Baseball team gives up big fourth inning and falls in OEC opener

Baseball team gives up big fourth inning and falls in OEC opener

Irvine Valley's baseball team jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead against the top-ranked team in Southern California on Tuesday afternoon at home in the Orange Empire Conference opener.

But that top squad, Saddleback, responded with the next 11 runs, including scoring eight runs in the top of the fourth inning and went on to a 14-3 victory.

Irvine Valley, which was ranked No. 20 in So. Cal., saw its record drop to 10-8 overall, while Saddleback improved to 15-2 overall.

It as the Gauchos' ninth straight win.

Irvine Valley scored two runs in the bottom of the first against Saddleback ace right-hander Tanner Brubaker. Brubaker had given up just one earned run in his 35 innings on the season heading into Tuesday.

IVC sophomore first baseman Cooper Moore knocked in a run with a groundout and then sophomore catcher Ryan Gaynor singled through the left side of the infield to drive in Moore.

After loading the bases, but not scoring in the top of the first inning, Saddleback came back with a run in the second inning to make it a 2-1 game.

Saddleback took the lead for good at 3-2 with two runs in the top of the third inning and then the Gauchos put the game away with eight runs in the top of the fourth inning.

The scoring for Saddleback in the inning started with a solo home run by Spencer Hensius off of Irvine Valley freshman starting pitcher Jason Farese.

Willie Lajoie had an RBI double, Mike Jarvis drove in a run with a single, Chad Crosbie walked to bring in a run and Jo-Jo Quintanilla and Brett Auerbach each had two-run singles to give Saddleback an 11-2 lead.

Irvine Valley scored its final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI groundout by sophomore shortstop Colin Conroy.

The Lasers had nine hits in the contest to 10 for Saddleback.

But IVC didn't help itself in the game with four errors. Laser pitchers also issued eight walks and hit two batters.

Farese took the loss on the mound to see his record slip to 3-3. He went two innings and gave up three runs on two hits and six walks with one strikeout.

Freshman Paul Colignon was a bright spot for IVC, entering the game in the fourth inning and going a strong five innings. He allowed three runs (just one earned) on three hits and one walk with four strikeouts.

Freshman center fielder Ben McConnell and sophomore right fielder Zack Stack each went 2 for 4 and Conroy was 1 for 2 with two walks and one RBI for the Lasers.

Jarvis was 2 for 4 with a walk, three runs scored, a home run, and three RBI and Quintanill, Heinsius and Auerbach each drove in two runs apiece for Saddleback.

Brubaker ended up going seven innings and giving up three runs on eight hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

The two teams play again on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Saddleback.

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