The Saddleback baseball team opened the 2022 season with a 17-5 win against College of the Canyons on Thursday in Santa Clarita. The Bobcats led 16-0 at one point before Canyons rallied for a few late runs.
Saddleback scored twice in the second inning and two more times in the third, doing it all with two outs in each of the innings. The Bobcats had their first home run of the season to start the scoring in the bottom of the second inning when Luc Stuka hit a blast to right center field for a 1-0 lead. Stuka would finish with four hits on the day, going 4-for-5 with four runs-scored and three RBI.
Stuka wasn't alone in collecting four hits as Tyler DeClusin joined him with a four-hit performance. DeClusin finished 4-for-6 with two RBI as Saddleback hammered out 19 hits for the game.
Saddleback blew the game wide open in the top of the fourth inning when it scored eight runs for a 12-0 lead. The Bobcats sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning, rapping out seven hits while taking advantage of a handful of pitching miscues and defensive breakdowns by the Cougars.
Saddleback's pitching was led by Connor Wilford, who looked tremendous in his first appearance of the year. Wilford started the game and went six innings, striking out three batters while allowing only three hits on the afternoon. Wilford gave way to a trio of others as Trevor Eby, Ryan Sveningson and Kamden Cisneros all received an inning of work.
The 17-5 win on opening day was the seventh win on opening day in the past eight years. The lone loss on opening day since 2015 came against Mt. San Antonio College last spring during an abbreviated season in April.
Saddleback will host College of the Canyons on Saturday at 1:00 PM. Just a reminder, fans are not permitted at home games until further notice due to COVID-19 protocols.