The Gauchos came out strong at Saddleback versus the Orange Coast College Pirates, showing them whose house this is.
The action started off early with Brandon Cody hitting his seventh homerun of the season to put the Gauchos up two in the bottom of the first inning. From there on out it was all Evan Manarino, with another shutout pitched by him this season he has beefed up his record to an impressive 8-1.
With Manarino allowing six hits through the entire game, the Gauchos defense were also there to help Manarino if any of the Pirates got on base. Though six hits were allowed, they were sporadic; there was never a spot that the Gauchos were ever in serious danger of losing the game of losing the lead.
Along with the no runs allowed, Manarino also struck out four giving him 44 strikeouts throughout the entire season. He was on fire and when you have a pitcher as strong as Manarino throwing his best stuff; it’s hard to beat that team.
At the bottom of the eighth was when the next run was scored by the Gauchos and it was yet again at the hands of Brandon Cody. With Josh Fuentes on first base, Cody cranks one deep driving home Fuentes. Cody tried to turn the double into a triple, but he was caught in the act. Even with him getting tagged out, the damage was done and the Gauchos were now up 3-0.
At the top of the ninth the Pirates still had no answer to the fire that Manarino was throwing that day and that was all she wrote for Manarinos third complete game and second shutout of the season.
With their playoff spot already clinched, if they can sweep Riverside College in these last two games of the season they will finish in second place, first time they have done that since the 1999 season.