Irvine, Calif— The Orange County Riptide’s five game winning snapped when the San Luis Obispo Blues defeated the Riptide 5-1 to give Orange County their first league loss of the year.
The Riptide’s bats went silent against the combination of Lucas Alaniz and Marcelo Saldana for the Blues. Alaniz started the game and was wild, allowing seven walks, but he had the Riptide’s lineup on the ropes. The Riptide were only able to manage three hits the entire game.
Alaniz went 7.1 innings only allowing one run while striking out six. Saldana came into the game in the bottom of the 8th inning and racked up strikeouts, finishing with four in 1.2 innings to close out the game.
The Riptide’s only run of the game came from a sacrifice fly by Connor Clift (USC) that drove in Ethan Felix (El Camino College) in the bottom of the 4th.
There were some positive performances on the mound for the Riptide with Evan Vasiliou turning in another impressive start, only allowing one run through four innings of work and striking out four.
Matthew Flores (Hawai’i) and Reed Schaefer (Southern Nevada) dominated in relief by not conceding a run. Flores pitched 2.1 innings while striking out three and Schaefer added an inning and a strikeout of his own.
The Riptide’s defense couldn’t help out their pitchers, committing a whopping five errors. Their defensive performance was uncharacteristic because they’ve only coughed up one error all season before Friday’s game.
“They didn’t really beat us today, we kind of gave the game away,” head coach Connor Spencer said. “It’s another long season so you’ve got to stay consistent for as long as possible and that’s what we are trying to teach these guys.”
Theo Hardy proved to be a headache for the Riptide’s pitching staff as the Blues’ lead off hitter went 5-5 with two runs and two RBIs.
The Riptide will look to have an answer for Hardy and their defensive woes Saturday at 7 p.m. as they try to bounce back against the San Luis Obispo Blues and even the series.
San Luis Obispo Blues vs. OC Riptide – Box Score