Struggling Gauchos blanked by Golden West

Left-handed pitcher Jake Ham pitches in the second inning of a 7-0 loss to Golden West College. (Tameem Seraj)

Tameem Seraj

The Saddleback College baseball team was shut out at home Friday in a conference game by Golden West College who scored seven runs off 10 hits and two Saddleback errors.

With the loss Saddleback’s record falls to 8-15 overall and 3-10 in Orange Empire Conference play. Golden West improved to 16-9 overall and 8-5 in conference. Saddleback’s next game will be on the road today at 2 p.m. against the College of Sequoias.

Left-handed pitcher Jake Ham got the start for the Gauchos and pitched seven innings. He struck out three batters. Ham (1-2) gave up two unearned runs on six hits and two walks but took the loss. He kept the Gauchos in the game but didn’t get any support from the offense.

Saddleback didn’t get a runner to third base until the seventh inning and didn’t get more than one hit in any inning.

The game was still close until the eighth inning when Gauchos relief pitching just couldn’t get any outs. Dylan Ehrlich came in and walked the two batters he faced. Wayne Leon replaced Ehrlich and gave up three hits and walked one, but finished the inning. Golden West put up five runs in the eighth, two charged to Ehrlich and three charged to Leon.

Nicholas Hanson pitched a complete game shutout for Golden West, improving his record to 5-2. Hanson gave up five hits and one walk, but only got one strikeout.

The Gauchos threatened to score in the ninth by loading up the bases but failed to bring any of the runners home. Third baseman Brian Romero got two hits in three at bats. Golden West’s Josh Cunningham got three hits in four at bats with two runs batted in.

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