The Saddleback baseball team received a pitching gem from Trevor Harris in beating Irvine Valley College, 4-1, on Thursday in Irvine. Harris pitched a complete game as the Gauchos improved to 20-18 overall.
Saddleback started Trevor Harris on the hill on Thursday, a guy pressed into starting duty in the past two weeks as a result of injuries. The sophomore from Carroll High School in Texas was magnificent, throwing the teams first complete game of the season. Harris struck out four while surrendering just seven hits and one walk as the Gauchos remained alive in the chase for the Southern California Regional Playoffs.
Saddleback jumped out in front in the top half of the first inning when they had three hits and a hit-batsman in taking a 2-0 lead. Chris Demgen had the biggest hit of the inning when he found a hole on the left side of the infield for a two-run single with two outs in the inning.
Saddleback carried a 2-1 lead into the top half of the fourth inning when they generated a two-out rally. With the first two batters retired, the Gauchos had four straight hits in taking a 4-1 lead. Demitri Colacchio drove in Nick Lopez and then Riley Kasper singled up the middle to drive home Ryan Thibert as Saddleback grabbed control of the game.
The rest of the game looked simple for Harris, who never allowed a base-runner past second base over the final seven innings of the game. He improved to 2-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.35 in the process.
Harris has appeared in five games on the mound all season and was used periodically as an outfielder over the first half of the season (hence the randomness of the picture). He made his first appearance on the mound when he pitched an inning against Golden West on March 28. His only other start was against College of the Sequoias last week in a 7-1 win against the Giants.
Saddleback started the game on Thursday at No. 13 in the Southern California RPI and needing some help in order to qualify for the playoffs. The Gauchos are in sixth place in the Orange Empire Conference, a conference with a history of sending 5-6 teams to the playoffs on an annual basis.
Saddleback and Irvine Valley will conclude the regular season on Friday when the Gauchos host the Lasers at 2:00 PM at Doug Fritz Field.