Irvine, Calif. – In the first post-season game for the Riptide this summer, they hosted at home. They victoriously defeated the Conejo Oaks in one of the most underwhelming walk-offs ever, beating them 5-4.
To the Riptide’s dismay, the Conejo Oaks scored three additional runs, on a homerun given up by the starter, Josh Randall (USD). This extended the Oaks’ lead to 4-0.
Tied in the Fifth
The Riptide fired right back and loaded the bases in the bottom of the 5th. The first run, Bryce Blaser (UNC), scored on a walk with the bases juiced. Patrick Hackworth (UCSD), scored on a passed ball. Connor McGuire (CBU) hit an RBI single past the first baseman, tying up the ball game 4-4. Nathan Cadena (San Jose State) and Reese Chapman (Tennessee) scored.
After five innings from Josh Randall (USD), Ryan Hernandez (CBU) took the mound for the 6th. Hernandez started off strong with a 3-up-3-down inning with two strikeouts. In his second inning, Hernandez had another 3-up-3-down outing, ending with a strikeout. Carter Garate (Oregon) made a stellar bare-handed catch on a line drive that deflected off of his glove.
Tied until the ninth, Connor Kinney (Tufts) came in to relieve Ryan Hernandez (CBU). The Riptide defense flashed some leather with Nathan Cadena (San Jose State) running down a runner on first, and tagging him out. Kinney shut them down with a swinging strikeout to send the Riptide up to bat.
Walk-Off in the Ninth
With momentum from their defensive outing, Bryce Blaser (UNC), Nick Upstill (Pepperdine), and Patrick Hackworth (UCSD) advanced on base from three consecutive walks. With the bases loaded, Reese Chapman (Tennessee) walked, sending Bryce Blaser (UNC) home for a walk-off win. Reese Chapman (Tennessee) said that during his at-bat with in that pressure situation, he was trying to take it like any other at-bat. Chapman said, “I wasn’t trying to do much. I mean, slow the heartbeat down with some breathing, and then just don’t chase for balls.”
— OC Riptide Baseball (@ocriptide) August 2, 2023
The OC Riptide will take on the Arroyo Secco Saints on August 2nd at 6:00 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Field.