Gauchos win a close one despite late scare

Throwing heat

Sean Byrne

In an action-packed game, the Gauchos managed to hold off the San Diego Mesa College Olympians just enough to pull out the win, despite Mesa’s late rally.

Last Saturday, when the Gauchos met the Olympians, Saddleback College’s baseball team was firing on all cylinders straight from the get-go.

“We just wanted to be aggressive early” Coach Sommer McCartney said.

With the shortstop, Josh Fuentes, giving the Gauchos an early lead with his solo home run at the bottom of the first inning, the aggressiveness was showing.

Saddleback managed to put up another point on the board in the very next inning. With right fielder Brandon Cody leading off the inning, with a triple into right center field. It didn’t take long to get him home with Case Bennett grounding out to shortstop, scoring Cody.

In the third inning, Mesa started to pull it together. With Mesa getting two players on base, their second baseman, Tyler Timmer, was able to hit a single through the left side, scoring both players. Now with the score tied up Saddleback had some work to do to regain their lead.

With the Gauchos wasting little time, they regained the lead in the fourth inning. It all started with Eric Ehlow ability to reach the base, due to a throwing error. Then the pitcher walked Jeff Butler.

With Center Fielder Brett Thompson up to the plate and players in scoring position, the Gauchos make the best of the situation with help from opposing pitcher, Sean Coughlin. Coughlin made a mistake and commits a balk; this advances the two runners both to scoring position and makes a double play a lot less feasible.

With Thompson still at bat, Coughlin hits a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Ehlow, and regained the lead for his team. With the aggressive style Coach McCartney has been implementing on his team, Butler steals third, putting him in an easy-scoring position.

Then, Slate Miller came to the plate and singled to center field bringing home Butler. But he ended up getting caught at second, trying to stretch the hit into a double.

With the Olympians putting up no points in the fifth inning to answer the Gauchos, Saddleback went on the offensive again, this time putting up four points. With a single from Bennett and a three-run home run by Ehlow, the Gauchos were on fire.

With an 8 to 2 lead, it looked like the Gauchos had won the game, but the Olympians weren’t going down without a fight. Due to a poor play by the Gauchos, who committed two errors and Colby Sims hitting two players, the Gauchos didn’t look like the team they were just a few innings before.

All the free bases given by the Gauchos, reduced their lead against Mesa to only two runs from their four-run rally.

Even with the last poor inning, the Gauchos managed to put up another run on the board from Fuentes, singling down the right-field line to score Bennett. With that insurance run and more comfortable three run lead, Anthony Shew managed to get his fourth save this season by securing the win for the Gauchos.

With seven players left on base throughout the entire game,  McCartney said, “We got to do a better job of scoring runs, and driving guys in when runners are in scoring position. That’s one area we have to improve.” 

This victory gave starting pitcher Tyler Brashears his fourth win this season, and even though Brashears “didn’t have his best stuff today,”  according to McCartney, he still managed to get the win, bettering his record to 4-2.

The next game for the Gauchos is on April 4 at 2 p.m. against Golden West College.

Coming into the final stretch of the season with only 10 games left to play, the Gauchos can’t let up at all.  In these final 10 games they play the number one team in the conference, the Fullerton College Hornets. 

Colby Sims coming off the mound after a tough inning

Stare down

Anthony Shew with his fourth save

The team

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