Zielinski's complete game leads baseball team to OEC road win

Zielinski's complete game leads baseball team to OEC road win

The Irvine Valley baseball team won another pitcher's duel, beating Santa Ana, 2-1, on the road in an Orange Empire Conference game on Thursday.

Justin Zielinski threw a complete game for the Lasers as he held the Dons to one run on seven hits to improve his record to 5-0 on the year.

It was his third complete game of the season. Zielinski has pitched 56.0 innings and has allowed just six runs (five earned) for a 0.80 ERA.

Irvine Valley improved its overall record to 12-8 overall and 4-2 in conference play, while Santa Ana fell to 11-8 overall and 2-5 in conference.

It was Santa Ana's fifth straight defeat.

The Dons scored the first run of the game in the fourth inning when Cameron Baranek hit a leadoff single before stealing second base. He came around to score two batters later on Devan Campos' RBI-single through the left side.

Through that point of the game, Santa Ana starting pitcher Grant Wilhelm had not allowed a base runner.

But then in the top of the fifth inning, IVC freshman first baseman Lucas Tancas drew a leadoff walk. He moved to second on a single by freshman designated hitter Robbie Espinosa before taking third on a sacrifice bunt.

Tancas then scored when sophomore third baseman Adam Vargas laid down a sacrifice bunt.

The run tied the game at 1-1.

Then in the seventh inning, sophomore right fielder Brett Hamilton reached second on an error to lead off the frame.

After a sacrifice bunt moved Hamilton to third, Espinosa singled him in for the go-ahead run for the Lasers.

The Dons were able to get three base runners in scoring position over the final three innings, but couldn't drive any of them in against Zielinski.

Wilhelm (0-3) took the loss for the Dons as he allowed two runs, one earned, on just one hit over six innings.

IVC finished with just four hits on the day, but made each one of them count. Espinosa went 2 for 4 with one RBI. Tancas was 1 for 2 with a run scored and a walk.

Irvine Valley has the weekend off before starting the second round of conference play next Tuesday at Fullerton.

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