Baseball team's rally falls short against Vikings in home opener

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

Irvine Valley's baseball team battled back late, but a rough first two innings did the Lasers in Saturday in their home opener.

Long Beach City led, 7-0, after two innings and held on for a 11-9 win over Irvine Valley.

The Vikings won despite making seven errors on the day.

Long Beach City has won the first two games of the three-game series. Long Beach City rallied with four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat IVC, 7-6, on Friday in Long Beach.

On Saturday, Long Beach City scored three runs in the first inning and added four runs in the second inning. Robert Barham had an RBI single in the first and then he capped the Vikings' scoring in the top of the second with a two-run triple.

Barham then had an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning to make it an 8-0 Long Beach City lead.

Irvine Valley bounced back on got on the board in the bottom of the fourth.

IVC scored two runs on two hits and three Long Beach City errors.

Freshman catcher Ryan Gaynor had an RBI single to left to score freshman left fielder Zack Stack. And two batters later sophomore shortstop Tyler Odekirk reached on an error to score freshman third baseman Cameron Fliege to make it an 8-2 game.

Long Beach City added to its lead with three runs in the top of the sixth inning.

Vincent Byrd II, Val Stammler and Jared Mayeda had consecutive RBI singles to put the Vikings ahead, 11-2.

Irvine Valley made things interesting late, however.

The Lasers scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to get back in it.

Freshman designated hitter Cain Allen hit an RBI double, sophomore catcher Cole Joy reached on an error to bring in a run. Allen later scored on a wild pitch and when Barham's throw got by the pitcher at home, sophomore first baseman Alec Ceniceros raced around from second.

Then Fliege reached on a fielder's choice to drive in Joy.

IVC trailed, 11-7, heading into the eighth.

Irvine Valley pulled even closer in the bottom of the eighth. Ceniceros hit a solo home run to right center field. And then freshman left fielder Zack Stack doubled to right center to score Joy and make it a 11-9 game.

IVC had one more chance in the ninth. With one out, freshman pinch hitter Ryan Rafferty doubled to left field. But Long Beach City closer Cesar Gomez got the last two IVC batters to end the game.

Barham went 4 for 5 with four RBI to lead Long Beach City. Tyler Wilber and Reese Berberet each added three hits. Byrd was 2 for 2 with a walk and two RBI and Mayeda went 2 for 2 with two RBI.

Long Beach ended with 17 hits.

Josh Agnew picked up the win on the mound for Long Beach City. He went six innings and gave up two runs (none earned) on five hits with four strikeouts.

Gomez earned a three-inning save. He gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits with two strikeouts.

For IVC, which finished with 11 hits, Joy was 2 for 5 with two runs scored and Gaynor went 2 for 3. Allen, Ceniceros, Stack, Fliege and Gaynor each drove in a run.

Sophomore right-hander Matt Markus took the loss on the mound for IVC. He went 1.1 innings and allowed six runs on six hits with two walks.

Irvine Valley got solid relief efforts late from sophomore Tyler Venturelli and freshman Sam Gutierrez. Each pitched two scoreless innings. Gutierrez had two strikeouts.

IVC finishes off the three-game series at Long Beach City on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

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