IVC baseball tops Saddleback in OEC opener

Tameem Seraj

The Irvine Valley College baseball team beat visiting Saddleback College last Thursday afternoon in the Orange Empire Conference opener, 4-3, despite getting out-hit.

Saddleback got a hit in each of the first four innings but couldn’t drive in any runs.

Irvine Valley got the scoring started in the bottom of the third with a double by shortstop Enzio Perez and a single by center fielder Bryce Hara.

The Gauchos got their first run in the fifth with hits from right fielder Dean Friedberg, second baseman Josh Fuentes and center fielder Ryan Forkel.

Friedberg scored the run and Fuentes picked up the run batted in.

Saddleback got another run in the sixth from a single by left fielder Ray Baca and three errors by the Lasers. The Lasers took the lead back in the seventh with two hits and an error. Perez stole home in the inning.

IVC extended its lead with another run in the eighth with two hits and a sacrifice bunt. The Lasers got two quick outs in the ninth and it looked liked they would close out the game easily. But the Gauchos didn’t go down without a fight.

Fuentes singled and Forkel walked to put the tying runs on base. Catcher Kyle Ferret singled to drive in Fuentes but Lee Casas flied out to end the game.

Saddleback finished with 11 hits and IVC with nine. Fuentes got four hits in five at-bats with a run batted in. Third baseman Joseph Martin got three hits in four at-bats for the Gauchos. Perez got two hits in three at-bats with two runs and a run batted in for the Lasers. Perez also had all three errors for the Lasers.

Evan Manarino took the mound for the Gauchos and pitched all eight innings. Manarino gave up nine hits and three earned runs and got four strikeouts. IVC pitcher Jordan Geiger almost had a complete game but had to be relieved for the last out by Jason Euler. Geiger gave up 10 hits and three earned runs with three strikeouts over his 8 and 2/3 innings pitched.

Manarino’s record dropped to 1-3 with the loss and Geiger’s record improved to 1-1.Euler picked up his second save of the season.

IVC is 1-0 in conference and 7-7 overall with the win. Saddleback is 0-1 in conference and 5-6 overall with the loss.

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