IRVINE, Calif. – The Orange County Riptide wrapped up their final non-league match-up against the Inland Valley Bucs Wednesday night. The Riptide walked away with a 5-4 win, kickstarted by a late inning rally.
The offense got off to a slow start once again, as many players are trying to make transition live at bats and started to lock in at the plate towards the end. A patient eighth inning that saw 8 batters go to the plate was sparked by catcher Ayden Garcia (Golden West College) drawing a lead off walk. The Riptide were able to add on two runs that wound up being the deciding factor late in the game.
Nathan Cadena (San Jose State) joined the team for the first time before the game and finished with 3 RBIs on two plate appearances. Entering the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, Cadena launched a two run home run to left field giving the Riptide the lead at the time.
“He showed up today, we got him his gear,” Riptide head coach Connor Spencer said. “I actually wasn’t even sure if he was here today, but it’s awesome. I definitely wanted to get him into the ballgame and I’m glad I did.”
Pitching has been a strong suit of late for the Riptide as eight pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts and played a key factor in keeping the team in what was a close game. Despite the high strikeout rate from the pitchers’, command was an issue as they combined to give up 10 walks, an area they will look to improve on going forward.
“We struckout 16, that’s great. I love that number, but I hate the 10 walks,” Spencer said. “Hopefully we can send these guys back to their respective schools as better overall strike throwers.”
The Riptide will kick off their California Collegiate League play Friday night at the Great Park vs. Arroyo Seco Saints. Game time scheduled for 7 p.m..
Inland Valley Bucs vs. OC Riptide – Box Score