Sophomore left fielder Wyatt McGinnis battled back from being behind in the count, fought off several pitches and then earned a walk with the bases loaded to help lift Irvine Valley's baseball team to a 5-4 Orange Empire Conference win at home on Wednesday afternoon.
It was the second straight walk-off win for the Lasers at home.
The game was originally scheduled for Thursday, but moved up a day to beat the impending rain that is to hit the area tomorrow.
Irvine Valley, ranked No. 20 in Southern California, improved tied the three-game series with Riverside at a game apiece and moved its record to 14-11 overall and 4-4 in conference.
No. 3 Riverside fell to 17-8 overall and 4-4 in conference.
Irvine Valley led, 4-1, heading into the top of the ninth inning, but saw Riverside score three runs to tie the score.
Pinch-hitter Chapman Wheeler drove in two runs with a single to right field and then Jacob Rodriguez's groundout brought in Diego Guerrero to tie the game at 4-4.
But Irvine Valley didn't waiver.
Freshman catcher Ryan Santa Cruz hit a single to right field with two strikes. And then Riverside pitcher Graham Kuck slipped while trying to make a play on freshman center fielder Ben McConnell's bunt to put runners at first and second.
Dustin Angus walked to load the bases. Kuck got IVC sophomore designated hitter Zack Stack to foul out for the first out of the inning and then McGinnis worked for his walk to bring in Santa Cruz with the winning from third. McGinnis was down 0-2 in the count and ended up having an 11-pitch at bat.
Freshman reliever Noah Bradford got the win for Irvine Valley. He pitched 2/3 of an inning and gave up one hit. Bradford's record went to 5-2 on the year.
Freshman right-hander Keenan Cisneros did his job on the mound for the Lasers to start. He went 6.1 innings and gave up just one run on six hits and two walks with one strikeout.
Freshman Chad Burchit pitched two innings of relief after Cisneros.
Kuck took the loss and had his record fall to 1-1.
David Barela started on the mound for Riverside and went eight innings. He gave up four runs (none earned) on 10 hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
Riverside made four errors on the day.
At the plate, IVC had 12 hits. Stack was 3 for 5 with a run scored and one RBI, McGinnis went 2 for 3 with a walk and one RBI, McConnell was 2 for 4 with a double, a walk and a run scored and sophomore infielder Brett Long went 2 for 3 with one RBI.
The two teams meet again on Friday in the deciding game of the series at Riverside at 2 p.m.