The Saddleback baseball team jumped out to a 3-0 in the opening inning in racing to a 9-2 win over Southwestern College on Tuesday afternoon at Doug Fritz Field. Brett O'Toole provided the big blast with a three-run homer.
Saddleback entered the game at 7-2 on the season and Southwestern was 8-1, so the Gauchos knew they had a chance to knock off one of the better squads in Southern California with a solid effort. Saddleback made a quick statement when O'Toole delivered a one-out homer over the left field fence with Chad Crosbie and Brett Auerbach on base. As it turned out, it would be enough as the Gaucho pitching staff shut down the Jaguar offense for most of the day.
Ellis Jensen started on the mound and pitched into the seventh inning in improving to 1-1 on the season. Jensen surrendered just three hits while striking out four before turning it over to the bullpen with a 3-0 lead. Chase Spinning came on in relief with two outs in the seventh and got out of a jam to preserve the lead.
Southwestern scored in the top of the eighth inning to cut the Saddleback lead to 4-1, inspiring the Gaucho bats to wake up from a six-inning nap. Saddleback tacked on five runs in the bottom half of the inning, with Connor Glenn providing the big dagger when he drove a ball off the right-center field wall for a 9-1 lead.
O'Toole finished 2-for-3 on the day with three RBI. He also reached base on a walk as his on-base percentage rose to .452 for the year. O'Toole has now hit safely in three straight games, going 5-for-12 with six RBI.
Saddleback (8-2) will play again on Thursday when they travel to Glendale College. The Gauchos and Vaqueros are scheduled to start at 3:00 PM.