Ferret's walk-off grand slam downs Dons

Ferret's walk-off grand slam downs Dons
Kyle Ferret's first home run of the season couldn't have come at a better time as it came with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning and he saw two batters in front of him in the lineup get intentionally walked to load the bases. 

With the outfield in, Ferret's goal was to lift the ball deep into the outfield to score the runner from third.  What he got was a fly ball that not only cleared the fielders, it cleared the left-center field fence by 20 feet which, in turn, cleared the bases and cleared the Gauchos dugout for a home plate celebration.

Both teams sent their pitching aces to the mound to start the game.  When these two teams on March 7 at Saddleback, Santa Ana's Matt Blanchard (6-2) earned a 3-2 victory over Saddleback's Evan Manarino (7-1) as Manarino suffered his first loss of the season.  On Thursday, both pitchers left the game in the seventh inning with the score tied 1-1. 

Ferret's home run turned a Trey Ferketic (1-0) into a winner on the mound for his first Saddleback decision in 10 relief appearances.  It also tabbed the loss on Santa Ana's James Roll (0-2) in his 10th appearance of the season.
Second baseman Jeff Butler doubled to left-center field to open the bottom half of the inning, marking the fifth consecutive inning that Saddleback's leadoff batter had reached base safely.  Shortstop Josh Fuentes (.325, 14 extra base hits) was intentionally walked to set up the double play.  First baseman Noah Graham (.288, 10 extra base hits) successfully sacrificed the runners up a base and Santa Ana decided to intentionally walk Brandon Cody (.340, 20 extra base hits).  That loaded the bases for Ferret, who was 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the fourth inning heading into that final at-bat.

The victory keeps Saddleback (20-10, 8-7) in the race for the conference title and moves the Gauchos two games above Santa Ana (19-10, 6-9) with six games to play.  The Gauchos will host conference leader Fullerton (22-7, 12-2) on Friday night at 6:00 p.m.