May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Top-ranked Santa Ana College baseball team begins key three-game series with Riverside

Center fielder Kyle Ashworth out of Foothill High School had a big day for SAC on Saturday. (Photo courtesy Santa Ana College sports information).

No. 1 ranked Santa Ana College baseball team opens a three-game Orange Empire Conference series beginning Tuesday on the road with No. 3 Riverside City College.

The teams play Thursday at Santa Ana College and Saturday at Riverside. All the games are at 2 p.m.

The Dons (16-3-1, 1-2) captured the final game of a three-game series against Cypress winning 25-5 on Saturday.

The win came at a critical time after the Dons (16-3-1, 1-2) dropped the first two of the series to open Orange Empire Conference play earlier in the week.  

In game one, Santa Ana struggled in big offensive moments leaving a total of 10 runners on base. The Dons loaded the bases in both the second and eighth innings but came away with just two runs in those opportunities, which led to a 11-5 defeat. 

On Thursday, SAC was on the verge of rebounding as they held a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth in game two. But the Chargers came up clutch with a three-run homerun to regain the momentum and take the lead at 7-6. 

The Dons did not go down without a fight as the first two batters found a way on base to create a pressure situation for the Cypress defense. Cedrick Perez then managed to muscle a single through the right side of the infield to give Christian Thompson a chance to score from second. But a good throw home met Thompson at the plate and dampered the Dons run to help Cypress steal a big win.

Santa Ana returned to Don Sneddon Field on Saturday to host Cypress in a must win game. The game was close through three innings until the Don bats finally woke up, ending the Chargers chances of a sweep.

In the fourth, SAC rallied for seven runs powered by a ton of walks, hit batters and Cypress miscues. From there, the Dons continued to add on as they scored three runs in each of the next four innings. 

Freshman outfielder Kyle Ashworth (Foothill High School) had himself a day, finishing 4-of-4 at the plate with four runs scored, two runs batted in and a couple walks. 

Perez, Kyle Morrell and Johnny Gonzalez  took advantage of several opportunities with runners in scoring position. The trio drove in three runners each to lead a team that posted 19 hits and 12 walks on the day.

Perez, the righty out of  Fountain Valley, also picked up his fourth win of the season with seven strikeouts and three earned runs in six innings of work. 

—Courtesy SAC sports information