Irvine Valley's baseball team put one of its better performances of the season together to take down Saddleback in an Orange Empire Conference game on Thursday at home.
The Lasers, down, 2-0, after two innings, scored the next eight runs and came away with a 8-2 win over the Gauchos in the second game of the three-game series.
With Saddleback (17-10, 5-6) earning a 4-3 victory at home on Tuesday and IVC (16-12, 4-7) taking the second game Thursday, the series comes down to Saturday's rubber game at noon at Saddleback.
The Gauchos jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second on a two-run single up the middle by Spencer Heinsius. Both runs were unearned against IVC starting pitcher Tyler Venturelli because of an error earlier in the frame.
But Irvine Valley bounced back and tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run double to left center by sophomore first baseman Tyler Wagner.
And then IVC took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh. The Lasers scored four runs and they plated all of them with two outs in the inning.
Sophomore shortstop Tyler Odekirk followed with a single to right to score Conroy and put IVC ahead, 4-2. Sophomore right fielder Cole Joey and freshman left fielder Zack Stack each also had RBI singles to break open the inning for IVC.
The Lasers added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to put the game away. McGinnis scored on a wild pitch and then freshman third baseman Ryan Rafferty hit a single to center to score freshman designated hitter Chris Conception.
Venturelli did the rest for IVC. He went eight strong innings and gave up just the two runs (both unearned) on four hits and three walks with three strikeouts. He improved his record to 5-2.
Freshman lefty Eric Brunst pitched the top of the ninth and allowed a hit and a walk, but closed the game out.
Chase Lyford took the loss for Saddleback. He pitched 6.2 innings and gave up five runs on six hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
IVC finished with 10 hits on the day, led by Rafferty going 3 for 5 with two runs scored and one RBI. Stack was 2 for 3 with one RBI, Wagner went 1 for 3 with a walk and two rBI and McGinnis scored tow runs for the Lasers.