Noah Graham standing at the plate during a Gauchos loss to Riverside College earlier this season. Graham hit a go-ahead home run in the third inning to give the Gauchos the lead for good in the 7-4 victory. (Michael Grennell)
The Saddleback College Gauchos put together another strong offensive performance against Bakersfield College on Saturday, sweeping the Renegades out of the playoffs with a 7-4 win.
After falling behind 4-1, the Gauchos retook the lead in the third inning following back-to-back home runs from right fielder Brandon Cody and first baseman Noah Graham. Cody’s three-run shot was his ninth of the season, the most by any Gaucho this year.
After the game, head coach Sommer McCartney was impressed by how the team performed despite falling behind early.
“I’m proud of our team. We were down early and our guys battled back,” McCartney said. “Our team is pretty resilient, we bounce back pretty well.”
Tyler Brashears started for Saddleback and put together another solid performance, pitching 6.1 innings and allowing only four runs on six hits while striking out six. It was the seventh start in a row for Brashears where he pitched five or more innings. Over that time, Brashears has gone 6-0 with a 1.72 ERA and 34 strikeouts.
Brashears gave up all four of his runs in the first inning and after settling down allowed only one hit over his final 5.1 innings. Saddleback’s bullpen picked up where Brashears left off as they allowed only three base runners over the final 2.2 innings, while striking out five batters.
The Gauchos now move on to the Super Regionals, set to take place May 10-12. With the Riverside College Tigers losing to El Camino-Compton Center, the Gauchos will now host one of the two Southern California Super Regional events.