The Saddleback baseball team had its first real road trip of the year as they headed to Cuesta College for a two-game set on Friday and Saturday with the Cougars. The Gauchos came home happy, winning 11-9 on Friday and 6-1 on Saturday to improve to 9-2.
Saddleback jumped on the Cougars early in game one, scoring eight times in the first two innings before holding on for a narrow 11-9 win. The Gauchos bunched together 16 hits, as Brandon Cody hit his second home run in as many games in finishing 4-for-5 at the plate.
Evan Manarino picked up his fourth win of the season as he worked five strong innings, surrendering one earned-run and striking out three. Anthony Shew came on in the ninth inning with two outs and two runners on base and picked up his second save of the season when he got Marc Murrillo to ground out to second base for the final out of the game.
Game two on Saturday had a different feel as Saddleback held a narrow 2-0 lead heading into the seventh inning behind a solid outing from Tyler Brashears. The Gauchos then exploded for four runs in the seventh inning, getting some help from the Cuesta pitching and defense. Saddleback took advantage of a hit batter, a wild pitch, a passed ball and an error and cashed in on consecutive doubles by Slate Miller and Josh Fuentes in busting the game wide open.
Brashears improved to 2-1 on the season, finishing six innings of one-hit ball with nine strikeouts. Seth Pedersen worked 1.1 innings of work in picking up his first save of the season.
Noah Graham (pictured) and Miller both finished with three hits on the afternoon as the Gauchos pounded out 13 hits against the Cougars.
Saddleback now stands at 9-2 on the season heading in to conference play, which starts next week. The Gauchos will host Cypress College on Thursday in the OEC opener. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM.