In the last game of the season, the Orange County Riptide take a tough 5-0 loss to the Conejo Oaks.
When asked what the Conejo pitchers did to quiet the Riptide offense, Head Coach Tim Brown said, “I didn’t see anything from the pitching staff. We have an exhausted team. We played an extra innings game until, what, 11:30, in San Luis Obispo. Our guys are exhausted.”
Reed Schaefer (Arizona) started on the bump for the Riptide tonight, going 2 scoreless innings before giving up 2 runs in the 3rd, recording 2 more outs before being pulled.
Matt Gaunt (Golden West College), making his Riptide debut, relieved Schaefer, pitching 1.1 innings, giving up 1 run on 2 hits.
Troy Maki (Cal St LA) came in in the 5th, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and recording 3 outs.
Noe Novella (Santa Ana College), also making his Riptide debut, pitched the first scoreless inning for the Riptide since the 2nd, walking 2 and striking out 1.
The scoreless trend continued for the rest of the game as Josh Haley (Long Beach State) and Matt Maloney (New Mexico State) pitched 2 and 1 shutout innings respectively, each striking out 1.
But the damage was done. The 5-run deficit proved too much for the exhausted Riptide hitters, who couldn’t erase any of it. The Riptide offense was held to a .138 average (4-29) as only Santino Panaro (UNLV), Blake Penso (UCI), Joey Nicolai (UCR), and Gavin Mez (UNLV) recorded one single each, with no batters having multi-hit games.
“It will be good to get a couple of days’ rest and then, hopefully, make a run in the playoffs. We’ll see what we can do,” remarked Panaro, who, on top of having 1 of the 4 Riptide hits, had a remarkable diving catch to end the 1st.
And it will truly be a couple of days, as the Riptide are back in action this Thursday in San Luis Obispo. It will be the team’s first playoff appearance since 2019 and another chance to win a second championship.
OC Riptide vs. Conejo Oaks – Box Score