Compton, Calif. – Despite having a commanding lead for the first 7 innings, the wheels fell off this one for the OC Riptide in a 4-run 8th inning for the MLB Academy Barons. The Riptide lost the lead and couldn’t regain it, losing 6-5 and falling to 9-9-1 on the season.
The Riptide opened up the scoring in the 1st, as Santino Panaro (UNLV) walked, advanced on a passed ball, and scored on a single from Zach Thomas (Utah Tech). The Riptide padded their lead with a 3-run inning in the 3rd, thanks to big offensive nights from Panaro, Thomas, and Bubba Filia (UCSD). Shane Taylor (Utah Tech) walked, Panaro singled, and Thomas doubled for his team-leading third of the season, scoring Taylor for his third RBI of the game. Filia followed him with a double of his own, matching Thomas with 2 RBI. The pair had near-identical performances, each recording a single, a double, and 2 RBI. The Riptide’s final run came on a walk by Chase Valentine (Tennessee) and a single from Panaro, who raised his season average to .474, leading all qualified Riptide hitters.
The offense was not what lost this game for the Riptide, although the hot top of the order failed to come through in the clutch. The bullpen was the real problem.
Starter Evan Yates (Cal State Fullerton) was solid, giving up 1 run and 2 hits, walking 2, and striking out 6 in 5 innings of work. He was relieved by Christian Finnigan (Seton Hall) who was similarly effective, going 2 innings in which he gave up 1 run on 2 hits and walking 1.
Reliever Thomas Di Landri (San Jacinto College), however, could not seem to find the strike zone at all. He loaded the bases on 2 walks and an HBP, failing to record an out before he was pulled and throwing only one of his 11 pitches for a strike. Di Landri was relieved by Daniel Naughton (Gonzaga), who failed to get out of the jam, giving up 4 runs total, although 2 were charged to Di Landri. Naughton walked none, but gave up a game-deciding 3-run home run to Barons left fielder Max Dias.
The Riptide will try to get back to a winning record on Sunday, when they rematch against the MLB Academy Barons right here in Compton. First pitch is 1 pm.
Their next home game is Wednesday, July 6th, vs. the Santa Barbara Forresters.
OC Riptide @ MLB Academy Barons – Box Score