More than a year after their successful season was cut short due to Covid-19, the Santa Ana Dons baseball team opened up their doubleheader home opener versus the Golden West Rustlers, splitting the series 1-1, losing game one 13-3 and winning game two on a walk-off single 2-1.
The Dons sent freshman pitcher Jimmy Urban to the mound in game one. Urban only went one inning, giving up three hits and walking one while giving up three runs.
In the second inning, Santa Ana continued to struggle. Freshman pitcher Cesar Aguilar replaced Urban, but the reliever only worked the second, allowing three runs from three hits and a walk.
The Dons scored three runs of their own in the third inning on hits from sophomore outfielder Micah Pietila-Wiggs, sophomore infielder Derek Sims and freshman infielder Jacob Nava.
Golden West then tacked on an additional seven runs, making it a 13-3 game, before the umpires called the game in the fifth inning after two hours and 15 minutes.
The Dons fared much better in game two. Led by sophomore pitcher Dane Baker, Santa Ana locked down the Rustlers hot bats. Baker pitched seven innings, allowing only five hits and one earned run, all while striking out 12 batters.
Santa Ana would strike first in the third inning when freshman catcher Sebastian McSherry hit a single through the left side of the infield. He would continue on and take second base on a passed ball.
The following at bat, Pietila-Wiggs would single up the middle, moving McSherry to third base. Sims also singled up the middle, scoring McSherry and putting the Dons up 1-0.
In the ensuing inning, Golden West tied the game at one with hits from freshman shortstop Steven Casas and sophomore outfielder Logan Gallina.
But in the ninth inning, Santa Ana rallied. The Dons took game two after freshman infielder Nick Lopez was hit by a pitch. Sophomore outfielder Griffin Selby then singled to left, bringing in the winning run and giving the Dons the victory in game two.
The Dons are now 3-1 in the season and play Fullerton College on Tuesday April 20. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, fans will not be allowed to attend.