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image c/o JP Westerbeck
image c/o JP Westerbeck

Cats win in a walk-off

The Saddleback baseball team opened the California Community College Athletic Association (3C2A) Southern California Regional Playoffs with a 4-3 win against Long Beach City College on Friday at Doug Fritz Field.  Isaiah Morales had a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the game.

Saddleback and Long Beach City went back and forth for 8.5 innings, with neither team able to put away the other.  The Bobcats finally pushed across the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning when Morales singled with the bases loaded against a pitcher that had thrown 129 pitches. 

Saddleback started Will Girardi on the mound and he pitched through the sixth inning before leaving with the game tied at 3-3.  The Bobcats then turned to the bullpen and brought in Tyler Byrns.  The righty from Trabuco Hills High School shut down Long Beach City for three straight innings in picking up the win while improving to 3-0 for the year.

Saddleback's ninth inning looked like it would be short-lived as the first two batters were retired on fly outs.  Makani Tanaka then started the rally when he singled to center field to put the potential winning run on base.  Jacob Naso followed with a single through the right side of the infield to put the winning run at second base.  Michael Davinni came to the plate and hit a ball to the shortstop, who threw late to second base and allowed Saddleback to load the bases.  Morales then hit the third pitch through the middle of the infield to score Tanaka with the winning run. 

Saddleback improved to 30-10 overall with the win.  The Bobcats are now one win away from advancing to the second round of the playoffs.  The Bobcats and Vikings will play game tomorrow at 2:00 PM.