Saddleback players celebrate and mob Luke Jarvis (blond hair, dirty pant leg) after he hit a game winning single in the second game against Cuesta College. The Gauchos defeated the Cougars on Thursday and Friday to continued their undefeated start to the season. (Nick Nenad)
The Saddleback College baseball team continued their hot start to the season by defeating Cuesta College in two consecutive games on Thursday and Friday. The Gauchos improve to 7-0 after sweeping the two-game series against the Cougars, in which two runs or less settled both games.
Jared Donahoe and Adam Gordon continued their great start to the 2016 season. Donahoe had four hits over the two games, including a home run and two runs scored. Gordon reached base three times and added a home run.
“I just feel like I’ve been really comfortable at the plate, you know, I haven’t been stressing too much,” Donahoe said. “I’ve been seeing pitches well and I feel like … I’m executing on pitches that I get.”
Cuesta took an early lead in the first game, but Saddleback came back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead. In the top of the seventh, Gauchos middle-infielders Luke Jarvis and Kent Burckle made stout defensive plays that saved a potential tying run.
Later in the contest, Gordon hit his second home run of the season and Dominque Key closed out the game, giving Saddleback a 4-2 win.
“Our guys put some good at-bats together and we got to [their bullpen] and that was our approach, to try to get to that bullpen and get these good starters they have out,” said Saddleback head coach Sommer McCartney. “They fought and it was good to come back and they played really good defense.”
In the second game of the two-game stretch, Cuesta once again took an early lead, helped by a three-run third inning. In the bottom of the fifth, the Gauchos added two runs, thanks to a Dallas Dey RBI single and an error by the Cougars, to cut the lead to one run.
The teams then traded runs between the sixth and seventh innings, setting up a 4-3 score. Dey then tied the game in the eighth inning, getting his second RBI of the contest, and Jarvis hit a game-winning single in the ninth inning to send the Gauchos into the weekend happy with a 5-4 victory.
“I was just really trying to stay through the ball, not trying to do too much and then that happened and it was awesome,” Jarvis said. “I can’t stress enough how fun it is playing on this team, guys just like battling, taking team at-bats. Everybody’s bought in to ‘let’s go win every game.’”
McCartney echoed that statement by adding that the coaching staff and players believed they had a chance to win the entire game.
“It was an excellent comeback, I mean I think we all kind of felt like we were gonna come back, I think we felt pretty confident,” McCartney said. “We took some great at-bats and we just found a way to get on and then we drove them in.”
Saddleback will look to continue their winning streak against at Chaffey College on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 12 p.m. This will be the Gauchos third road game of the season.