PASADENA — Thirty-six games into the season and Arroyo Seco Saints Coach Aaron Milam still can’t get an accurate read on his team.
Milam might have gotten a better read after the Saints suffered a 6-5 loss to the Playa Vista Orioles in an elimination game of the Palomino Southern California Regional Baseball Tournament on Monday night at Jackie Robinson Field.
“We are very bipolar when it comes to playing defense,” said Milam, whose team committed four errors and will be the third seed from the Southern California Regional in the Palomino West Zone Tournament in Compton beginning Friday. “One day, we aren’t playing defense and then the next day we play perfect defense and we only get one or two hits.”
Arroyo Seco lost its second straight game to the Orioles, who will meet the Colton Nighthawks in the tournament’s championship game at 7:30 p.m. today at the same venue. The Orioles handed the Saints a 12-2 loss Sunday night.
It didn’t help the Saints (23-12-1) that they fell behind early and were forced to play catch up.
The Orioles got a two-run home run from Brian Mundell to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. A throwing error by the catcher and a groundout to second by Ian McLoughlin extended Playa Vista’s lead to 3-0 in the inning.
Arroyo Seco responded with a run in the bottom of the second. With two outs, KC Huth tripled to left and promptly scored on a passed ball.
Playa Vista got a running-scoring single from Mark Seyler to make it 4-1 in the fourth, but the Saints knotted the game at 4 with three runs in their half of the inning.
The Saints cut the lead to 4-2 on an error by the second baseman and then received back-to-back run-scoring singles from Walker Moses and Brandon Van Horn of St. Francis High to knot the game at 4.
Arroyo Seco took a 5-4 lead in the fifth on a home run by Steven Karkenny, but things fell apart in the sixth for them.
The Orioles tied the game at 5 on a balk and then got a run-scoring single by Anthony Lombardo to complete the scoring.
Van Horn, who finished with a team-high three hits, said the Saints will look to regroup in the next tournament.
“We will come back and play real well,” said Van Horn, one of four St. Francis players on the team. “It’s going to come down to pitching.”