Irvine Valley started last Saturday’s game in control of its destiny. With the 5-1 victory over Fullerton College and only two games left in the season, the Lasers set a school record for victories in a season with 28.
Pitching for the Lasers was freshman left-hander Jared Haller, who pitched six strong innings, giving up one run, allowing eight hits and striking out eight batters.
Haller was relieved by Robert Purpura who held the game, giving up only one hit and striking out three in two scoreless innings.
Laser designated hitter Corey Thibault hit a three run home run in the bottom of the first inning to give IVC the early lead. Alex Argortsas drove in two runs to add some insurance runs of his own.
The five runs proved to be enough for the Lasers. They were out-hit by one, nine to eight, but timely hitting and solid starting pitching kept the Lasers in a tie for second place in the Orange Empire Conference with Orange Coast College.
The victory against the Hornets improved their already school-best to 12 conference victories.
IVC will close out its season this week. The final series against OCC will determine whether the Lasers finish second or third in the OEC and whether or not they get home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Santa Ana clinched the top spot in the OEC, receiving its second loss to Irvine Valley College, Thursday. The visiting Lasers won, 5-2.
The Lasers will host the Pirates, Thursday, and will play in Pirate territory on Friday. Both games are at 2:30 p.m.