The Saddleback baseball team bounced back from a recent loss to defeat Irvine Valley College, 11-5, on Friday in Irvine. The Gauchos scored seven times in the sixth inning in improving to 16-3 on the season.
Saddleback was trying to bounce back after losing a heartbreaker a day early in extra innings (9-8). The Gauchos looked as if it was headed towards another thriller before breaking out the bats in the sixth inning.
Saddleback trailed 5-4 heading into the top of the sixth inning when they sent 11 batter to the plate and took advantage of some wildness from the Laser pitching staff. Gaucho hitters had three walks and a hit batsman in the inning and a handful of timely hits in turning what was a close game into a lopsided affair. The big hits in the inning were turned in by Mike Jarvis and Riley Kasper, who both had two-run singles to cap off the inning and give Saddleback an 11-5 lead. Kasper was on base twice in the inning after walking to start the rally.
Saddleback used a trio of pitchers after a marathon game the day before. The most effective was Chase Spinning, who came on to start the fifth inning and never left the mound. Spinning (pictured) pitched the final five innings in picking up his first win of the season. He allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out four for the Gauchos.
Brett Auerbach kept alive his hitting streak and led Saddleback on offense. Auerbach was 4-for-5 with two RBI and now has an 11-game hitting streak. The sophomore, Alabama commit, is now batting .492 for the season.
Kasper also had a big day for Saddleback, finishing 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs-scored. Jarvis and Willie Lajoie had two hits apiece as the Gauchos outhit the Lasers 14-7.
Saddleback (16-3, 2-1) sits in a tie with Fullerton College for second place in the Orange Empire Conference after the win, trailing Orange Coast College by one game in the standings. The Gauchos are scheduled to start a three-game series with Riverside College on Tuesday. Game one is scheduled for 2:00 PM Tuesday in Riverside. Game two will be played at Saddleback on Thursday at 2:00 PM. Game three is scheduled for 12:00 PM next Saturday at Riverside.