The Saddleback baseball team improved to 3-0 on the season with an 8-7 win over San Diego Mesa College on Tuesday at Doug Fritz Field. Tyler Clark led the offensive charge as the Gauchos rallied from a 6-2 deficit.
Saddleback cruised to opening, back-to-back wins over San Diego City College last weekend, but on Tuesday were faced with a different set of circumstances. The Gauchos found themselves down 6-2 in the middle of the game and needed to rally to improve to 3-0.
Saddleback turned to one of its veteran players, Clark, who carried the offense on his back. Clark finished 4-for-4, including an RBI triple that brought the Gauchos back to within 7-6 with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. One batter later, Erik Voller drove home Clark with a sacrifice fly and the Gauchos and Olympians were tied at 7-7.
Paramount to the comeback was a pitching staff that got out of jams in both the seventh and eighth innings. Mesa had bases loaded in both innings, with Michael Carr getting a lazy fly ball to end the seventh and Bradley Spooner getting a ground ball to first base to end the eighth.
Saddleback took advantage of the missed opportunities, scoring the go-ahead run in the bottom half of the eighth inning when Mesa committed a pair of errors, allowing Jerry Carrillo to score. Carrillo had come on to pinch run for Theodore Smith, who led off the inning with a single.
Spooner would then take the hill again in the ninth inning, striking out the first two batters before getting a ground out to end the game. Spooner was credited with the win and now has pitched 2.2 innings of perfect work for the year, striking out six during the process.
Saddleback is now 3-0 and will host Santa Barbara City College in a three-game series starting Thursday. The Gauchos and Vaqueros will throw the first pitch at 5:00 PM on Thursday.