Pasadena, Calif. – The Arroyo Seco Saints struck first in this one, but the Orange County Riptide answered right back. Both teams battled in this one, but the Riptide ultimately came out on top thanks to a 9th-inning rally, winning 10-9. The Riptide are now 17-15, good for third in the division and 5 games behind first place.
The game got off to a rough start in the first as starting pitcher Alex Schrier (UC Santa Barbara) gave up a 3-run shot to the Saints shortstop. Schrier recovered a bit, but put up a somewhat crooked line of 4.0 IP / 3 H / 5 R / 4 ER / 4 BB / 4 K.
Reliever Luke Higgins (Golden West College) came in in the 5th and stayed in for 2.1 innings, in which he gave up 4 runs on 3 hits.
Higgins was the last Riptide pitcher to give up a run, as Joshua Hahn (UCLA) and Daniel Naughton (Gonzaga) combined for an excellent final 2.2 innings. Hahn ended up with the win and Naughton with the save as he slammed the door on Arroyo Seco with 2 strikeouts in 1 inning.
The Riptide began scoring in the 2nd, as Blake Penso (UCI) singled, Brandon Burckel (Houston) doubled, and Santino Panaro (UNLV) singled, making the game 3-2 Saints.
The Riptide gained the lead in the 3rd, forcing a pitching change with a pair of walks by TC Simmons (UConn) and Nathan Manning (UC Berkeley), before hanging 4 runs on the new guy, Caleb Reyes. Penso got hit to fully load the bases and Burckel promptly unloaded them with a bases-clearing double. Panaro brought him home with a single, putting the Riptide up 6-3.
In the top of the 7th, Manning padded the lead with a solo homer, his second home run and team-leading 15th RBI of the season, 12 of which came in his last 4 games.
Despite the seemingly comfortable lead, the Saints clawed their way into the lead and stayed there until the top of the 9th. Shane Taylor (Utah Tech) started the rally, reaching 2nd on an error by Arroyo Seco’s first baseman. A passed ball by their catcher put Taylor in scoring position and Dominic Souto (Cal) singled him home. Manning singled, a pitch got away from the Saints, and Wilson Galvan (UT Arlington) hit into a fielder’s choice, setting the stage for Penso, who doubled home the winning run.
The Riptide are back at home in OC Great Park tomorrow to rematch with these same Saints. First pitch is 6:35 pm.
OC Riptide @ Arroyo Seco Saints – Box Score