Riptide hang on to beat Foresters 7-6

Irvine, Calif. — The Orange County Riptide held off a Santa Barbara’s Forester’s rally to beat the defending CCL champions 7-6 Sunday night in the OC Great Park.

“We beat a good team, that’s a very good baseball team,” Riptide head coach Tim Brown said. ” They play tough. They put a lot of pressure on you. I was pleased with that. I’ve got something tangible now. This is what you [the team] can be if we cut down on strikeouts and walks.”

Jack Noble pitches to a Forester batter in the Riptide’s 7-6 win Sunday night at the OC Great Park. (Sage Zipeto)

A strong fifth inning propelled the Riptide to victory with five of their seven runs coming in the inning. Three of the runs came on RBI singles by Blake Penso (UC Irvine), Santino Panaro (UNLV) and Wilson Galvan (UT Arlington). The Foresters gifted the Riptide the rest of the runs in the inning as an error and a passed ball brought in three runs for the Riptide.

Galvan and Chase Valentine (Tennessee) batted in the rest of the Riptide’s runs on a RBI single and sacrifice fly, respectively.

The Riptide’s pitching staff provided timely pitching to get out of jams and to keep the team in the lead. Jack Noble (Long Beach State), Noah Cabrajal (Long Beach State), Zach Thomas (Utah Tech) and Michael Dillon (Nova SouthEastern) each got out of bases-loaded jams relatively unscathed with only one run coming across between the quartet.

“The momentum, you could just feel it in the stadium, it was on their side a little bit.I told myself ‘I’m going to get out of this inning and rally up the boys,'” Thomas said.

Alongside the timely pitching, The Riptide provided a strong defensive effort to stifle the Forester’s offense. Penso threw out two runners attempting to steal a base, Zach Thomas (Utah Tech) picked off a runner at third and Gavin Haimovitz (Santa Barbara City College) dove to steal a hit for the Foresters.

The Riptide return to action on Tuesday afternoon against the MLB Academy Barons at the OC Great Park. First pitch at 6:35 Pacific time. (Box score)

 

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