Irvine Valley's baseball team had its chances late, but couldn't finish the job in a hard-fought 3-2 loss to Cypress at home on Tuesday.
Cypress (22-10, 7-6) took the first of the three-game series against the Lasers, who saw their record slip to 15-17 overall and 5-8 in conference.
The two teams play again on Thursday at Cypress at 2 p.m.
Irvine Valley had its problems at the plate for much of the game against Cypress starting pitcher Jake Mahood. Mahood retired the first 19 IVC batters of the game.
IVC's first hit and baserunner against Mahood came with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning on a single through the right side by sophomore shortstop Colin Conroy.
Irvine Valley trailed, 3-0, at the time with Cypress getting one run in the top of the fourth inning and two runs in the top of the fifth against freshman starting pitcher Nick Janowicz.
Gilly Rodriguez knocked in the Chargers first run in the fourth with an RBI single. And in the fifth inning, Aaron Simpson had a RBI single to center and Aaron Lizarraga followed with an run-scoring double.
But Conroy's single in the seventh to break up the perfect game, got the Lasers going.
Conroy later scored on a RBI single by freshman third baseman Dustin Angus to make it a 3-1 game.
Irvine Valley scored another run in the bottom of the eighth inning and then nearly tied the score.
Santa Cruz moved to second base after Conroy reached on an error with two outs. And sophomore right fielder Zack Stack singled up the middle, which looked like it would score Santa Cruz, but Conroy was tagged out rounding the bag at second base after a throw in from the outfield for the third out. He was tagged before Santa Cruz reached the plate, negating the run and the tie game.
IVC had one more chance with pinch-runner Grant Rockefeller reaching second base with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
Sophomore left fielder Wyatt McGinnis hit a hard liner, but it was right at the second baseman and Cypress was able to double Rockefeller off second to end the game.
Janowicz took the loss to fall to 3-5. He went eight innings and gave up three runs on 11 hits and three walks with one strikeout.
Mahood took the win, going 7.2 innings and allowing two runs on four hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.
Riley Ohl got the save after pitching the final 1.1 innings for the Chargers. Lizarraga went 3 for 4 and Jack Gardner and Eric Chavarria each had two hits for Cypress.
IVC finished with five hits in the game.