Irvine, Calif. – The Orange County Riptide snapped their 4-game losing streak tonight with a 10-5 win over the Conejo Oaks. In their last meeting, the Oaks won 7-3 when the Riptide visited them in Sparky Robinson Field. The Riptide are now 5-5-1 on the season.
Much of what won the Riptide this game was the defense, with several astonishing plays early on including a comeback play by starter Matthew Maloney (New Mexico State), a diving catch by right fielder Wilson Galvan (UT Arlington), and a scooping play by shortstop Chase Valentine (Tennessee). The Riptide committed 2 errors late in-game, but it was a very tight defense relative to the Oaks’ 4 errors, 2 passed balls, and 4 wild pitches.
The Riptide really capitalized on the Oaks’ defense in the bottom of the 5th and 6th. 4 of their 10 runs came on either errors, passed balls, or wild pitches. In the bottom of the 5th, Dominic Souto (Cal) scored on an E4. In the bottom of the 6th, Santino Panaro (UNLV) scored on a passed ball, Gavin Haimovitz (Santa Barbara City College) scored on an E3, and Nathan Manning (Cal) scored on a wild pitch.
The pitching started off electric, with starter Matthew Maloney continuing his great season with a 5 inning outing, in which he gave up 2 hits, walked none, and struck out 6. Relief was shaky as Josh Hahn (UCLA) and Carson Case (St. Mary’s Calif.) combined for 3 outs in the 6th, with Hahn giving up 2 runs, Case giving up 1, and both pitchers getting into multiple bases-loaded jams. Josh Haley (Long Beach State) efficiently shut down the Oaks in the 7th, before trouble came again in the 8th when Daniel Naughton (Gonzaga) gave up 2 runs. However, Michael Dillon (Nova Southeastern) closed out the win with a strong scoreless outing.
The offense looked nothing like the team that got shut out on Sunday, hanging 12 hits and 10 runs on the Oaks’ pitchers. In his 2022 season debut, veteran Riptide outfielder TC Simmons (UConn) went 3-4 with 2 RBI, on a single in the 5th and sac fly in the 8th. Catcher Gavin Mez (UNLV) also had a great game, going 3-5 and raising his average to .423.
The Riptide will be on a four-game road trip in Northern California, returning to OC Great Park next Tuesday, June 28th. Their next game will be Thursday, June 23rd, at the Sonoma Stompers. Look for game livestreams on OC Riptide social media. First pitch is 7:05 pm.
OC Riptide vs. Conejo Oaks – Box Score