The Saddleback baseball team improved to 2-0 for the season with a 6-1 win at San Diego City College on Saturday. The pitching remained hot while the bats capitalized on some errors.
Saddleback is now 2-0 for a fourth straight season after sweeping a second straight game from San Diego City. They did it with a perfect trifecta of pitching, hitting and defense.
Saddleback took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Willie Lajoie led off the inning with a double and later scored from third on a balk from San Diego City pitcher Anders Tolhurst.
The Knights struck back in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 1-1 before Saddleback cranked up the offense in the top of the fourth inning. Again it was Lajoie, who blasted a two-run homer with two outs in the inning to give the Gauchos a 4-1 lead.
The three-run cushion was plenty of room for the Saddleback pitching staff, who silenced the San Diego City bats for a second straight day. The Gauchos started Bradley Spooner, who set the program record for saves last season as a closer when he had eight saves in 2017. Now a starter, Spooner gave Saddleback five strong innings before turning it over to the bullpen. He finished with two strikeouts against one walk while spreading around five hits in picking up his first win of the season.
Connor Sealey was the first out of the pen and was brilliant. Sealey struck out three in two innings of work while protecting the three-run lead. He gave way to Ellis Jensen, who struck out two in one inning of work and got out of a mini-jam with a lazy pop-up to second base. Zak Herbers then came on in the ninth inning to shut the door on San Diego City after the Gauchos had added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning. The pitching staff finished with eight strikeouts for a second straight game to start the season while surrendering only six hits.
Riley Kasper gave Saddleback some separation room in the top of the ninth inning when he singled through the left side of the infield to drive home Jordan Fitzgerald for a 5-1 lead. Kasper would later come home to score on a throwing error by Knights pitcher Dayne Black.
Saddleback is now 4-0 for a fourth straight season after sweeping the two-game set with San Diego City. It's the third straight season the Gauchos have opened with consecutive wins over the Knights.
Saddleback will be on the road on Tuesday when they travel to El Camino College to take on the Warriors. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM.