Dons walk it off in extras against Golden West

Mathew Dobson battling at the plate. Photo by Khalil Rashad / el Don

SAC took down Golden West 8-7 in an absolute thriller on Tuesday. Jimmy De Anda walked it off with a clutch home run in the 11th inning to beat the third-ranked team in the Orange Empire conference.

“That’s a really good all-around team. Their offense is scary and they have some great guys on the mound,” said head coach Tom Nilles. “That win gives us some great momentum heading forward.”

The Dons exploded in the bottom of the first inning scoring three. Third baseman Michael Dobson hit a two-RBI double to the right-center gap and was followed up by Thomas Williams who drove a ball down the left line to bring in Dobson.

Brady Schrank checking his better notes before the pitch. Photo by Khalil Rashad / el Don

After getting up 3-0, SAC and Golden West both scored one in the second, raising the score to 4-1.

Golden West’s Zech Samayoa and Jack Salmon both hit two-run home runs in the third, swinging the momentum to the Hustlers. 

Despite the good start to the game, the Hustlers got hot in the third and fourth innings scoring six total runs, bringing the score to 7-4 Golden West.

Innings five through seven were all defense. Both teams had one total hit through the three innings. 

In the eighth, the Dons put together four hits and three runs to tie the game back up. Abel Castrejon, Jake Long, and Jimmy De Anda all contributed with RBIs. 

With the game tied 7-7 in the ninth, SAC pitcher Joey Iglesias came in to relieve Alan Huerta. 

Iglesias was thrown directly into the fire as he came in with runners on first and second, no outs, and the game on the line. 

Michael Rocha holding a runner on base. Photo by Khalil Rashad / el Don

The first batter he faced hit a line drive straight back at him. He took it right off the groin, knocking him down. With adrenaline flowing, he found the ball and rifled it to second while still down. 

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Shortstop Christian Altamirano tagged second and turned the double play, saving the Dons from loaded bases with no outs. 

“That hit me right in the groin, it felt like I was bleeding,” said Iglesias. “Right when I got rid of it, it was just instant pain.”

After Iglesias took some time to recover, Coach Nilles opted to intentionally walk the next batter to get first and third with two outs. Iglesias pitched the next batter into a ground out to shortstop to get out of the inning. 

The Dons were unable to walk it off in the ninth, leading the game to extra innings.

With Iglesias still on the mound and still fighting through the pain, he worked the Hustlers, three up, three down, to get out of the inning. The Dons were once again unable to walk it off in the tenth despite a single from catcher Izaak Fernandez.

Iglesias continued to battle and shut out the Hustlers in the eleventh inning. 

Leading off the inning, center fielder Jimmy De Anda eyed one pitch and sent it over the left field wall to get his team the win. 

Dons celebrate Jimmy De Anda’s walkoff homerun in extra innings. Photo by Khalil Rashad / el Don

“After seeing Joey take it off the nuts for the team I had to pick him up,” said De Anda. “I was looking for a fastball, got it, and didn’t miss.”

With the win, SAC improves its conference record to 6-1, still sitting atop the Orange Empire Conference. The Dons look to clean up Golden West in the next two games of the series. 


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