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Mt. SAC Baseball splits doubleheader with Saddleback

Baseball team huddle after running off field
Photo Courtesy of DavesSportsImage

(Mission Viejo, CA) Mt. SAC Baseball evened its record on the young season with a split in a doubleheader at Saddleback College, Friday, April 22.

The Mounties (2-2) banged out 11 hits for a 6-3 win in seven innings in the first of two while dropping the second game, 6-5.

After the first week of a long layoff for the baseball program due to the pandemic, coach John Knott knows of the importance to finally get back on the diamond for all of the players.

"Overall, I'm happy that we are back playing baseball and doing what we all love to do," Knott said. "I have been impressed, with minimal practice, how tough and resilient this group has been."

"We will need to clean up the mistakes as we move forward, but we are all very fortunate to get this opportunity."

Game 1

Sophomore left fielder Caleb Ellis (3 for 3, R, SB, BB) led the way with three hits, while two Mounties, freshman Fabian Moran (2 for 2, R, RBI, SB) and freshman centerfielder Brent Cota (2 for 3, Dbl., RBI) collected two hits each.

Trailing 3-0 in the fourth, the Mounties scored twice, to trail, 3-2, and four more runs in the last two innings.

Highlighting the seventh for the Mounties was a two-run single to center field, scoring the second baseman Cole Jordan and Ellis. Freshman catcher CJ Ontiveros singled in the sixth run, scoring Moran.

Freshman right-hander Julian Valenzuela (1-0), who had one strikeouts, pitched one inning of relief for the win, while sophomore reliever Noah Woodall earned his first save of the season.

"I was impressed with our group that we were able to come from behind and find a way to win," John Knott said. "We had a huge two-RBI single from Moran."

"They showed a tremendous amount of passion pulling for their teammates and finding a way to win late in the game."

Game 2

In the second game, sophomore shortstop Nick Lugo (2 for 5, R) and Ellis (2 for 2, 4 RBIs) led the way for the Mounties.

With Mt. SAC leading, 4-2, in the fourth inning, the Gauchos tied the game at 4-4 with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.

After Saddleback took a 6-4 lead, the Mounties came within a whisker of tying the game in the seventh inning, as freshman designated hitter Jason Flores (1 for 4, R, Dbl., RBI) doubled down the left line.

Lugo, who singled to open the inning, scored, but Jordan was thrown out at home trying to tie the game. The Mounties trailed 6-5.

The Mounties had two runners on in the ninth but failed to score.

"In game two we were led offensively by Lugo and Ellis," Knott said. "The game was a back-and-forth battle and unfortunately we fell short."

"We had both the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the final inning, so our guys continued to stay with it and work to get the win. This game we fell short."

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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.