Baseball team's season comes to close with 4-3 loss at home

Baseball team's season comes to close with 4-3 loss at home

The Irvine Valley baseball team ended its 2018 season with a tough 4-3 Orange Empire Conference loss to Santa Ana at home on Friday afternoon.

Santa Ana took the final two games of the three-game set to improve to 22-18 overall and 10-11 in conference.

Irvine Valley's record fell to 18-22 overall and 8-13 in conference.

Going into the series, both teams needed wins to boost their chances of making the playoffs.

In the end, neither team advanced.

Santa Ana ended up finishing in a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference standings with Cypress and Fullerton.

But because of other results in the conference on Friday, neither Santa Ana, Cypress or Fullerton moved on to the postseason.

Irvine Valley jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a sacrifice fly by sophomore right fielder Zack Stack.

Santa Ana took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second on a two-run triple by Andrew Martinez and then the Dons went up, 3-1 after a RBI single by Adam Cendejas in the top of the sixth.

The Lasers inched closer at 3-2 on a RBI single by Stack that scored sophomore shortstop Colin Conroy in the bottom of the sixth.

Santa Ana's Raymond Villanueva put the Dons ahead, 4-2, with an RBI single in the top of the seventh, but IVC closed the game again in the bottom of the frame.
Freshman center fielder Ben McConnell knocked in a run with a single to short.

The Lasers almost tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. With one out freshman third baseman Dustin Angus singled and then sophomore first baseman Cooper Moore walked.

With two outs, freshman second baseman David Rojas was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Next up was sophomore left fielder Wyatt McGinnis, who hit a slow roller back to the pitcher. McGinnis was initially called safe at first at first and it looked as if IVC scored the tying run. It was ruled that Cendejas, Santa Ana's first baseman, was off the bag when taking the throw.

But after the two umpires discussed the play, it was overturned and the third out was called to end the inning.

IVC still trailed by a run.

The Lasers couldn't mount a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning and the season ended.

McConnell was 2 for 5 with a run and one RBI and Stack went 1 for 3 with two RBI for the Lasers.

Villanueva was 3 for 5 with one RBI and Erick Leef, Cage Massey and Cendejas each had two hits for Santa Ana.

Sophomore left-hander Eric Brunst pitched well for IVC, but took the loss. He went 7.2 innings and gave up four runs on 10 hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

Jay Edwards picked up the win to go to 8-1. He went six innings and gave up two runs on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Cole Hoskins earned his fifth save, going three innings and allowing one run (unearned) on two hits and one walk with two strikeouts.

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