By Wes McCurtis
CYPRESS, CA – The Cypress College baseball team (27-12, 11-9 OEC) locked up third place in the Orange Empire Conference with a 9-6 win over the Saddleback Gauchos (24-15, 10-10 OEC) at home on Thursday afternoon.
Henry Martinez (4-3) picked up the win for Cypress after allowing 6 runs, including just 1 earned run, on 7 hits with 5 strikeouts in 8.0 innings on the mound. Freshman reliever, Jake Mahood picked up his third save of the season in 1.0 inning of work for the Chargers.
Saddleback's Chase Lyford (6-4) received a loss for the Gauchos. Lyford gave up 6 runs, including 3 earned runs, on 8 hits in 5.1 innings.
Cypress got on the board first in the bottom of the third inning. Brandon Alamo (1-for-4, 2 RBI) drilled an RBI single to right field sending Willie Aguilar to third and Wildhagen home. Aguilar would score from third on an error by the second baseman to give Cypress a 2-0 lead.
The Gauchos answered with runs in the fourth and fifth innings to the tie the game at 2 apiece. However, the Chargers posted 2 more runs in the bottom of the fifth on a SAC fly from Garrett Calvert (0-for-3) and an error by the Gauchos' first baseman that sent Aguilar past home plate to re-take the lead, 4-2.
Saddleback continued to fight and capitalize on Cypress fielding mistakes. Tyler Clark (1-for-5) led off the inning and reached on an error by the Cypress first baseman. Clark moved to second on a SAC bunt from Zack Bowman (0-for-4, RBI) before Brett O'Toole (2-for-5, 2 RBI) drilled a 2-run shot over the left field wall that tied the game, 4-4.
The Chargers offense kept it going, posting 2 more runs in the sixth, followed by another 3 runs in the seventh to take a 9-4 lead. The Gauchos rallied to add 2 runs to their total after loading the bases with nobody out in the ninth, but Mahood got out of the jam to help earn a huge victory for Cypress.
No. 7 Baseball will wrap up the regular season on the road with a third and final game against No. 8 Saddleback on Friday, April 28 at 2:00 p.m.
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