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Raiders baseball rebounds from early season struggles

Freshman+Caden+Gustafson+focusing+on+getting+the+batter+out+during+Moorpark%E2%80%99s+home+game+against+LA+Pierce+College+on+Feb.+19%2C+2019.+Photo+credit%3A+Alec+Kamburov
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Raiders baseball rebounds from early season struggles

Freshman Caden Gustafson focusing on getting the batter out during Moorpark’s home game against LA Pierce College on Feb. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Alec Kamburov

Freshman Caden Gustafson focusing on getting the batter out during Moorpark’s home game against LA Pierce College on Feb. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Alec Kamburov

Freshman Caden Gustafson focusing on getting the batter out during Moorpark’s home game against LA Pierce College on Feb. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Alec Kamburov

Freshman Caden Gustafson focusing on getting the batter out during Moorpark’s home game against LA Pierce College on Feb. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Alec Kamburov

By Brandon Zamora

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The Raiders baseball team is back on the track to success after a shaky start to the season.

The team began the season with four consecutive losses. Then, the massive amount of rainfall messed with their schedule, causing games to be postponed or canceled.

Now that the rainy season is passing, the Raiders can finally focus on playing once again.

The Moorpark Raiders hosted the LA Pierce Brahmas on Tuesday, Feb. 19 for their first home game in three weeks. The Raiders defeated the Brahmas 2-0.

After starting the season 0-4, the Raiders seemed to be getting back on the right track. The win marks the Raiders’ third in their last four games. Now standing at 3-5, the team is confident in their abilities to continue winning ball games.

Sophomore shortstop Matt Whitney believes the team is maximizing their at-bats during their current stretch.

“We have a better approach with the bats,” Whitney said. “We’re swinging at pitches we can hit.”

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Sophomore LF Jayce Foster (left) getting ready to swing at a pitch during Moorpark’s home game against LA Pierce College on Feb. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Alec Kamburov

That seemed to be the case in the game against the Brahmas. The Raiders ended the game with nine hits while their starting pitcher held up his end of the bargain.

“Pitching sets the tone for everything,” Head Coach Mario Porto said.

Freshman RHP Caden Gustafson made sure to set the tone early. He had a perfect game through six innings.

However, he walked the lead-off batter in the 7th inning. After giving up the walk, his perfect game became a no-hitter.

Coming up next to the plate for the Brahmas was sophomore CF Diego Harris. Harris’ at-bat ended with a single, which meant Gustafson’s no-hitter was broken.

Now with the pressure of throwing a perfect game or a no-hitter off his shoulders, Gustafson was able to keep his composure and finish the game strong.

“As soon as they got the walk and the hit, a weight was kind of lifted off my shoulders,” Gustafson said. “I was just out there having fun playing the game that I love.”

Gustafson went on to pitch a complete game shut-out in the win against the Brahmas. Gustafson ended the game by allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out 12 batters.

The offense didn’t need to score much to secure the win, thanks to Gustafson’s spectacular pitching performance.

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Sophomore catcher Michael Teobaldi attempting to throw out a runner during Moorpark’s home game against LA Pierce College on Feb. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Alec Kamburov

Nevertheless, sophomore catcher Michael Teobaldi broke the scoreless tie with an RBI single that brought home sophomore first baseman James Terrazas in the bottom of the second inning.

Terrazas contributed again in the bottom of the sixth inning by hitting an RBI single that scored freshman second baseman, Ben Lech.

The two runs scored were more than enough for the Raiders to gain the victory after Gustafson’s complete game shut-out.

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Freshman 1B James Terrazas waiting for the Brahmas to finish their mound meeting during Moorpark’s home game against LA Pierce College on Feb. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Alec Kamburov

Next up on the Raiders’ schedule is a road game against the East Los Angeles Huskies on Thursday, Feb. 21.

“We need to go out there and stay aggressive while playing smart,” Whitney said.

Then, the Raiders will return to play a doubleheader at home on Saturday, Feb. 23 against the LA Harbor Seahawks.

The first game is set for 10:30 a.m. The second game will begin approximately 30 minutes after the end of the first game.

To stay up to date with Moorpark College baseball, their schedule can be found on their athletics website.

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About the Writer
Brandon Zamora, Staff writer

Brandon Zamora is a journalism student with a passion for sports. He knew he wanted to pursue a career involving sports in some matter since he was young....

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