Gauchos trample the Chargers

Strike one

Sean Byrne

Another phenomenal win for the Gauchos this Thursday, when they beat a worthy adversary, the Cypress College Chargers.

The Gauchos got off to a quick start in this game with the help of sloppy baseball from the Chargers. The first inning started off with an error by Cypress’ shortstop, allowing Jeffery Butler, No. 3, to reach first base. With Cypress pitcher Stephen Kane hitting to Slate Miller, No. 14, Butler advanced to second base.

With a runner in scoring position, Josh Fuentes, No. 19, was able to crank the ball down the middle past second base, bringing Butler home to start the game off with a 1-0 lead.

The action didn’t stop there; this was a game that only had two full innings, without a run. The Gauchos had to rally back from a two-point deficit at the bottom of the sixth inning. Being that these are two of the best teams in the Orange Empire Conference, this was expected to be a tough game for both teams.

Now without any momentum and the Chargers trampling them, the Gauchos finally regained their groove at the bottom of the sixth inning.

Noah Graham, No. 23, came out to start this comeback inning, and started it off with a double down the right field line. This allowed Brandon Cody, No. 27, to hit a single down the left field line, which brought Graham home to make the score 2-3.

Fearing a comeback, the Chargers brought a fresh pitcher in, Ryan Hartman. With the momentum now in the hands of the Gauchos, this wasn’t enough to stop their comeback. With the call to have Cody steal second, they now had a runner in scoring position. Kyle Ferret, No. 16, made the most of this opportunity and cracked the ball into right field, bringing in Cody and tying up the game.

The bottom of the eighth inning was like déjà vu of the sixth inning. Graham kicked it off with a double. Tim Alhanati, No. 12, then came in to pinch run for graham. This brought Cody to the plate once again to score another RBI with a triple to right field. The Gauchos took the lead with this and never gave it back.

As the Chargers began to wilt under the pressure, the Gauchos capitalized on it. With a wild pitch by the Chargers, Cody was able to score, giving Saddleback an insurance run.

From there, Saddleback had no problem shutting down Cypress in the ninth inning and continuing on to win the first game of conference play.

From great offense to the phenomenal pitching of Evan Manarino, throwing the full nine innings, the Gauchos were able to beat yet another opponent. They bettered their record to 12-2, still sitting on their throne as the kings of the Orange Empire Conference. 

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