The Saddleback baseball team rallied from a three-run deficit to defeat Cuesta College, 5-3, on Friday afternoon in San Luis Obispo. The Gauchos scored five times in the top of the ninth inning, capped off with the teams first home run of the season.
Saddleback trailed 3-0 heading into the top of the ninth inning and things were looking ominous. The Gauchos then received some timely hits and a few blunders from Cuesta in what was easily the best comeback of the season.
Saddleback opened the inning with a single from Ryan Thibert, who eventually moved up to second base on a wild pitch with one out in the inning. Riley Kasper then delivered an RBI single and the Gauchos had cut the lead to 3-1. Following a fly-out from Willie Lajoie, Kasper then moved up to second on the second wild pitch of the inning. Two pitches later, Zach Bowman walked to give Saddleback two runners on base with two outs, putting the tying run on first base. The walk would prove to be costly as Eric Burckle then reached on an error from the third baseman, clearing the bases to tie the score at 3-3. Saddleback would add the topper with the next batter, as Chris Demgen (pictured) blasted a home run to give the Gauchos a 5-3 lead, with only two of the five runs in the inning being earned. It was the first home run of the season for Saddleback, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
Saddleback then went to Scott Armstrong to try and close out the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. Armstrong would get a clean inning of work, getting two pop outs and a fly out to end the game. It was Armstrong's first save of the season. Curren Larson evened his record at 1-1 on the season after pitching the eighth inning on Friday. Ashton Goddard started the game and worked five innings, striking out five before turning the ball over to Ethan Holt.
Thibert, Kasper and Filip Smola all had two hits on the day to lead the offense.
Saddleback is now 3-3 on the season heading into game two of the series tomorrow afternoon. The Gauchos and Cougars are set to start at 1:00 PM on Saturday, weather permitting.