The Saddleback baseball team opened the season with a 6-2 win over San Diego City College on Friday afternoon at Doug Fritz Field. The Gaucho pitching staff allowed just four hits to start the season 1-0.
Saddleback scored first in the second inning when Adam Gordon led off with a walk and Erik Voller followed with a double to right-center field for a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Theodore Smith scored on a sacrifice fly by Brett Auerbach and the Gaucho lead was 2-0.
Saddleback starter Chase Lyford was at the top of his game to start. Lyford had a perfect game through four innings before the Knights made a charge in the top of the fifth inning. Lyford gave up two runs on three hits in the inning but got out of a jam when Johny Espinosa lined out to Lyford to end the inning.
Saddleback quickly got back to work, scoring three times in the bottom half of the inning to help out their ace. Jerry Carrillo led off the inning with a single. He then stole second and later advanced to third on a passed ball. Carrillo then scored the go-ahead run when Andrew Wilson drove him home with a sacrifice fly. The Gauchos would score two more in the inning, taking advantage of an error on a throw from the pitcher and a single by Ryan Pena.
Saddleback then turned to its bullpen, which was nearly flawless. The combination of Devin Sutorius, Bradley Spooner did the rest. Sutorius pitched three innings of one-hit ball before Spooner closed the door, striking out all three batters in the ninth inning, looking.
Saddleback scored an insurance run in the sixth inning when Carrillo took advantage of a throwing error while stealing third base. Carrillo finished 2-for-2 with two walks, also scoring a pair of runs.
Lyford was credited with the win, pitching five innings of three-hit ball. Lyford, Sutorius and Spooner finished with six strikeouts and no walks in the game.
Saddleback will host San Diego City again on Saturday. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM.