The Saddleback baseball team rebounded from a shutout on Tuesday by outscoring Riverside City College, 11-7, on Thursday afternoon a Doug Fritz Field. The Gauchos scored in six different innings in jumping back into a tie for third place.
Saddleback suffered its first offensive shutout since 2013 on Tuesday in Riverside and wanted to show its home fans on Thursday that it was nothing more than an anomaly. The Gauchos wasted no time, scoring five times in the first inning against a pitcher that entered the contest at 6-1 on the season with a microscopic ERA. Saddleback rapped out seven hits against RCC starter Matt Acosta over 1.1 innings of work, forcing him into an early exit as the Gauchos took a 6-2 lead after two innings.
After Riverside scored a solo run in the top half of the first inning, Saddleback answered with five hits and five runs of their own in the bottom half. Jerry Carrillo, Andrew Wilson and Brett Auerbach led off the bottom of the first with three straight hits as the Gauchos tied the game at 1-1. Three batters later with two outs, Adam Gordon singled in two runs and Saddleback had a 3-1 lead. Acosta then compounded his problems by hitting Mike Jarvis with a pitch to load the bases. Spencer Heinsius made him pay, singling to right field for a 5-1 lead.
Riverside would score single runs in each of the first four innings in keeping the game within reach. However, every time they seemed to close the gap the Gauchos responded. Riverside cut the lead to 6-4 in the top half of the fourth, only to see the Gauchos respond with a run in the bottom half of the inning and two more in the fifth inning in building the lead to 8-4. The Tigers got back into striking distance in the top half of the eighth inning when Patrick Vizcaino hit a towering home run to cut the lead to 10-7. Saddleback responded in the bottom half of the inning when Riverside booted a couple of balls, increasing the lead to 11-7 on an RBI single by Eric Voller.
Saddleback finished with 15 hits as seven different players had two hits on the afternoon. Wilson and Auerbach would both reach base three times while Heinsius finished with a team-high four RBI.
Saddleback starter Chase Lyford looked stronger as the day wore on. Lyford struggled in each of the first four innings, but managed to get a big out when needed. He pitched through the seventh inning, facing the minimum amount of batters over the final three innings in improving to 6-3 on the year.
Saddleback and Riverside will complete the three-game series in Riverside on Saturday. The first pitch is scheduled for 12:00 PM.