The Saddleback baseball team rallied for an 11-9 win over Cuesta College on Saturday at Doug Fritz Field. The Gauchos scored seven runs in the sixth inning in taking 2-of-3 from the Cougars.
Saddleback was facing its biggest deficit of the season on Saturday after falling behind Cuesta 7-3 heading to the bottom of the sixth inning. The Gauchos then had their best offensive inning of the year, sending 10 men to the plate and overtaking the Cougars. The big blow was a two-out, three-run homer over the left field wall from Spencer Heinsius. Saddleback had five hits and two walks in the inning, scoring the final six runs of the inning with two outs as the Gauchos grabbed a 10-7 lead.
Cuesta wasn't finished, battling back for two runs in the top half of the eighth inning as it looked as if things could slip away from Saddleback for a second straight day. The Cougars got to within one at 10-9 and had the tying run at second base with two outs in the inning when Connor Sealey silenced the comeback by striking out Nik Pagan for the final out of the inning.
Sealey would have to work more magic in the ninth inning as Cuesta again threatened to take the lead. The Cougars loaded the bases off Sealey with one out when he got Ruben Mercado to ground into a double-play to end the game.
Saddleback had one of its better days at the plate for the year, grinding out 12 hits while scoring a season-high 11 runs. Heinsius (pictured) finished 3-for-5 while Jo-Jo Quintanilla, Brett Auerbach and Brett O'Toole all had two hits apiece. The top six guys in the lineup for Saddleback reached base 16 times, finishing 11-of-23 at the plate with five walks.
Zak Herbers came into the game to pitch in the fifth inning after a trio of pitchers before him had a problems figuring out the Cougar lineup. Herbers struck out four Cuesta batters in three innings of work in improving to 1-1 on the season. Sealey was credited with his second save of the season after pitching the final two innings.
Saddleback is now 7-2 overall after winning 2-of-3 from Cuesta. The Gauchos will host Southwestern College (8-1) on Tuesday. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM at Doug Fritz Field.