Defensive woes continue as Dons lose series opener to Saddleback

Ryann Stock #9
Ryann Stock, batting .324, singles to left center. Photo by Danny De La Cruz

While looking to build momentum from a huge weekend series against Orange Coast College, Santa Ana took on Saddleback on Monday, March 13th. The Dons fell short against Saddleback by a final of 11-4. The season’s recurring themes; errors and pitching woes, led to their downfall today.

Despite winning ⅔ games over the weekend against fourth ranked OCC, SAC still committed a total of eight errors.   

Their pitching hasn’t been great either, giving up an average of nearly six runs per game. The team’s combined ERA is now 4.61. Their pitching woes have been counterbalanced by their explosive offense, which averages nearly 10 runs per game.

In the top of the first inning, the Bobcats struck first off a hit to right center that brought in two runs.

The Dons responded in the bottom of the third inning, with an RBI single from centerfielder Eddie Pelc, bringing in outfielder Cristian Thompson.

“Drive them in, hit the ball hard somewhere,” said Pelc, “Most of the time it’s just about being on time, being early, moving with the pitcher, attacking, and not thinking too much when up at the plate.”

Pelc went 2-4 with one RBI and a run in Monday’s performance. 

In the top of the fourth inning, Saddleback scored two more runs. Dons starting pitcher Brady Ashworth was taken out of the game, and pitcher Noe Novella came in. 

Novella finished off the fourth, but struggled in the top of the fifth inning. He gave up three more runs and left with the bases loaded. 

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Pitcher Rocco Gurrola escaped the bases loaded jam with a strikeout and a line-out to second. Down 7-1, the Dons needed their offense to fuel a comeback effort.

Rocco Gurrola Struck out five batters in three innings. Photo by Danny De La Cruz

In the bottom of the sixth, they put two more runs on the board off RBIs from left fielder Jimmy Anda and first baseman Ryann Stock.

SAC added one more in the seventh, however in the ninth inning the Bobcats scored four more runs, making the score 11-4. 

The team isn’t discouraged though, as they hope to learn from Monday’s mistakes. 

“Start the opposite of how we started today, use some of the good and bad that we took and carry that over for the next game,” said assistant coach Dennis Gerbasi. 

Santa Ana’s record sits at 12-8 and 2-2 in conference, they look to even out the series against Saddleback on Thursday, March 16.

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