Simmons’ Big Day at the Plate Lead Riptide to a 7-4 Victory Over the Conejo Oaks

Irvine, Calif. – After defeating the Conejo Oaks in their previous matchup 9-0, the Orange County Riptide came out on top in tonight’s contest, winning 7-4 at the Orange County Great Park. It was an offensive battle between the two CCL teams, but University of Connecticut outfielder T.C. Simmons’ performance helped carry the Riptide to their eighth inner-league victory. The Riptide are now 2-0 against the Oaks this summer, bringing their record to 16-11.

Santa Clara left-hander Cade Connolly fans six Oaks batters through four innings of work. (Photo Credit: Alina Nelson)

Orange County added two infielders to the team as first baseman Clayton Owens (USC) and catcher Blake Penso (UCI) both made their debut for the Riptide in this evenings contest. In Penso’s first at bat in a Riptide uniform, he blasted a solo homerun in the bottom of the second inning. The aforementioned T.C. Simmons followed Penso in the lineup and mimicked him with a solo home run of his own on the first pitch of the at-bat. Following Simmons’ home run, he continued to rack up his RBI total as he tallied a two-out RBI single in his following at-bat in the bottom of the third inning.

Riptide starting pitcher Cade Connolly (Santa Clara) struck out six batters through four innings, allowing two hits and two runs (one unearned). The Conejo Oaks scored their first run of the game against Connolly in the fourth inning after a throwing error from second baseman Davis Diaz (Vanderbilt) which allowed an Oak runner to cross an unattended home plate. The runner that reached safely after the throwing error finished the play on second base, and later came around to score the Oaks second run of the game.

After stroking a single and a home run in his first two plate appearances, Simmons squared up another ball that was just shy of leaving the yard and used his speed to stretch out a triple. This monster extra-base hit marked his third RBI of the game and allowed him to eventually score off of a wild pitch in the fifth inning, allowing the Riptide to regain the lead.

UConn slugger T.C. Simmons goes 3-3 with three RBI’s, and was only a double shy of a cycle against Conejo. (Photo Credit: Alina Nelson)

The Oaks led off the fifth inning with four consecutive singles against reliever Dalton Wood (Rice) which allowed them to score two runs and take the lead. After facing seven Oaks hitters, he allowed four hits and two runs through one inning pitched. Following Wood’s appearance, Pepperdine right-hander Josiah Castillo entered the game to throw in the sixth and seventh inning. After a throwing a perfect sixth inning, he allowed just two hits and no runs in the seventh inning while also getting a bases-loaded strikeout against the ninth and final batter he faced.

After a leadoff double from Owens followed by a single from Penso, the Riptide added some cushion to their lead in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Oaks defense made an error allowing Owens to score. An additional run scored for Orange County as Diaz gained an RBI from hitting a sacrifice fly that allowed Penso to score.

Davidson right-handed pitcher Jake Biederman made an appearance in the top of the eighth with a perfect outing, as he struck out one of the three batters he faced allowing no hits and no runs. Illinois right-hander Andrew Pogue earned the save by closing out the game in the ninth inning as he allowed one hit and one walk, while striking out two of the six opponents he faced.

Orange County will face the San Luis Obispo Blues for their fourth matchup tomorrow, July 17th, at 4:00 PM PDT at Sinsheimer Park.

OC Riptide vs Conejo Oaks July 16, 2021 – Box Score

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