Irvine, Calif. – The Orange County Riptide won their second matchup against the Ventura Pirates on Thursday night at the Orange County Great Park 16-4. It was an offensive explosion tonight for the Riptide as each of the starting nine hitters recorded at least one hit. After 16 hits and 12 walks tonight, the Riptide are now on a three consecutive win streak putting Orange County’s record at 11-7.
Right hander Mikal Ashley started on the mound for the Riptide and nearly had a perfect outing. Facing 11 batters through three innings, he allowed zero hits and zero runs while striking out two Pirates. University of Tennessee’s Charlie Taylor didn’t take long to settle into his Riptide debut as he had a multi-hit game, while also throwing out a Pirate base runner who attempted to steal second base in the top of the second inning.
Tank Espalin (Indiana) got the offense started in the second inning with the Riptide’s first hit. After a single to right field, he advanced to second on a pass ball and scored the Riptide’s first run on another pass ball. Later in the inning, center fielder TC Simmons (University of Connecticut) hit a bases loaded single to right field that scored two runs. UNLV infielder Edarian Williams mirrored Simmons’ two-RBI single with a similar two-RBI single to right field as well. Orange County continued to pile on runs as Dartmouth right fielder Kolton Freeman hit an RBI double down the third baseline that resulted in Williams scoring for the sixth and final run scored in the second inning. An additional run came in the third inning from an RBI single by Nebraska infielder Efrain Cervantes.
Entering in relief for Ashley in the fourth inning was right hander Jake McBride, but after a few hits the Riptide defense began to fall apart. After a base hit with two runners in scoring position for Ventura, the Riptide forced a pickle which resulted in the runner at third to be tagged out, but once third baseman Cody Dreis (Washington State) attempted to get an additional out at first base the ball consequently evaded first baseman Jack-Thomas Wold (UNLV). The disastrous play allowed for two runs to score for the Pirates. After a two-run home run in the fifth, Ventura totaled four runs (two unearned), four hits, one walk, and one strikeout against McBride. He faced a total of 10 hitters through the 1.2 innings he threw. Sam Hasegawa, a left-handed pitcher from UC San Diego, came in for McBride to get the final out of the fifth inning and also to pitch in the sixth. He threw a perfect 1.1 innings, facing four batters, striking out two while allowing zero hits and zero runs.
It became a hit parade for the Riptide as they put up seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. After a leadoff walk, Taylor hit a double that to right-center field that scored the formerly walked Dreis. Orange County stayed patient at the plate as after two additional walks occured, Wold hit a bases loaded single to score Taylor. Derek Shaver (Wichita State) joined the fun with a bases loaded walk, which was followed by a bases loaded RBI single by Freeman. Following an RBI sacrifice fly from Austin Kryszczuk (UNLV), Dreis crushed a double over the left fielder’s head scoring two more runs for Orange County. Each Shaver and Kryszczuk found a way to increase production in the following sixth inning with Shaver’s sacrifice fly to left field and Kryszczuk’s RBI single to score UNLV teammate Wold.
Right hander Jake Biederman (Davidson) followed Hasegawa to pitch in the seventh and eighth inning. Biederman gave up two hits and struck out two of the eight total batters he faced. Entering in the ninth inning to close out the game for the Riptide was right-handed pitcher Josiah Castillo from Pepperdine University. He struck out one of just the three batters he faced in the inning, allowing zero runs and zero hits.
The Riptide will face the Arroyo Seco Saints in their third matchup of the summer at 6:00 PM PDT on July 2nd. As they sit 0-2 against Arroyo Seco, Orange County looks to get their first win against the Saints at Jackie Robinson Field in Pasadena, CA.
Orange County Riptide vs. Ventura Pirates July 1, 2021 – Box Score