COD Baseball uses a 7-run 5th to nab first win of 2018, blocking the Lasers, 9-8

COD Baseball uses a 7-run 5th to nab first win of 2018, blocking the Lasers, 9-8

COD (1-5) turned their fortunes around in one afternoon, as a hotly contested call at first base rallied the Roadrunners from a huge hole, to score 7-runs in the 5th and the go ahead run in the 7th, to get their first win of 2018, knocking off the Irvine Valley Lasers (3-3), 9-8.

The Roadrunners had struggled to begin the season, being outscored in the first five games of the season by a combined 61-8, but after a close play at first when freshman first baseman Jonathan Mejia (Palm Desert H.S.) led off the fourth inning and was called out on a ground out to short, Desert turned that intense frustration into fuel in the fifth, carrying the team to victory in a game that took over three and a half hours.

The Lasers opened up the scoring in the top of the first, adding three runs, then tacking on two more in the top of the second, giving the visitors a 5-0 lead going into the bottom of the second. Desert would land on the board in the bottom of the second when sophomore third baseman Nick Follett (Toronto (ONT) Bishop Allen Academy) hit a one out, single to center. Follett would reach second on a walk by freshman left fielder Adam Lopez (La Quinta H.S.), then scamper home on a single to left by freshman designated hitter Nathaniel Lopez (Palm Desert H.S.), getting Desert to within four, 5-1.

Irvine Valley would add two more runs in the fourth and another run in the fifth, to give the Lasers an 8-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth. Irvine Valley opened up their bullpen to start the fifth and the Roadrunners pounced. Nathaniel Lopez led off the inning single to left and went to second on a balk, freshman center fielder Jordan Crisp (Lakewood Mayfair) walked and sophomore second baseman Jerred Soriano (Honolulu (HI) Moanalua) was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out.

Freshman short stop Nathanael Tiaga (Indio Shadow Hills) would grab a bases loaded walk and that opened the flood gates, as freshman catcher Brian McKenna (Mississauga (ONT) Lorne Park Secondary) singled to center to score Crisp and Soriano and Mejia unleashed his first extra-base hit of the season, as he doubled to left, scoring freshman pinch runner Joshua Hernandez (Palm Desert H.S.).

The Lasers had seen enough and after seeing eight Roadrunners at the plate, the relief pitcher was pulled. Fortunately for Desert, it did not matter as Follett doubled to the center field wall, scoring Mejia and McKenna. Then Nathaniel Lopez, who started the inning, grabbed a two out walk as Follett stole third base, which chased another Lasers reliever. Follett would dart home moments later on a wild pitch to tie the game at 8-8. 

Now it was up to the Roadrunners relievers to stop the Lasers, freshman right handed relief pitcher Darian Beck (Indio Shadow Hills) rolled through the Irvine Valley lineup in the sixth inning and received a huge performance from sophomore right handed relief pitcher Isaiah Kinder (Yucca Valley H.S.) in the top of the seventh. Kinder came into the game and struck out two batters looking and got the final out of the inning on a fly out to center to end the Lasers threat.

In the bottom of the seventh, Mejia led off the inning with a single to right field, stealing second, advanced to third base on an infield ground out, and scored on an Adam Lopez single to left field, giving the home side a 9-8 lead.

Kinder returned to the mound in the 8th, striking out the first batter, then giving up a couple of seeing-eye-singles, forcing the next batter to pop up to right and the final batter to strike out looking.

Freshman right handed relief pitcher Westin Vanderwerf (Glendale (AZ) Independence) grabbed his first save of 2018, with a gem in the ninth, surrendering a leadoff single to center, inducing a sacrifice bunt then forcing a line out to the short stop double play to end the game.

Next home game for College of the Desert Baseball will be February 7th at 2:30p and 6p, where they will host the Glendale Vaqueros in a double header. Hope to see you there.

Photo by Britney Vargas (COD Sports Information)
Information, Photos & Story provided by COD Sports Information.