The Saddleback baseball team received a tremendous performance from ace Tanner Brubaker in beating Cypress College, 7-0, on Tuesday at Cypress. Brubaker struck out 10 while picking up his 10th win of the season.
Saddleback set the tone in the top of the first inning by taking a 3-0 lead. Mike Jarvis was hit by a pitch to start the inning and advanced to second on a base hit from Brett Auerbach. Both of them would score when the next batter, Willie Lajoie, launched his third home run of the season over the left-center field wall for a 3-0 lead. It would end up being all the Gauchos would need as Brubaker was stealth-like on the mound.
Brubaker gave up a hit in the second inning when it looked as if Cypress would break through for a run with runners at the corners and only one out. He quickly quieted the Charger bats by striking out Gilly Rodriguez and getting Eric Bigani to ground out to Mike Jarvis. Cypress wouldn't get another hit until the eighth inning off Brubaker when Saddleback had a 6-0 lead. He ended up striking out 10 Chargers on the day while improving to 10-2 on the season, including three strikeouts in the eighth inning. At one point, Brubaker retired 19 straight Charger hitters from the second through the eighth inning. With the complete-game shutout, Brubaker's ERA dropped to 1.08 for the season in 91.1 innings of work.
Brubaker wasn't the only player having a big day as the Gaucho bats were hot throughout. Saddleback finished with 13 hits as Lajoie, Jarvis, Auerbach, Jordan Fitzgerald, Brett O'Toole and Spencer Heinsius all had two hits apiece. Along with his home run, Lajoie finished with four RBI and increased his team-leading batting average to .362 for the season. He also leads the team in RBI (35) after his big performance on Tuesday.
With the win, Saddleback (25-10, 10-6) remains alone in second place in the Orange Empire Conference with five games remaining in the regular season. Cypress (23-12, 8-8) drops two games behind the Gauchos in the OEC standings with the loss.
Saddleback and Cypress will resume the series on Thursday when the Gauchos host game two at Doug Fritz Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM.