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Lancers Get Schooled on the Field

Baseball: Young Thousand Oaks team loses lead and the game to Camarillo in final two innings, 7-6.


CAMARILLO — Thousand Oaks High baseball Coach Bill Sizemore has told anyone who will listen this season that his team is talented but young; willing but inexperienced.

The Lancers are learning as they go, and the lessons of late have been hard.

Wednesday, Thousand Oaks blew a four-run lead in the final two innings and lost to Camarillo, 7-6, in a Marmonte League game at Camarillo.

The defeat, coming on the heels of an 11-inning, one-run loss to Westlake on Friday, left many of the Lancer players wearing pained expressions and sprawled on the outfield grass. It left Sizemore shaking his head.

"We're scuffling right now," Sizemore said. "We keep showing our inexperience in certain situations."

Thousand Oaks (13-5-1, 4-2-1 in league play) stranded six runners in the first two innings and 11 in the game, which it led, 5-1, after 4 1/2 innings. The Lancers stranded 11 runners in the loss to Westlake, the team they meet again this Friday at Westlake.

"When you come to bat with the bases loaded and you pop up and you strike out and you ground out, you're not going to win many games," Sizemore said.

The Lancers' inability to put Camarillo (15-3, 5-1) away proved costly in the fifth inning, when the Scorpions used three-run home runs by Justin Collins and John Medina to take a 7-5 lead.

Thousand Oaks had chances for its own comeback, beginning with Brian Forkin's home run in the sixth.

In the seventh, Lancer David Perry drew a leadoff walk from Tom Wilson (3-0), who had relieved Garrett Valencia in the fifth. Camarillo senior Joe Yingling then moved from catcher to pitcher and Adam Leavitt's sacrifice bunt moved Perry to second with one out.

The next batter, pinch-hitter Ryan Donahue, hit a sharp comebacker that Yingling snared with a lunge before throwing Perry out at third.

A throwing error on a ground ball by Jessie Siebers left runners at second and third with two out, but Billy Lockin popped up to Yingling to end the game.

"I was pumped up," said Yingling of his 12-pitch relief appearance, during which he threw nearly all fastballs and earned his first save. "We went through practically our whole pitching staff today but we can [hit] and we've been in situations like that before."

Said Camarillo Coach Scott Cline: "Going into the game we knew we had to swing the bats because we have no speed and no No. 1 pitcher.

"It turned out as well as I could have hoped for after the first couple of innings."

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