The Saddleback baseball team won a marathon game at Cypress College on Saturday, defeating the Chargers 7-6 in 17 innings. It was the eighth straight game that has been decided by two runs or less as the Gauchos improved to 13-6 overall and 4-4 in Orange Empire Conference play.
Saddleback has had great pitching all season and the bullpen was pressed to the limit on Saturday. The Gaucho pen stifled the Chargers for the final 10 innings to pick up a critical win in OEC play.
Cypress jumped out to a 3-0 lead after three innings before the Saddleback offense got into the game. Saddleback scored two runs in the fourth inning and solo runs in the sixth and seventh innings to take a 4-3 lead. Cypress then struck for three more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and held a 6-4 lead heading into the top of the ninth inning. The Gauchos then struck for two runs when Noah Graham grounded out to make the score 6-5 and Brandon Cody doubled home Trevor Sealy to tie the game at 6-6.
Both teams went scoreless for the next seven innings of play as the bullpens for both teams were sensational. The combination of Taylor Ohl, Coleman Huntley, Trey Ferketic, Anthony Shew, Chase Jones and Christian Stubbs limited Cypress to six hits and five walks, getting out of jams in the 8th, 11th, 13th, 14th and 17th innings.
Saddleback finally struck for a run in the top of the 17th inning when Graham reached on an error by the Cypress third baseman Robert Chavarria, scoring Cody Schmitz with the go-ahead run. Stubbs finally came into the game with two Charger runners on base and no outs, and proceeded to work some magic. He got Dylan Moore to ground out to the shortstop before getting Parker Star to hit into a fielder's choice at the plate. He then got Chavarria to line out to first base to secure the win.
Saddleback pounded out 19 hits over 17 innings, led by Cody's 4-for-9 performance. Graham (pictured) also finished with three hits in seven at-bats.
The win evened Saddleback's record at 4-4 in conference play, putting them in a tie for fourth place in conference play with Cypress. The Gauchos are one game back of both Riverside and Orange Coast and two games back of Fullerton in OEC play.
It was the eighth consecutive game decided by two runs or less for Saddleback. The Gauchos are Chargers will meet again on Tuesday at Doug Fritz Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM.