Zielinski's dominant performance leads baseball team to victory

Courtesy of Terry Jack
Courtesy of Terry Jack

Irvine Valley's Justin Zielinski did exactly what a sophomore ace is supposed to.

He stepped up big when his team needed it.

Zielinski threw his best game as a Laser, leading the Irvine Valley baseball team to a 6-0 victory over Los Angeles Harbor at home on Tuesday afternoon.

Zielinski dominated, pitching a complete-game, five-hit shutout.

He didn't allow a walk and struck out seven in facing just four batters over the minimum for the game.

Zielinski threw 103 pitches to earn the shutout, which was the first of his career at IVC.

"I am so proud of him," IVC coach Kent Madole said. "What a special performance and something we really needed after having that two-game funk."

Irvine Valley, which opened the season with four straight wins, lost both of its games on a trip to San Diego last weekend.

IVC improved its record to 5-2 overall. Zielinski is now responsible for three of those victories.

He moved his record to 3-0 on the year. Even more impressive is that he hasn't given up an earned run this season.

In 21 innings, Zielinski has a 0.00 ERA. He has given up 14 hits and one run (unearned) and has nine strikeouts.

"He has put in a lot of work in going back to the beginning of his freshman year (in 2014) and this is the culmination of it," Madole said. "It is really nice to see all of that dedication and commitment pay off."

Tuesday's game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when Irvine Valley scored two runs.

Freshman center fielder Dillon Millar led off with a single to center and then sophomore right fielder Brett Hamilton singled to right.

Freshman first baseman Lucas Tancas, IVC's hottest hitter of the season thus far, then hit a line drive past the LA Harbor third baseman and into the left field corner.

Tancas' triple off LA Harbor starting pitcher Michael Semonsen scored both runners.

The Lasers added three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on three hits, an LA Harbor error and a passed ball to take a 5-0 lead.

And then sophomore shortstop Zach Vittetow drove in Irvine Valley's final run with a single in the bottom of the eighth.

Semonsen took the loss for LA Harbor, giving up five runs (three earned) on eight hits in five innings. He had two strikeouts.

Irvine Valley ended up with 13 hits on the day off of three LA Harbor pitchers.

Five different players had two hits apiece for IVC.

Tancas was 2 for 4 with two RBI, Millar was 2 for 3, Hamilton and sophomore third baseman Adam Vargas were each 2 for 4 with two runs scored and freshman second baseman Cory Mendoza went 2 for 4.

Tancas is batting .517 with a home run, three triples, two doubles and seven RBI on the year.

Irvine Valley is hitting .329 as a team and has out-scored opponents, 82-46, so far.

The Lasers play again on Friday traveling to West Los Angeles for a game at 2 p.m. IVC then hosts West LA on Saturday at noon.

Irvine Valley College provides this web space for the use of its faculty, staff and other representatives of the college for the purpose of furthering the educational goals of the institution and enhancing the academic experience of its students. This is the official web site of Irvine Valley College Athletics. The data, statistics, photos, rosters and schedules used on this web site were gathered by the IVC Sports Information Office. Other web sites containing information about Irvine Valley College Athletics not within the official college web site may not be accurate. Questions or comments about this web site can be directed to bshaver@ivc.edu

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