The Saddleback baseball team improved to 4-0 on the season after a 5-1 win over Santa Barbara City College on Thursday night at Doug Fritz Field. The game was called after eight innings due to dense fog.
Saddleback got another solid outing from the starting pitching as Tanner Brubaker pitched seven strong innings in a match-up of two, top-15 teams. The recent verbal commit to UC Irvine struck out seven without a walk, spreading around five hits while improving to 2-0 on the season.
Saddleback's offense had a chance to blow the game open in the early innings but allowed Santa Barbara to hang around in each of the first four frames. The Gauchos scored solo runs in the first four innings but stranded nine runners in the process.
Saddleback led 4-1 in the bottom half of the eighth inning when the fog rolled in as the Gauchos were coming up to bat. Riley Kasper led off the inning with a line drive to right field and with two outs in the inning stole second base. He later scored when Brett O'Toole lifted one into short right field, giving Saddleback an insurance run to play with. Kasper finished 3-for-4 at the plate while O'Toole was 3-for-5 as the duo collected six of the eight Gaucho hits on the night.
Connor Sealey took over on the hill in the top of the eighth inning after Brubaker left and quickly recorded a strikeout when he got Ryan Guardino to chase a ball out of the zone. The next batter was Shane Hersh, who finished his at-bat with the same fate. The third out of the inning was recoded when Reinhart Lautz hit a grounder to third that was fielded by Spencer Heinsius, who threw wide of the bag but was bailed out on a tremendous pick from the first baseman, Willie Lajoie.
Zac Herbers came on to pitch in the top of the ninth inning but the game was quickly called complete as the field became unplayable due to the fog.
Saddleback and Santa Barbara will play again on Friday in game two of a three-game set. The first pitch is scheduled for 5:00 PM.