninth : L.A. Harbor Loses First Game, 7-0, Wins Second, 2-1

<i> Times Staff Writer</i>

There are plenty of positive ways to describe the pitching of Cypress College’s Rich Lodding and Jeff Patterson in the Southern California Regional baseball playoffs this weekend at Rancho Santiago. But there’s also a negative side--their team will not be going to the state tournament.

Instead, that honor went to Los Angeles Harbor, which defeated Cypress, 2-1, on a ninth-inning RBI single by John Lopez in the second game between the teams Sunday in front of about 300 at Rancho Santiago.

Earlier, Lodding (9-2) pitched a four-hitter as Cypress won, 7-0, to force a second game in the double-elimination tournament.


Patterson was supposed to start the second game, but Lodding, a sophomore right-hander, decided he had a few more outs in his arm and asked to pitch. He pitched two-plus innings, allowing one run, before being replaced by Patterson. Lodding allowed only one run in 13 1/3 innings in the regional tournament. Patterson allowed four runs in 17 1/3 innings in the tournament.

Patterson, a sophomore right-hander, had pitched 11 innings to help Cypress defeat Rancho Santiago, 4-3, in the first round Friday.

Patterson (10-4) was overpowering in the second game, getting 10 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings despite taking the loss.

“Lodding was amazing,” Cypress Coach Scott Pickler said. “You can’t say enough about our pitching. . . . I guess it just wasn’t in the cards for us this year.”

Patterson’s ninth-inning trouble started when Tony Liebsack led off with a single. After a strikeout, Patterson got David Lacroix to hit a grounder up the middle that shortstop Mitch Kaylor came up with. But Kaylor’s throw skipped past first baseman Doug Yates and Harbor (32-14) had runners on first and third with one out.

Pinch-hitter Mike Stone was intentionally walked, bringing Lopez up with the infield and outfield playing in. Patterson fell behind, three balls and no strikes as Harbor inched closer to victory. Patterson came back with two called strikes, but Lopez then lined a single past Kaylor at short.

“I’m so happy I could cry,” Harbor Coach Jim O’Brien said. “This team has come so far. The kids learned to believe in themselves when no one else did.”

Cypress (34-15) scored in the second on an RBI single by Ken Kendrena to take a 1-0 lead. Ryan Karp had an RBI single in the third and Harbor tied it, 1-1.

Cypress left two runners on in the sixth, and two more in the ninth.

In the ninth, Kaylor got a one-out walk. Dan Parente, a left-hander, then replaced Harbor starter Chris Garrett. Parente gave up a single to left-handed hitting Steve Gill, and Cypress had runners on first and second. But Parente came back to strike out Jason Friedman, also a left-handed hitter. Friedman struck out only 14 times in 214 at-bats this season.

Tom Fulkerson, a right-hander, then replaced Parente and got Doug Yates to ground out on the first pitch to end the inning.

Cypress missed a chance to score in the first inning when Joey Gonzalez hit into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. Gonzalez appeared to beat the throw at first but was ruled out.

In the earlier game, Yates had an RBI single and Friedman scored on a balk as Cypress took a 2-0 lead in the first. Harbor’s only threat came in the fourth.

Karp singled to start the inning, but was picked off first. Matt Nuez singled and went to third on a single by Parente. Nuez was then thrown out at the plate as a double steal failed and Lodding got out of the inning with a groundout.

Lodding retired 15 of the final 17 batters he faced and finished with eight strikeouts.