Tigers pounce early in conference opener

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Baseball game date: March 1, 2012

Tigers’ freshman second baseman Jake Middleton laced a second inning RBI triple down the first baseline and scored the game-winning run Thursday, in the Dons 4-3 loss to visiting Riverside Community College in the Orange Empire Conference opener.

“I had two strikes, so I was trying to foul off some pitches,” Middleton said. “I got a fastball away and it found some barrel.”

The Tigers’ (6-8) right-handed sophomore starting pitcher Matt Chabot threw seven innings and scattered three runs on four hits. Chabot baffled the Dons (11-3) for the first six innings before being touched for two runs in the bottom half of the seventh.

“I didn’t do anything special out there,” Chabot said. “I just made good pitches when I needed to.”

In the bottom half of the eighth inning, the Dons were in position to tie the game. Sophomore shortstop Andy Peterson led off the inning with a line drive up the middle. He stole second and advanced on sophomore centerfielder Dylan Jones’ fielder’s choice.

Then, the Dons put on a trick play.

Jones took an enormous lead at first base, to draw a pick-off throw from the Tigers’ reliever. As the pitcher threw to first, Peterson inched down the line before breaking for home plate. Peterson slid sideways into home, trying to avoid the catcher, but on a close play was called out by the umpire.

“I got excited, went a little early and it didn’t work out,” Peterson said.

Sophomore righty Garrett Wilson threw 6 and two-thirds innings and allowed four runs on eight hits. The loss is Wilson’s first of the season (3-1).

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“I noticed they were attacking the inside fastball,” Wilson said. “Later in the game I wouldn’t show them an inside fastball until they had two strikes. Mainly mixing things up a bit more.”

The Dons continue OEC play Saturday, as the team host the Fullerton College Hornets.


OTHER DON’s BASEBALL COVERAGE FOR SPRING 2012:
Seven pitchers combine on three-hitter for Dons’ win (Feb. 25, 2012)
Dons beat Huskies to mush (Feb. 24, 2012)
Dons avenge loss in hit parade (Feb. 23, 2012)
Dons capitalize on Falcon errors (Feb. 16, 2012)
Diamond Kings of Santa Ana (Preview)
Doubles allow Dons to tie up Brahmas (Feb 11, 2012)


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