By Vanessa Cortez
The Dons were riding a 10-game winning streak, including eight to end the regular season. In the second round of the regional playoffs Friday, the team threw it all away.
Visiting Southwestern College Jaguars capitalized on multiple throwing errors to snap the Dons’ streak with a 6-5 victory. The loss leaves the Dons on the verge of elimination from the regional playoffs.
“We had a pretty good time. Hitting and pitching was OK. We gave up a few hits we didn’t want to, but the kids came back and battled through it,” Jaguars head coach Jerry Bartow said.
The Jaguars put runners on base in the second inning with back-to-back hits to center from outfielder Daniel Goodrich and infielder Anthony York. Goodrich stole home after Dons catcher Frankie Nogales botched a back-pick. .
The game was a slugfest.
In the bottom of the same inning, Nogales made up for his error with an RBI-single to right field. A wild pitch by Southwestern College pitcher Deandre Simpson allowed Troy Baird to score, giving the Dons their first lead of the game.
Southwestern College came back in the top of the third inning and capitalized on a couple of throwing errors. Dons shortstop Garret Brown’s throwing error to second base put runners in scoring position and pitcher Tyler Sloan’s wild pitch allowed a runner to score.
The Dons wouldn’t go down without a fight.
Alex Mascarenas’ single to right field allowed Cameron Baranek to score in the fourth inning, giving the Dons a 4-3 lead.
The entire game was played to back-to-back tying runs when in the fifth inning Jaguars Goodrich hit the ball to right-field that allowed two runs in and took the lead for the first time since the first inning. The Dons eventually tied the game in the fifth inning 5-5.
But more throwing errors lost the game for them.
Dons reliever Logan Roberts threw a couple of wild pitches in the seventh inning, allowing Jaguar second baseman Miguel Solano to score the game-winning run.
“They [Jaguars] were timely with their eight hits. We made too many mistakes on the bases and swinging bad on too many pitches,” Dons head Coach Bryan Harris said.
The second game of the California Community College Athletics Association Super Regionals between the Southwestern College Jaguars and Santa Ana College Dons will be at 1 p.m. Saturday when the Jaguars’ Alex Haas (1.69 ERA) face Dons’ starter Evanne Wilkes (2.91).