Baseball team wins another thriller at home, tops Fullerton

Baseball team wins another thriller at home, tops Fullerton

Irvine Valley's baseball team has made a habit of winning close games in the Orange Empire Conference, especially at home.

The Lasers earned their fifth one-run victory in conference play, downing Fullerton, 2-1, on Thursday afternoon.

And it was Irvine Valley's third walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth inning in a conference game at IVC this year.

In the bottom of the ninth, sophomore first baseman Cooper Moore walked with one out and then stole second base.

Up came sophomore left fielder Wyatt McGinnis, who battled with two strikes and hit a slow roller to third base. It was going to be a tough to get McGinnis, who runs well, at first base on the play. McGinnis busted down the line and a rushed throw by the Fullerton third baseman was wild, allowing Moore to cruise into home with the winning run.

IVC had a 1-0 lead heading into the top of the ninth inning after a sensational performance on the mound by freshman right-hander Keenan Cisneros.

Cisneros gave up a lead-off single to Jesse Hayes and then PJ Gordon bunted pinch runner Michael Montenegro over to second base.

Cisneros was then relieved by freshman Noah Bradford.

Bradford proceeded to get a big strikeout, but with two outs, Ryan Aguirre singled to center field to bring in Montenegro and tie the game at 1-1.

Irvine Valley came through in the end with the heroics in the bottom of the inning.

Cisneros didn't get a decision, but had his best performance of the year. He went 8.1 innings and allowed just one run on six hits and three walks with one strikeout.

Bradford picked up the win to go to 6-2 on the season.

Reliever Darrian Lopez took the loss for Fullerton.

IVC took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning when Moore laid down a perfect bunt for a hit that brought in sophomore right fielder Zack Stack. Stack had doubled down the right field line earlier in the frame.

Stack and freshman center fielder Ben McConnell each went 2 for 4 in the game for the Lasers.

Jake Anderson and Hayes each had two hits for Fullerton.

Irvine Valley improved its record to 15-15 overall and 5-6 in conference, while Fullerton went to 15-14 overall and 7-4 in conference. The Hornets were tied for first in the OEC heading into Thursday's game and are now in a three-way tie with Orange Coast and Saddleback.

IVC moved into a three-way tie for fourth place with Riverside and Cypress.

The rubber game of the three-game set will be on Saturday at Fullerton at 12 p.m.

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