Irvine, Calif. – The Orange County Riptide (2-0-1) secured their first win of the season in California Collegiate League play after coming back from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Arroyo Seco Saints 8-5 at the Orange County Great Park on Friday.
Right-hander Evan Yates (Cal State Fullerton) got off to a rocky start, earning three of the four runs scored in the top of the first inning before recording an out. Through four innings, Yates punched out eight batters, walked one, and gave up five hits.
“We spotted them four runs, and we gradually clawed back, one run at a time until we finally got something going in our eight,” Head Coach Tim Brown said. “It’s a credit to the team.”
After a successful first inning, the Saints offense grew quiet, failing to drive in a run until the top of the eighth inning following a sacrifice fly hit to right field.
Left fielder Austin Kryszczuk (UNLV) quickly became a key player in Friday’s matchup after going 2-for-4 with two singles, a walk, and a sacrifice fly. Although successfully getting on base, putting the ball in play, and having runners reach home, Kryszczuk was not awarded with any runs batted in.
“[I was] just trying to barrel something up, and get a pitch I could handle. You just want to help your team win, so I was glad I was able to do that,” Kryszczuk said. “I feel locked in, and the guys have been helping me out with counts, and pitch leverage, so they’ve been helping my success.”
Clayton Owens (USC) entered the game in center field and did nothing short of contribute to the comeback. Owens tied the game in the bottom of the seventh, driving in Miller Ladusau (Abilene Christian University) with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Defensive miscues hindered both teams, after the Riptide recorded three and the Saints four, however the Riptide took the lead 8-5 after the Saints left fielder bobbled the ball in the bottom of the eighth, giving a runner room to cross home plate. Pinch hitter Jordan Dissin (UC of San Diego) put together a big run for the Riptide in the same inning off a base hit.
Relief pitcher Ethan Pope (California Baptist) earned his first win of the season with the 8-5 victory over Arroyo Seco, after allowing two hits and a walk over the final two innings.
The Riptide travel up to Santa Barbara to play the Foresters at 6 p.m. on Saturday as they look to earn their second win in league play. (Box Score)