Thousand Oaks, Calif. — The OC Riptide defeated the Conejo Oaks 10-9 at George “Sparky” Anderson Field on Wednesday, July 27th. The Riptide bats were on fire early, tallying 10 runs and 3 home runs in the first six innings. Blake Penso (UC Irvine) led the way, going 3-5 with a home run and 4 RBI.
The offense started early. In the top of the first, the Riptide recorded four straight singles, the third coming off the bat of Nathan Manning (Cal) to bring home Shane Taylor (Utah Tech) and give the Riptide an early 1-0 lead. The Riptide had the bases loaded with nobody out, but a flyout and a double play ended the threat. The Oaks answered back, scoring one in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1.
In the second inning, the Riptide took the lead and would never give it back. Gavin Haimovitz (Santa Barbara City College) singled and stole second to start the inning. Then, with 2 outs, Shane Taylor crushed a two-run home run to right-center to give the Riptide a 3-1 lead. That homer was Taylor’s third, giving him sole position of the team lead in home runs. Taylor finished the game going 3-5 with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored.
Gavin Haimovitz started the fourth inning with a solo homer, extending the lead to 4-1. Two batters later, with Santino Panaro (UNLV) on second, Shane Taylor hit a chopper to first which took a funny hop, allowing Panaro to score and Taylor to reach. Dominic Souto (Cal), the next batter up, doubled to right-center, bringing the lead to 6-1. After a pop out, Blake Penso singled to left field, driving in the fourth run of the inning and making it a 7-1 game. The Oaks answered back with two runs, thanks to a pair of wild pitches and a two out single, shrinking the lead to 4.
Josh Hahn (UCLA) started the game for the Riptide. He turned the ball over to Daniel Naughton (Gonzaga) after 5 innings. Hahn allowed 3 runs, none earned, and earned the win.
After a scoreless fifth inning, the Riptide bats were back in the top of the sixth. With two outs and runners on second and third, Blake Penso blasted a three-run home run to give the Riptide a 10-3 lead after six innings.
After the game, Penso said, “Today I was just keeping it simple, like this whole team has the entire summer.” When asked about the final four games and making a playoff push, Penso said, “We don’t know who is going for us, one day or another, but all we know is we’ve got nine guys out there on the field that can get the job done.”
Daniel Naughton pitched the sixth and the seventh and allowed two runs, making it a 10-5 game. Carson Case (Nevada) pitched the eighth and allowed one run. The game seemed to be over when Matthew Maloney (New Mexico State) entered in the ninth with a 4 run lead. After a couple errors, the Oaks scored three runs, and had the tying run at third with 1 out. Maloney delivered a huge strikeout for the second out. Then, he induced a pop out to secure the victory.
The Riptide improve to 16-15 and are third in the CCL South. The Riptide’s next game is against the San Luis Obispo Blues at Sinsheimer Park. Their final home game is against the Conejo Oaks at the OC Great Park on July 31st at 4:35 p.m. Boxscore