Irvine, Calif. – In the Opening Night home game against the Ventura Pirates, the Orange County Riptide started off right in the win column.
New Mexico State right-hander Matthew Maloney started Opening Night on the mound for the Riptide. He ran into some trouble in the 1st, but ultimately cruised to 5 shutout innings of 2 hit ball, complete with an impressive 9 strikeouts and only 2 walks. When asked what was working so well, Maloney attributed his success to his fastball and cutter. A newcomer to the team, he had only good things to say: “I love it here; it’s awesome. Great Park’s nice. It’s a fun team. Great guys, great coaches.”
The offense started quickly for the Riptide with leadoff hitter Wilson Galvan, a right fielder from UT Arlington, reaching on an HBP. Utah Tech second baseman Shane Taylor followed it up with a walk and UC Riverside’s Joey Nicolai scored Galvan with an RBI error on Ventura County’s third baseman Jacob Rebrook. Catcher Nathan Smith of Tennessee padded the Riptide’s early lead with a sac fly, hanging 2 runs on Ventura County starting pitcher Deandre Carter in the 1st.
No more runs came from either team until the bottom of the 5th. Veteran Riptide first baseman Clayton Owens from USC singled, getting the first hit of the night for the Riptide. He advanced to second on an HBP by UNLV left fielder Santino Panaro, before scoring on a passed ball.
Following Maloney’s stellar outing, UCI left-hander Evan Vasiliou relieved him with 2.0 shutout innings of his own.
The scoring started up again for the Riptide in the 7th, on successive singles from Galvan and Taylor and an RBI fielder’s choice from Nicolai. Taylor had the best night offensively, going 2-3 and scoring twice.
Relievers Ethan Pope of Cal Baptist and Seton Hall’s Christian Finnegan finished out the shutout, each pitching an inning and leaving the Riptide with a 4-0 win.
OC Riptide vs. Ventura Pirates June 7, 2022 – Box Score