The Saddleback baseball team captured the season series with Cypress College by virtue of a 5-2 win on Saturday in Cypress. The Gaucho sophomores showed up in crunch time as Saddleback remains in the hunt for the conference title after the win.
Saddleback was successful in winning its fifth series in six tries this season and staying within two games of first place Orange Coast College with three games to play. The Gauchos will finish the regular season next week with a three-game series with Golden West College while OCC will finish up with a three-game set against Riverside City College.
Saddleback rode its sophomores on Saturday. Pitcher Daniel Harris was solid on the hill, pitching through the seventh inning while the offense was busy building up a lead. Brett Auerbach was sensational at the plate, finishing 4-for-4 with a pair of RBI. Fellow sophomore Connor Sealey came on to close the door in the ninth inning to pick up his sixth save of the season.
Harris was on his game, throwing 59 strikes in 92 pitches. He got out of a jam in the first inning when Cypress had runners at the corners with one out by getting Aaron Lizaraga to pop out and Jack Gardner to line out to Spencer Heinsius at third base. Harris was then bailed out by the defense in the third inning when Willie Lajoie threw out Dominic Campeau at the plate while trying to score on an infield single. He then got out of another jam in the bottom half of the fifth inning when the Chargers had two runners on base with one out, preserving a 5-1 lead.
For Auerbach it was his third, four-hit game of the season. He singled in the first, second, fourth and sixth innings before Cypress opted to plunk him with a pitch in the eighth inning, reaching base in all five at-bats. Auerbach regained the team lead in batting average over Lajoie (.353) with the performance by raising his season average to .360. He also has a team-best .483 on-base percentage for the year.
Saddleback (26-11, 11-7) will finish the regular season with a three-game series against Golden West College (18-19, 6-12), starting on Tuesday at Doug Fritz Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM.