Thousand Oaks, Calif. — The OC Riptide defeated the Conejo Oaks by a score of 8-1, backed by a strong start by All-Star Noah Carabajal (Long Beach State), and a fantastic offensive performance by Nathan Manning (Cal). The Riptide move to 11-13 and are third in their division.
Noah Carabajal started for the Riptide. Carabajal, who will be representing the Riptide in the All-Star game on July 20th, delivered 5.1 innings, allowing 1 run and striking out 7. Carabajal has now pitched 17.2 innings while allowing just 1 run.
The Riptide started the scoring early, plating 2 in the top of the first. Nathan Manning drew a 1 out walk and after advancing to third on a wild pickoff throw, Blake Penso (UC Irvine) singled him in. Two batters later, with runners on first and second, Isiah Morales recorded his first hit of the season to bring home Penso. The Riptide threatened to add on, but ended the inning leaving runners on second and third.
The Riptide extended the lead in the top of the second. Chase Valentine (Tennessee) and Santino Panaro (UNLV) started the inning with walks. Then, after a fly out, the speedsters executed a double steal to bring two into scoring position with 1 out. Nathan Manning cashed in, hitting a sacrifice fly to bring home Valentine. With 2 out, Marc Filia (UC San Diego) drove in Panaro with an RBI single to left field.
Following the strong offensive start, the Riptide went down in order the following two innings. Manning singled to start the top of the fifth, and a 1 out walk to Penso put two men on, but a flyout and a strikeout ended the threat.
The Oaks finally got to Carabajal in the bottom of the sixth, bringing home a run on a sac fly to chase Carabajal. Daniel Naughton (Gonzaga) entered for Carabajal with a runner on second and 1 out. Naughton induced a pair of groundouts to strand the runner and limit the damage.
The Riptide immediately answered back in the top of the seventh. Wilson Galvan (UT Arlington) walked to start it off, bringing Nathan Manning to the plate. Manning crushed a two-run home run over the right field wall for his first home run of the season and his second and third RBI of the game. The home run gave the Riptide a comfortable 6-1 lead after seven innings.
“I was just looking for a fastball down the middle and got it. From the moment I hit it, I knew it,” Manning said after the game.
The Oaks threatened again in the bottom of the eighth. With Daniel Naughton still on the mound, the Oaks put runners on the corners with 2 outs. Pitching coach Chris DeBoo came out for a mound visit. Naughton delivered a pickoff attempt but the runner was safe by a step. Still without throwing a pitch, Naughton attempted another pick off, but this time, caught the runner leaning, and Nicolai tagged him out to end the inning.
The great defensive play lead to more runs for the offense. Wilson Galvan started the inning with a double, bringing up Nathan Manning. Manning smoked a double down the left field line for his fourth RBI of the game. Manning would finish with 3 hits, 3 runs, 4 RBI, and a home run. Marc Filia singled to drive in Manning, making it an 8-1 Riptide lead. The Riptide left two stranded and Naughton handed the ball over to Alex Schrier (UC Santa Barbara) to close it out. Naughton finished with 2.2 innings pitched and no runs allowed. Schrier secured the final three outs and the victory for the Riptide.
The Riptide will play the Oaks again on Sunday, July 17 at the OC Great Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4:35 p.m. Box Score