Irvine, Calif.— The Orange County Riptide lost their first game of the week to the Academy Barons 7-4. The Riptide fell victim to a five run 6th inning by the Barons that they couldn’t come back from.
“Truthfully, it’s one big inning that keeps biting us,” head coach Connor Spencer said. “When we find ourselves in these tougher situations, we have to find ways to pick each other up and stop the bleeding.”
Tyler Valdez (Arizona State) threw another phenomenal start for the Riptide, striking out seven Barons hitters in four innings of work. After going 16 scoreless innings to start the season, Valdez finally coughed up his first run after the Barons scored in the 4th inning.
The Riptide didn’t immediately respond to the Barons taking the lead in the bottom half of the inning, but they answered back next inning in the 5th when Carter Garate (Oregon) hit one the opposite way to tie it.
The lead wouldn’t last long for the Riptide as the Barons stuck fire in the 6th inning tallying five runs on five hits, including two doubles. The Barons were efficient in hitting with runners on base during the 6th, which is what the Riptide struggled at today.
Both teams each notched 12 hits, but the Riptide couldn’t capitalize like their opponents as they left 12 runners on base.
A miniature rally was brewing for the Riptide when they tacked on two runs on their own thanks to a double from Nolan Funke (New Mexico State) and opposite-field single from Ayden Garcia (Golden West College).
The Riptide couldn’t strike again until the 9th inning when Nathan Cadena (San Jose State) drove in a run on a sacrifice fly, but it was too late to mount a comeback as the Barons closed it out.
The Riptide will play three out of their four remaining games this week on the road as they’ll travel to Compton on Thursday at 6:05 to try and even up the series on the week against the Barons.
Orange County Riptide vs Academy Barons – Box Score