May 24, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Santa Ana rally falls short in game at Angel Stadium; Saints hoping for a wild card berth

Santa Ana’s Vincent Tinajero delivers a pitch in Friday’s game at Angel Stadium (Photos: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone).

Santa Ana High’s baseball team made a late charge in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday night but Long Beach Poly held on for a 4-1 non-league victory at Angel Stadium.

To see the photos, please click on the first photo

The Saints loaded the bases with one out and had one of their top hitters, Julian Gomez, at the plate. Gomez belted a deep fly to center field which would have scored a run on a sacrifice fly. But the runner from second was caught leaving the base early for the inning-ending double play. and the run was not allowed.

“It’s frustrating, but that’s the game,” said Santa Ana Coach David Silva.

Poly (19-8-1) had a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, Gomez singled and appeared to be picked off. He somehow managed to elude the tag in a wild rundown and got safely into second base.

With two outs, Josue Sanchez followed with an infield RBI single to cut the lead to 4-1. Kevin Gomez followed with a single. But reliever Tim Fife, who came on for starter Jesse Simon, worked out of trouble.

Poly pushed across two runs in the second inning. Justin Strickland had an RBI single and then Strickland and Simon executed a double steal with Simon scoring to put Poly ahead 2-0.

Poly added a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Troy Criss and another in the fourth on a squeeze bunt by Isaac Richardson.

Vincent Tinajero pitched the first five innings for the Saints. Kaleb Jimenez finished on the mound.

“For me it was a dream playing on a big Major League field is awesome and sitting and keeping scoring here where Mike Scioscia my favorite player (used to manage). We had a good showing. They are Division 1, so you can’t make errors with Division 1 schools. We’re young and we’re growing.”

Silva is a long-time Dodger fan but his favorite player has been Scioscia.

Gomez also enjoyed playing at Angel Stadium.

“It’s exciting to be on the same field as one of the greats that I look up to as one of the best players, Mike Trout,” Gomez said.

The Saints (14-11) will find out Sunday whether they advance to the CIF Division 6 playoffs as an at-large team.

“I think they’re great,” Silva said when asked about his team’s chances of earning a berth. “We have a good record and the boys deserve it. We will find out.”

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com