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SBCC’s 9th-Inning Rally Falls Short at Saddleback

Saddleback scored three runs in the seventh on Saturday afternoon, then weathered a ninth-inning rally to edge SBCC 8-7 and sweep a three-game baseball series in Mission Viejo.

Andrew Wilson paced the unbeaten Gauchos (6-0), ranked No. 2 in Southern Cal, by going 3-4 at the plate. Wesley Ghan-Gibson went 2-5 and drove in three runs for the 17th-ranked Vaqueros (1-3).

The Vaqueros fell behind 8-5, then got a run in the eighth on an RBI double by Joseph Hamilton. Hamilton had two doubles from the leadoff spot.

SBCC loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth on a walk by pinch-hitter Aaron Portee, a single to right by Nicholas Allman and a hit-by-pitch by Blake Ogburn. Connor Sealey replaced Travis Willis on the mound and walked pinch-hitter Tyler Rosen to force in a run and make it 8-7.

Pinch-runner Benjamin Barth was thrown out at home on a force play and Andrew Schatz hit into a double play to end the game.

Santa Barbara took its first lead of the series with four runs in the second, highlighted by a two-run single off the bat of Ghan-Gibson.

The Gauchos answered with four in the third, then the Vaqueros went back on top 5-4 when Reinhard Lautz tripled and Ghan-Gibson drove him in with a single through the left side.

Saddleback tied it again in the sixth when Brett O’Toole hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Erik Voller with an unearned run.

The Vaqueros used five pitchers and the Gauchos threw seven. Michael Carr got the win and Jayden Metz suffered the loss, giving up three runs (two earned) on two hits in 1 1/3 innings of relief.

SBCC rapped out a season-high 13 hits with Ghan-Gibson, Hamilton, Allman, Schatz and Lautz all getting two.

The Vaqueros travel to Whittier to take on Rio Hondo on Thursday at 2 p.m.

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