The Saddleback baseball team snapped a two-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over Golden West College on Thursday afternoon at Doug Fritz Field. Chase Lyford pitched into the seventh inning in picking up the win.
Saddleback was needing a victory over Golden West after dropping the Orange Empire Conference opener at GWC on Tuesday. The Gauchos received a gem from Lyford, who left in the top of the seventh inning after getting in a jam. The sophomore gave up four straight hits in the seventh before getting yanked with a 2-1 lead. Brandon Helmick came in to get out a bases-loaded jam to preserve the lead when Chris Rodriguez hit a soft liner to Andrew Wilson to end the inning. Previous to the streak of four straight hits, Lyford had sent down 11 straight Rustlers that came to the plate. He finished with four strikeouts and no walks in improving to 3-2 on the year.
Saddleback didn't do a ton on offense, but had a few timely hits in generating four runs. Tyler Clark drove in the first run in the bottom of the first inning with a one-out double to left field that scored Mike Jarvis for a 1-0 lead. The Gauchos took a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Adam Gordon singled home Brett Auerbach with two outs in the inning. Saddleback made the score 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh when Auerbach doubled home Ulumano Farm. The Gauchos added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Erik Voller doubled home Wilson for the final run of the game.
Saddleback is now 13-5 overall and 1-1 in Orange Empire Conference play after the win. The Gauchos will travel to Golden West to finish the three-game series on Saturday. The first pitch is scheduled for 12:00 PM.