Baseball’s title defense in full swing

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Shortstop Christian Altimirano turning a double play. Photo by Wyatt Tway / el Don

With eyes on a second straight CCCAA State Championship, Dons baseball has proved they have all the tools to run it back. SAC finished the season 28-11-1 along with placing second in conference standings with a record of 12-9.

The Dons were hot at the plate all season long averaging 8.2 runs a game. CF Jimmy De Anda, 2B Thomas Williams, and 3B Mathew Dobson all earned All-OEC first team at the end of the regular season.

On the mound, the Dons had a very deep and talented pitching staff led by UCI Commit Jaxton Andeel who earned All-OEC first team and Joey Iglesias who earned All-OEC second team.

To start the playoffs, the Dons faced El Camino and made quick work of the Warriors winning the first two of the three-game series 6-1 and 17-7.

Andeel got the start in the first game of the series and walked away with his seventh win of the season. He struck out six through six innings and gave up one run.

The Dons showed no mercy in the second game putting up 17 runs on the Warriors. SS Christian Altimirano and 1B Michael Rocha both had a day at the plate driving in five RBIs each. The Dons advanced to the Super Regional which is played in a three-team double-elimination bracket.

 

Jimmy De Anda driving a ball to center field against Fullerton. Photo by Wyatt Tway / el Don

The team took a tough first loss to Santa Barbara 18-1 in the first round but bounced back in game two taking down Golden West 14-3. Golden West then beat Santa Barabara to bring all three teams to a 1-1 record. The Dons needed to beat both teams in order to advance.

They faced Santa Barbara first and got the win 9-4. RHP CJ Brown got the win going two and a third innings giving up one run. Dobson and catcher Connor Dietsch both put up two RBIs to get the victory.

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Advancing to the Super Regional Final against Golden West, the Dons started Alan Huerta who got to work going 7.1 innings and giving up four runs. Rocca Gurrola came in to close out the game and secure an 8-5 victory to move on to the Regional Finals against Palomar.

The Dons fell to the Comets 7-11 in the first game after a high-scoring battle. Game two, SAC squeezed out a victory 5-4, getting the final out while bases loaded on a grounder to SS Altamirano keeping their season alive.

In the final game the Dons were up 10-2 after the third, but an 8-0 run from the Comets tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. After a scoreless ninth, heading to extras, Dons loaded the bases and Mathew Dobson put a ball in play down the left field line to score two. The Dons held up in the bottom of the tenth and advanced to the State Championship.

The first game will be played against West Valley on May 25 at 12 P.M. All games for the tournament will be hosted at Mt. San Antonio College and played in a double elimination bracket to decide the state champion.

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