Baseball team opens playoffs with victory over Chaffey

Baseball team opens playoffs with victory over Chaffey

Irvine Valley's baseball team was pretty happy to get a chance to play in the California Community College Championships.

And the Lasers made the most of their opportunity on Tuesday afternoon.

IVC, ranked No. 18, defeated No. 15 Chaffey, 11-2, in an elimination game on the road.

The Lasers got into the playoffs with a big 5-3 Orange Empire Conference win over top-ranked Orange Coast in the last game of the regular season.

They get to play No. 2 Grossmont in a best of three-game regional starting on Friday at Grossmont at 2 p.m.

On Tuesday, IVC put up eight runs in the fourth inning, 14 hits for the game and got a standout performance on the mound from sophomore right-hander Austin Reynolds in the win over Chaffey, which finished in second place in the South Coast Conference-North Division.

Chaffey finished the season with a record of 24-17 overall.

Irvine Valley improved its record to 19-22 overall.

And Reynolds moved to 5-5 on the season after throwing seven innings and giving up just one run on seven hits and one walk. He had eight strikeouts.

Freshman Rafael Salas threw the final two innings and gave up a run on three hits.

The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when IVC scored eight runs.

The Lasers loaded the bases to open the frame behind a single by sophomore shortstop Tyler Odekirk, a walk to sophomore right fielder Cole Joy and a single by sophomore designated hitter Robbie Espinosa.

Sophomore first baseman Tyler Wagner then cleared the bases with a three-run double to put IVC in front.

The next batter, freshman catcher Ryan Gaynor singled to put runners at first and third. Freshman left fielder Wyatt McGinnis was the sixth straight batter to reach base for IVC after he was hit by a pitch.

The hit by pitch, loaded the bases again.

Freshman center fielder Nick Jacobson then singled to drive in Wagner and put IVC ahead, 4-0.

With the bases still loaded, freshman second baseman Colin Conroy made it eight IVC batters to reach base in a row with a two-run single.

Conroy's single gave IVC a 6-0 lead.

Conroy later scored on a passed ball and Odekirk batted around and hit an RBI single to make it 8-0 for the Lasers.

Chaffey got a run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Oscar Martinez.

And Jordan Hernandez hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth.

But Irvine Valley added to its lead in the top of the ninth inning on a two-run single by Wagner and then an RBI double by Gaynor.

Wagner finished with five RBI in the contest. He went 3 for 5 with a double and two runs scored.

Gaynor was 3 for 4 with a double, a walk, a double, one run scored and one RBI.

Odekirk was 2 for 5 with a runs scored and one RBI, Joy went 2 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored and Conroy went 1 for 5 with a run scored and two RBI for the Lasers.

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