Two unearned runs in the top of the third inning cost Irvine Valley's baseball team in a 3-1 loss to Santa Ana in an Orange Empire Conference game at home on Thursday afternoon.
Santa Ana (24-12, 8-9) added a run in the top of the seventh inning to win its second straight game over the Lasers (17-19, 5-12) in the three-game series.
The two teams will wrap up the series on Saturday at Santa Ana at noon.
Bobby Vasquez scored from second base on the IVC throwing error in the third to put Santa Ana on the board. Julio Rivera hit an RBI double later in the inning to put the Dons up, 2-0.
Santa Ana made it a 3-0 game on Erick Leef's RBI bunt single.
Irvine Valley tried to rally late, scoring a run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a RBI single through the left side by sophomore shortstop Tyler Odekirk. The hit brought in freshman second baseman Colin Conroy, who had doubled to lead off the inning.
IVC loaded the bases with two outs in the inning and freshman pinch hitter Ryan Gaynor hit a slow roller to second base, but Santa Ana's Juan Gonzalez was able to just get Gaynor at first base to end the inning.
Santa Ana reliever Gabe Armstrong closed out the game in the ninth.
Guillermo Sanchez picked up the win. He went eight innings and gave up one run on six hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.
Irvine Valley sophomore Tyler Venturelli took the loss. He went 4.1 innings and allowed two runs (none earned) on three hits and one walk with two strikeouts.
IVC got a strong performance out the bullpen from freshman Rafael Salas. He pitched 4.2 innings and allowed one run on four hits.
Laser sophomore catcher Cole Joy was 3 for 4 with a stolen base on offense. Oderkirk went 2 for 4 with one RBI for the Lasers.