Moorpark Bats Fail to Capitalize in 5-1 loss vs. LA Valley College


Moorpark short stop Shane Leong-Grieger makes contact vs LA Valley on April 12, 2020 at Moorpark College. Photo credit: Nathan Hafner

By Nathan Hafner

On Tuesday, April 12 the Raiders looked to continue their season winning streak against LA Valley College. Starting for the Raiders was right-handed pitcher Noah Balandran, and for the visiting La Valley Monarchs, right-handed pitcher Josh Wood.

Balandran started strong, retiring three out of the four batters he faced in the first, including two strikeouts while allowing one hit. At the bottom of the first, Wood looked to counter. Despite early pressure from the Raiders with two hits in the inning, the Raiders could not scratch across any runs and came away with nothing in the bottom of the first.

Balandran retook the mound for his second inning of work. By facing the minimum, he quieted the Monarch’s offense in order. This set the tone for the Moorpark pitching staff for the rest of the game.

In his second and final inning of work, Wood allowed two walks and a clutch double by Raider’s outfielder Chase Aurand, which would score the game’s first run and put the Raiders up 1-0.

Following the second, the Monarchs would go to their pen. Left-handed pitcher Isaac Amador would get the call. He shut the Raiders down in the bottom of the third, which allowed his team to rally.

In the top of the fourth inning, the rally began with a double by infielder Bryant Colon to take the lead. He would also come around to score on a clutch triple by designated hitter Jackson Lapiner, who had an excellent performance at the plate going 2-for-3 while batting a runner home and scoring once himself.

La Valley Designated hitter Jackson Lapiner swinging in his at-bat against the raiders on April 12, 2022, at Moorpark College.
La Valley Designated hitter Jackson Lapiner swinging in his at-bat against the raiders on April 12, 2022, at Moorpark College. Photo credit: Nathan Hafner

The Monarchs continued the pressure, and Lapiner would later score on a sac fly, giving the Monarchs a 2-1 lead in the fourth.

Amador gave his team exactly what they needed to keep the Raider’s offense at bay through four strong innings of work as he only allowed three hits while collecting three strikes outs. He would also earn his third win of the season, defeating the Raiders.

Balandran gave much need support and kept his team in the game. He would exit the game with six innings pitched while allowing three earned runs. After the game, He shared his thoughts on his start.

“Well, the first three innings were really good, you know put up zeros,” said Balandran. “Then we get into the 4th inning leadoff single to there I think their number two batter and that got their big their number three batter up, and I just hung a changeup there for him, and he smacked it down the line, so then I just gotta go pitch by pitch since then walk the next guy, so it was a rough inning giving up two.”

The Raiders bullpen would finish out the game. Parker Almeida, Liam Flynn and Owen Izzo would combine for 3 innings pitched, allowing two runs collectively.

Unfortunately, the Raiders’ offense struggled to get anything going despite seven hits and three walks.

Raider’s second baseman, Paden Riley, describes his team’s performance today.

“You know it’s hard when you know the offense isn’t really doing its job, so you’re trying to get it going; yourself,” said Riley.

Riley also talked about the importance of patience in tough spots.

“That’s when you gotta take a step back and not put too much pressure on yourself, which I try not to do…. but like I said, can’t try and put too much pressure when you know your team and your offense isn’t doing his job, but overall, I thought the team had pretty good just hard balls right at their defense all day.”

Following the game’s conclusion, Monarch’s head coach Dave Mallas praised his team’s performance today.

“Offense got going in the middle, not any big innings, but scratched enough,” said Mallas. “Our pitching did a good job of keeping them off balance, and then we played good defense as well.”

He went on to complement Lapiner on his performance at the plate. “Jackson Lapiner has been swinging pretty hot as of late and hit that triple down the right-field line, so it got us going.”

As of April 27, the Raiders are 15-22 this season and are riding a two-game winning streak. The Raiders are back in action on April 28 at 2:30 at Oxnard College.